Huntington Beach bills itself as the home of mild and mellow beach culture, but this southern California town is anything but mild and mellow when it comes to promoting solar power. The place otherwise known as Surf City USA has just announced an aggressive, ambitious program to get solar panels on 1,000 residental rooftops by 2010, in partnership with hometown company Sharp Solar Energy Solutions Group.
Government Rebates, Discounts Boost Solar Affordability
The typical Huntington Beach solar installation is estimated to cost about $24,000. Sharp Solar Energy Solutions Group will provide a discount of $150 per kilowatt on its solar panels. With state and federal discounts coming into play, the price knocks down to about $14,000. If that has a familiar ring to it, the calculation is similar to California’s recently announced “beer-to-ethanol” program, encouraging residents and businesses to purchase equipment that converts waste yeast and other feedstock to ethanol.
Solar Power: From Lighthouses to…Just About Everything Else
Sharp has a long and storied history in the solar energy business, starting with a lighthouse installation almost 50 years ago. The world has come a long way since then and solar panels are being installed on just about anything that sits still – or moves. Just a few up-and-coming examples are a solar highway planned for Oregon, a solar parking lot for the New Jersey National Guard, and dozens of solar projects installed by the U.S. military to help build a more sustainable infrastructure in Bagdhad. Huntington Beach’s goal of 1,000 residential solar installations could be just the beginning of a sea change for the entire town and another nickname, too: Solar City USA.
Image: Clearly Ambiguous on flickr.com.
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