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Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Brighter Days Ahead

posted by on October 14 at 16:09 PM

Reports the PSBJ:

Seattle is one of 25 U.S. cities that will be studied for its solar power potential, as part of a federal program to speed up America’s adoption of solar energy.

Denver-based CH2M Hill Inc. was given a three-year, $5.5 million contract by the U.S. Department of Energy for the program. The engineering company will be mapping the entire city of Seattle, rooftop by rooftop, which will allow residents to determine how much each individual household could benefit by installing solar energy panels.

Insert cliché line about how Seattle is always cloudy here.

Thanks for the tip, Ben.

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Why do they need to map the city rooftop by rooftop in order to help individuals determine how beneficial solar might be?

Red flag: waste of dollars

Posted by Morgan | October 14, 2008 4:27 PM

A: Solar power does not necessarily need direct sunlight.
B: Solar power is an excellent offset to hydroelectric, since one tends to be available in abundance when the other isn't.

Posted by flamingbanjo | October 14, 2008 4:44 PM

What 2 said. I spent the past five months in the wild with my Solio to power my few gadgets. Also stopped in several off the grid mountain towns that rely solely on solar and generators. Solar technology today is not what it was even less than ten years ago.

And every time I go up the Columbia Center to Starbucks on 40, I always loath all the rooftops surrounding the building that aren't being utilized - by solar, or for an outdoor patio/park. It's ridiculous how pitifully buildings utilize their rooftops.

Posted by seattle98104 | October 14, 2008 4:56 PM

I specialize in solar and renewable installations for City Light, and this is very good news - and not at all a waste of money, for the energy potential from harnessing solar in Seattle could far outweigh the paltry cost of that study.

For comparision, the costs of constructing a new power plant or dam runs in the hundreds of millions. Even the cost of relicensing the current hydro projects is much higher than $ 5.5 million.

Posted by Catalina Vel-DuRay | October 14, 2008 5:20 PM

i heard about and played around with it for a bit. it's pretty interesting.

Posted by happy renter | October 14, 2008 5:26 PM

My dad's house is solar powered, with some wood heat assistance - and it's in upper Vermont.

Seattle's actually a pretty good place, but the best thing is to get good insulation first and good windows. That helps no matter what your energy choice is.

Posted by Will in Seattle | October 15, 2008 1:18 AM

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