By: Ameenah Fuller,MPP and Robin Fox
Southern California Edison has embarked on the nation’s largest single solar photovoltaic roof top installation project. The project aims to convert 150 commercial rooftops in Southern California into renewable energy resources. The first installation was on a 600,000 square foot rooftop in Fontana belonging to a distribution warehouse. The solar panel installation required 33,700 thin-film panels. This facility now generates enough renewable power to service approximately 1,300 homes in southern California’s Inland Empire.
The rooftop project program first selects candidate buildings for the solar photovoltaic rooftop installation leasing program. Once a candidate building is selected, the solar panels are installed on the rooftop. This saves energy for the building’s owner. The energy is utilized to power homes in the neighborhood. The project will promote renewable energy sources in 15 counties in California. According to Gil Alexander, Edison marketing representative, the project serves as an example and inspiration for solar rooftops. Edison collaborates with Million Solar Roofs, a program designed to encourage and promote homeowners to install solar rooftops by 2017.
Congress passed the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008, providing California citizens tax credits and incentives to support renewable energy projects.
These tax credits offset homeowner and business expenses for converting to renewable energy technology. The bill extends a 30% federal tax credit for solar photovoltaic and solar hot water roofs for homeowners and businesses through 2016.It also eliminates the $2,000 cap for residential solar systems. In addition, it allows Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) filers to receive the solar credit and extends the Production Tax Credit for large-scale renewable energy projects such as large wind and solar power plants.
What is solar photovoltaic technology?
Solar cells made of semiconductor materials are used to develop a solar panel. These panels convert direct sunlight into electricity. Utilizing the rooftops and installing solar panels on commercial buildings generates renewable energy into neighborhood homes. It’s that simple. The next project is underway in the city of Chino, at Kennedy Associates, an industrial building with a 458,000-square foot rooftop. The installation is slated for completion soon and is expected to generate renewable energy for many Edison customers in the neighborhood.
The solar rooftop project will promote new jobs in California by partnering with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers to promote solar apprenticeship programs. During a 3-5 yr. apprenticeship, a worker may earn up to $14 per hour.
After completion of an apprenticeship, a craftsman may earn $30 or more an hour. For additional information visit http://www.dir.ca.gov/apprenticeship.html.
Southern California Edison supports and promotes AB 32, and the state’s Global Warming Solutions Act to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020.
So the next time you look up and think you see a bird or plane it may just be a new SCE solar rooftop.