Monday, December 10, 2007

Solar Array--Hurray?

When I first read this headline I thought it was neat and I was proud of the motherland--then I saw it only powers 80 homes and a miniscule amount of hybrid cars. So what? Must we take not just baby steps, but mitochondria steps? Where's the leap? This is simply another case of an electric company attempting to placate environmental critics. Guess how many wind turbines Lincoln has? How many eyes do you have?

Minneapolis Gets Grant to Create Solar Energy

A $2 million grant will be given to the city of Minneapolis to build the largest urban solar array in the Midwest, the city announced today. The Xcel Energy grant will fund a 600-kilowatt array to be built on top of the city's Currie maintenance facility.

The array is made up of 3,000 panels and will generate enough electricity to power nearly 80 homes. The city said the electricity could allow it to expand its fleet of plug-in hybrid vehicles. Minneapolis currently has 28 hybrids, which could be converted to plug-ins. "We now have the opportunity to build what we expect to be the largest urban solar array in the city, state or Upper Midwest," Mayor R.T. Rybak said in a news release.

The grant needs approval from the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission in the spring. Minneapolis currently has three solar arrays operating at city facilities.


Unknown said...

If I ever win the lottery--which of course would require me to start playing it first--I would be looking into working with firms who have a goal of bringing technology down to an affordable level.

It seems to me that this is the problem: Big companies, who have the means to make a big change, do not have the incentive. Small people like me, who really want to be able to take my 90-year-old house off the grid and install a green roof on it, do not have the means. If we did, we could effect a large change in the aggregate.

There has to be someone smarter than me out there who can figure out a way to bridge all of those gaps and make it work.

Benjamin Vogt said...

I wouldn't mind some government incentives, but that creates a whole host of other problems. Still, maybe it's worth it. I like states that are taking initiatives on these issues, thumbing their noses at the federal government since it's quite uncaring about, oh, global suicide. Well, couldn't one go on and on here. I always hear how in 10-20 years this'll all be more "affordable," then I hear how that's too late to do much good environmentally. Bah humbug.