Our Top 5 Solar Installations:
(Disclaimer – Not all of these installs are recent but they’re new discoveries for us)
- One of the largest privately owned solar systems belongs to one of my favorite private companies – The Sierra Nevada Brewing Company. Sierra Nevada produces around 40% of their own energy with this solar installation. All in all, their solar systems include over 10,000 individual panels! Source: Government Technology
In 2008 Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. completed construction on one of the largest private solar arrays in the United States. Courtesy of Sierra Nevada
- The work has started on the world’s largest photovoltaic array (it will also claim the title of world’s largest solar bridge). The Blackfriars Bridge, in the heart of London, will be the home of 4,400 solar panels with the ability to create 900 MWh of electricity per year. (Source: Clean Technica)
The world’s largest solar bridge Is halfway complete. 900MWh per year!
- The New York Jets adopt solar with a massive solar array atop their practice facility. 3000 panels from Yingli Solar have been installed and will provide 750,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity per year. (Source: CNet)
The N.Y. Jets go green with this massive solar installation at their practice facility.
- A solar waterfall could be powering the next Olympics in Rio De Janeiro. Ok, this project is still in the design phase but if completed it would be an amazing structure. (Source: RAFAA Architecture and Design)
This ambitious project would produce electricity with solar panels during the day and water turbines at night.
- And finally, what’s not to love about this solar install? (Source: Dwell)
Students from Appalachian State designed this solar array to double as an outdoor living area. They entered this solar array in the U.S. Department of Energy 2011 Solar Decathlon.
- Spanish solar panel manufacturing company, Isofoton, plans to open a solar panel manufacturing facility in Toledo, OH in July. The Northeast Ohio manufacturing plant that will create 330 jobs, landed a $15 million state loan to go along with about $4 million in private funding. The company also plans on sourcing materials locally. Read more at Columbus Business First.
- Now, this is our kind of solar! Pvilion is taking the traditional view on solar and stretching it to make it work their way. They specialize in flexible PV material that makes for good looking, power producing structures.
- Apple’s new data center will install a 20 mW solar array and fuel cell with a capacity of 5 mW. This will be the largest end user owned solar array in the country. Check our more at treehugger.com.
- And finally, a nice video that shows you how you can slightly alter your daily routine and save nearly 1,213 gallons of water per day. That’s a lot of water!
- Perhaps the biggest news of the week came from the office of the President. The Obama administration rejected the current proposal for the Keystone XL Pipeline which would carry over 500,000 barrels of oil a day across key aquifers that supply drinking and irrigation water to much of the Great Plains. The pipeline is not gone forever as TransCanada, the company behind Keystone XL, can submit another proposal suggesting a different route. Read more about the fight.
- The second biggest story came from our office. We are successfully packed and ready to take on the International Builders Show in 3 weeks. The trade show booth crate was packed in record time with minimal hang-ups. Anywhere Solar will be showing off our newest solar module!
- In other news, the Department of Energy released a report“showing that waves and tidal currents off the nation’s coasts could contribute significantly to the United States’ total annual electricity production, further diversify the nation’s energy portfolio, and provide clean, renewable energy to coastal cities and communities.” Go Ocean!
A map that shows mean current speeds of tidal streams. Source - Georgia Institue of Technology
- Finally, we leave you with this cool video about a windmill farmer.
The Windmill Farmer from Joaquin Baldwin on Vimeo.
Considering that most of the employees at PNS are freshly out of college we like to stay on top of the happenings at various universities around the country and talk about what we would have done differently if we could repeat our 4 years of school (Do more while doing less…everyone’s dream).
Now that we are in the renewable energy business, we are constantly looking for the institution that is doing the next big thing in industry (be it renewable energy, energy efficiency, environmental education, etc.)
Today, a very exciting piece of news was released that inspired this post. According to the Wall Street Journal, “ Mayor Michael Bloomberg plans to announce on Monday that Cornell University won the high-profile competition to build a new applied-science campus in New York City.” This $2 Billion project will be New York’s largest solar and geothermal installation to date in addition to the 22,500 million BTUs from natural gas fuel cells will create per year. All in all, this mix of renewable energy sources has the potential to reduce total electricity consumption at the campus by 75%. Once finished, the campus will be the largest net-zero building East of the Mississippi. Read more here.
This project is obviously huge, so tomorrow we will highlight some small universities doing some really great things.
What would putting solar on every rooftop in the U.S. do? I see three pretty big benefits.
- In the US alone, we generate a lot of electricity – almost 4,000 billion kWh of power – and less than .01% of that comes from solar. If we imagine solar on every rooftop, we could, according to some pretty good estimates and some sophisticated models, produce about a third of the energy that the US uses annually – about 1,400 billion kWh of power.
- That’s a lot of clean, renewable energy and a whole lot less dependence on coal and nuclear resources. If we imagine solar on every rooftop, we would be able to reduce how much we worry about dirty air from burning coal, what to do with nuclear waste, and the possibility of reactor meltdowns.
- US system designers, installers, contractors, and solar maintenance workers would be needed to make this happen. If we imagine solar on every rooftop, that could translate to millions of US jobs.
Solar on every rooftop?
Who knows, with increased US demand for solar modules, we might be able to lure PV cell and solar module manufacturers back to the US.
-Dan, PNS Energy