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What Does Solar Cost?
It’S AN AuSPICIOuS tImE for renewable energy. Anyone consideringinvestinginarenew-able energy system needs to consider many factors including the costs
and economic benefits. Ronald E.
West illustrates calculations for the
return on investment and provides
how to interpret
West has prepared an interactive
spreadsheet to calculate the payback time and internal rate of return
for a proposed photovoltaic solar
project. Access the spreadsheet and
article, “Evaluating Return on Solar
Investments,” at solartoday.org/
Big Businesses Get Efficient
With energy costs on the rise, businesses are striving to use
less energy in their everyday operations. Savings on the energy bill
go straight to the bottom line, so in today’s competitive market,
some of our nation’s largest and most successful companies are using
renewable energy (RE) and energy-efficiency (EE) measures to stay
ahead of the pack.
Some companies’ main function is to implement measures to
improve the energy efficiency of other companies. Energy performance
contracting (EPC) companies work to improve
the efficiency of organizations such as businesses,
schools, military bases and city governments. As
payment, EPCs keep the utility bill savings that
COURTESY OF SPG SOLAR INC.
accrue from the upgrades. Helping the environment is a nice bonus
for these companies, but profitability still drives their actions.
One of the nation’s leading EPCs, Honeywell Building Solutions,
contracted with the city of Perris, Calif., and began by implementing a handful of EE measures in the city’s facilities. These included lighting retrofits, high-efficiency heating and cooling units and programmable thermostats.
Honeywell also installed solar arrays, designed by SPG Solar Inc., at the Perris city hall, fire house, senior center,
library and corporate yard. Because the upgrades were done through a power purchase agreement, they did not
increase Perris’ operating budget or raise the city’s taxes.
Read the full article, by SOLAR TODAY’s Charlie Angelo, at solartoday.org/bigbiz.
Solar carports in Perris, Calif., produce
370 kilowatts of electricity annually and
provide 240 shaded parking spaces for
residents and city workers.
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SE TH MASIA
Expanded from “Braisin’ in the Sun: Turning Pro
in Paonia,” page 32 > See Seth Masia’s slide show
of the Solar Energy International training course and
interact with him online: solartoday.org/paonia
Expanded from “Tokai
University Wins Global
Solar Challenge,” page
12 > See videos from the
RE PIONEERS | WHERE THEY ARE NOW Stan Ovshinsky | Bloomfield Hills, Mich.
NO ONE WOuld BlAmE StAN OvSHINSky
for wanting to take some time off in his golden years.
After all, over the last 50 years, the renewable
energy icon has pioneered thin-film photovoltaics,
created the nickel-metal hydride battery and built
his company, Electronic Conversion devices (ECd),
into an industry leader. He’s been featured in movies
like “Who killed the Electric Car?” He’s even shaped
the English language: “Ovshinsky effect” and “
ovon-ics” (Ovshinsky + electronics) have been added to
But at 87 years old, Ovshinsky doesn’t plan on
taking a break any time soon. He’s in the office every
day, running Ovshinsky Innovations and its subsidiary, Ovshinsky Solar, the companies he founded in
2007 after leaving ECd.
“I’m doing exactly what I should be doing at this
age: I’m still trying to change the world,” he says.
Ovshinsky recently chatted with SOLAR
TODAY’s Corey dahl about his dedication to
renewable energy over the years, what he sees
ahead for the united States and the projects he’s
working on now. Read the full story at solartoday
COUR TESY OF ST YLE MAGAZINE, GLENN TRIEST