Butte College Goes ‘Grid Positive’
California-based Butte College has become the first U.S. college go ‘grid positive,’. Each year, the college is able to generate more electricity, over 6.5 million kilowatt hours, than it consumes from 25,000 solar panels that are spread out over the 928-acre property. It is estimated that the college will achieve between $50 million and $75 million in savings over 15 years.
Department of Energy Secretary Steven Chu has announced conditional loan guarantee commitments totaling approximately $4.5 billion for the development of three solar generation facilities. The Antelope Valley Solar Ranch project, the Desert Sunlight project and the Topaz Solar project are all focusing on building alternating current Cadmium Telluride (Cd-Te) thin film photovoltaic (PV) solar generation facilities. When completed the projects, which will all be located in California, will generate approximately 1.33 GW of clean electricity. This announcement raises the total number of DOE supported projects to 40 at a projected loan guarantee total of over $38 billion.
A study by APCO Insight has found that the Fukushima nuclear disaster has had a minimal impact on the amount of support for nuclear power in the US. A June survey of private and public sector public policy elites shows that 69% of energy policy makers and influentials still feel that nuclear power should be a somewhat or very high priority for fulfilling future energy demand. 65% of those surveyed gave a favorable impression of nuclear energy’s ability to balance environmental and energy needs. This is a 5% drop from the time the initial survey was taken which was in November 2010.