Would you be willing to rent your roof? That's just what Duke Energy will be asking people in North Carolina to do over the next couple of years. The utility is planning to rent space at 425 sites across the state to start generating solar power by 2010.
The power company originally wanted to install solar panels at 850 sites at a cost of $100 million, but the plan was struck down by a consumer advocacy group within the state's Utilities Commission. The revised $50 million project is expected to generate enough electricity to power 1,300 homes. All residential customers, whether they're renting their roofs or not, will pay 8 cents a month for the project. Commercial customers and factories will pay more per month.
Duke's ambitious plan is spurred by North Carolina's requirement that renewable energy produce 12.5 percent of the state's electricity by 2021. The utility thinks the project could go a long way towards meeting the state's goal if they could ultimately install panels at thousands of sites.
Duke isn't alone in their roof-rental idea. Southern California Edison and Austin Energy are both planning similar programs.
The idea is logical since most households can't afford the cost of installing their own solar PV units and utilities want to quickly add renewables to their portfolio. The downside is that the cost is pretty high for a fairly modest return in energy. I also wonder about the effectiveness of small solar panel installations scattered across a state compared to larger concentrated projects. Who knows? I could very well be surprised by the outcome. This just may be the next big thing.
via Green Inc.
written by Robert Witham, December 12, 2008
written by EcoInsomniac, December 12, 2008
written by Mike, December 14, 2008
written by Robert Pritchett, December 26, 2008
|< Prev||Next >|