Clean energy firms choose summer solstice to promote solar power
Summer solstice 2010 is a turning point in the seasons and could be seen as one for solar energy as well. The summer solstice on June 21, the longest day of the year, was chosen by a California utility company to announce a $ 100 million campaign to promote installation of residential solar power systems. The summer solstice is also being used by clean energy companies as an occasion to influence public attitudes about solar power as Congress debates climate and energy legislation.
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Summer solstice solar energy financing
The summer solstice announcement by PG & E Corporation of a $ 100 million tax-equity fund to finance residential solar power installations is the largest solar leasing pool to date, according to the company. The New York Times reports that the fund marks a growing interest by utilities in clean energy financing. PG & E preceded its summer solstice announcement in January when it established a $ 60 million tax-equity vehicle for SolarCity, a company in the Silicon Valley that also provides solar energy systems on lease to homeowners. Earlier this year, the president delivered a speech advocating his positions on the climate and energy bill at a clean energy company in northern California called Solyndra.
Lease solar panels for your home
Up to 3,500 homes in Arizona, California, Colorado, Massachusetts and New Jersey will have solar energy systems financed by the $ 100 million fund announced on the summer solstice. Hassle-free solar energy for homeowners is the main objective of the program. Instead of paying for the solar energy system, which can cost more than $ 30,000, homeowners sign a power purchase agreement with SunRun that fixes the cost of their monthly electricity payments for as many as 18 years. In exchange, SunRun installs, owns and maintains the solar energy systems.
Growing public acceptance of solar energy
Applied Materials is a clean energy company that also chose the summer solstice to publish a survey that says two-thirds of those living in the U.S. think more solar power should be used for American energy. MarketWatch reports that three-quarters of those interviewed in the survey said more renewable energy and less foreign oil should be top priorities for the U.S.. The representative sample of 1,000 American adults also found that 67 percent of Americans would be willing to pay more for their monthly utility bill if their utility company increased its use of renewable energy, and 49 percent would be willing to pay $ 5 or more each month for an increased amount of renewable energy.
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