16 Dec '11, 9pm

How One City Achieved a Solar Surge

Orgeon DOT /CC BY 2.0 Germany. Italy. Spain. Gainesville. Stumped? These are among the worldwide leaders in solar power. That's right -- Gainesville, Florida, has surpassed the state of California, a solar giant, in solar installations per capita, with more than seven megawatts of new solar-power capacity added during the past three years . How did this medium-sized city of 125,000 in the middle of Florida do it? Gainesville was one of the first cities in the U.S. to adopt a feed-in tariff, which pays owners of solar-power systems who feed energy back into the grid. Homeowners with solar panels receive 32 cents for each extra kilowatt-hour they generate -- a rate that is more economical for the utility than an upfront rebate program. And because feed-in tariffs offer long-term stability, solar projects are easier to finance. Sierra Club member Dwight Adams has a five-kilow...

Full article: http://www.treehugger.com/renewable-energy/how-one-city-a...

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