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World's Largest Solar Plant Opens in California Desert

February 10 -- The Southern California desert is now home to the world's largest solar power plant.

U.S. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell joined state officials on Monday to open the 550-megawatt Desert Sunlight solar project in the town of Desert Center, Calif., near Joshua Tree National Park. Built by First Solar, the project generates enough electricity to power 160,000 average California homes. >>View Article

Reach For the Sun

February 10 -- One day, as a child in the early 1980s, I spotted a strange device on my grandfather’s roof in San Diego. I asked my dad about it, and he told me, “That’s a solar water heater. Your grandpa doesn’t like spending money, and now he gets his hot water for free.” I digested the information and never really thought about it again—until, 30 years later, my wife and I bought a house. Suddenly the prospect of saving money with solar energy became relevant. >>View Article

Wind Energy is Saving Taxpayers Money in Minnesota

February 10 -- Nearly every time the wind blows in Mower County, Minnesota property taxes drop.

Hundreds of wind turbines produce power in the county and each time a kilowatt is produced, the producer pays a wind generation tax that has totaled $8,938,356 over the past 11 years. Most of that tax goes to the county, which uses it to offset property taxes. By law, the turbines themselves aren't taxed, just the electricity they produce, County Coordinator Craig Oscarson said. >>View Article

Doug Coward: Low-Interest Loans Help Clean-Energy Financing

February 9 -- Doug Coward, 48, is the executive director of the Solar and Energy Loan Fund, which was founded with a U.S. Department of Energy grant and recently received a $100,000 grant from Orlando to open an office in the city. SELF provides low-interest loans and guidance for residential energy-efficiency upgrades and other home improvements. He spoke with Orlando Sentinel reporter Kevin Spear. >>View Article

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