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Apple Commits to Landmark Clean Energy Deal with First Solar

February 11 -- Apple chief executive Tim Cook said Tuesday that the company is taking on an ambitious project: an enormous solar farm that will provide enough power for all of the company’s corporate offices, California stores, its forthcoming campus and more.

The project will be undertaken in collaboration with First Solar as part of that firm’s 2,900-acre California Flats solar project. Apple’s portion of the farm is 1,300 acres and will add 130 megawatts of solar power to the California grid, First Solar said in a statement. >>View Article

Report: NC Has 23,000 Clean Energy Jobs

February 11 -- North Carolina’s clean energy workforce swelled to nearly 23,000 jobs in 2014, a boom driven by policies favorable to the development of solar farms and green buildings. >>View Article

Oklahoma Chamber Releases Study Highlighting Tax Exemption Benefits

February 11 -- Responding to proposed legislation to rein in the incentive, the Oklahoma State Chamber released a study Monday on the economic benefits of the ad valorem tax exemption used by Oklahoma wind farms and manufacturers.

The study, by economic consulting firm RegionTrack Inc., said the incentive is especially beneficial to rural communities. For every dollar expended, the firm estimated $225 came in new economic output. >>View Article

Voters Favor Renewable Focus

February 11 -- As Congress mulls a new national energy policy, Morning Consult polling finds that Americans largely favor renewable energy sources of electricity like solar and wind power over technologies like nuclear and coal power. >>View Article

Renewable Fuels Standard Reform Act Will Negatively Impact SD Farmers

February 11 -- The Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Renewable Fuels Standard Reform Act released yesterday could have a negative impact on South Dakota's farmers, rural communities and ethanol industry if the recommendations become law, said Doug Sombke, President of South Dakota Farmers Union.

In the report, the EPA recommended an end to ethanol subsidies, which are included as part of the current Renewable Fuels Standard. >>View Article

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

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