Wednesday, August 1, 2012

How to Grow a Solar Energy Garden

Getting energy from the sun is a great idea. However, installing solar panels house-by-house is slow, costly and cumbersome, and downright inefficient if the goal is to bring solar to the masses.
This problem troubled Paul Spencer after he built his own uber-efficient, custom solar home near Aspen, Colorado in 2004. The engineer and serial entrepreneur wondered how he could replicate his home many times over across the United States.
Out of this problem came the community-owned solar garden – or at least a version pioneered by the Clean Energy Collective, a Colorado company founded by Spencer in 2009. What is a solar garden? Think community vegetable garden, where everyone in the neighborhood tends a common plot and then shares the harvest. Except here the crop is solar energy, often produced by ground-mounted photovoltaic panels on an open piece of land or large rooftop.
Variations on the solar garden idea are catching on in California, Colorado, Massachusetts, New Mexico and other states. Click here to continue