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2013-04-08. With Help From Nature, a Town Aims to Be a Solar Capital.

posted May 13, 2013, 4:22 PM by Alan Gould
For GSS Energy Use chapter 10. Excerpt:  LANCASTER, Calif.  ...Two years ago, the mayor, a Republican, decided to leverage the incessant Antelope Valley sun so that Lancaster could become the solar capital “of the world,” he said.  ...We want to be the first city that produces more electricity from solar energy than we consume on a daily basis,” he said. This means Lancaster’s rooftops, alfalfa fields and parking lots must be covered with solar panels to generate a total of 126 megawatts of solar power above the 39 megawatts already being generated and the 50 megawatts under construction. To that end, Lancaster just did what former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger failed to do in 2006: require that almost all new homes either come equipped with solar panels or be in subdivisions that produce one kilowatt of solar energy per house. ...the city tripled the number of residential installations in the past 18 months. ...While the desert sunshine in California and Arizona helped put those states atop the national solar energy rankings, towns in cloudier regions are also adopting it. Napoleon, Ohio, for instance, benefits from 14 megawatts of local solar power. But energy politics in Ohio and other Republican-run states are not solar friendly. ...embracing solar power is not just a matter of energy costs or reliability. It’s also about jobs. ...As Mayor Parris saw it, solar power could mean lower public expenditures and more private jobs.... http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/09/us/lancaster-calif-focuses-on-becoming-solar-capital-of-universe.html. Felicity Barringer, New York Times.