solar power

WAMC

The sun’s light is the most abundant source of potential energy on planet earth. It’s an exciting prospect for proponents of renewable energy, but it’s not as simple as catching some rays. As Earth Day approaches, we have two experts on solar energy in the studio today. Michael O’Hara and Johannes Courtens of solar-power-system installer Lotus Energy are here to answer your questions about solar energy and sustainability.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Dominion Resources Inc. is marking the beginning of commercial operations at two renewable energy facilities in Connecticut.

The Richmond, Va.-based energy company said operations have begun at its fuel cell facility in Bridgeport, Conn., and solar center in Somers, Conn.

WAMC/Pat Bradley

Crossett Brook Middle School in Duxbury now has Vermont's largest school solar array.

WAMC/Pat Bradley

Vermont is going to host a regional center to help test solar technology.

WAMC

A major utility company has started construction on a third large solar facility in western Massachusetts.  Despite being a northeast state Massachusetts has seen a boom in solar power over the last five years.

The new solar plant for Western Massachusetts Electric Company will contain over 13,000 solar panels that will generate 3.9 megawatts of electricity-enough to power more than 600 homes.  It is being built on a capped landfill on Springfield’s east side.  Company president Craig Hallstrom says it is the utility’s largest solar project so far.

WAMC

The city of Springfield Massachusetts has entered into a three -year partnership with a utility company to dramatically reduce energy use. 

   In a first of its kind agreement in western Massachusetts  the city of Springfield will work in partnership with Western Massachusetts Electric Company toward a goal of reducing the city’s energy consumption by 12 percent over the next three years.

   Mayor Domenic Sarno signed the partnership agreement Wednesday with David McHale, the CAO for Northeast Utilities, the parent company of WMECo.

A Columbia County city plans to become the first community in New York state to purchase its electricity as locally-produced wind power.

Researchers say that with a little effort, New York could get the power it needs from wind, water and sunlight by 2030. The city of Hudson is leading the pack for now with the announcement it will purchase electricity through retailer Viridian Energy. Hudson Mayor William Hallenbeck hails the move as a "win-win for the environment and for taxpayers."

SolarCity, a national chain of solar energy infrastructure installation and maintenance professionals, is expanding its Albany operation center, and has announced they are hiring for 34 positions across the state, including eight at their Albany location.

The expansion coincides with the company’s approval last week as a fully affiliated contractor by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, and their accreditation in June as an affiliate contractor in NYSERDA’s Home Performance with Energy Star Program.

WAMC

A new report highlights the  30 fold growth in solar power in Massachusetts in just five years. The report ,released Tuesday, by an  environmental advocacy group ranks each of the state’s cities and towns for solar power development.  WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill reports

An Ulster County town is looking to outfit its municipal facilities with solar power - there are questions, conerns... and a catch to making it work. Hudson Valley Bureau Chief Dave Lucas reports.

Facing an approaching deadline, the Woodstock Town Board decided in favor of designating a Kingston-based vendor to seek state-funding through NYSERDA to construct a photovoltaic power array that would transmit electricity to town-owned properties.