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Massive solar power project set to start at Windsor Airport

Construction of a major solar farm — in the works for about five years — will start soon at Windsor Airport and could be complete by the end of 2016.

Samsung finally signed the go-ahead for the 50-megawatt Windsor Solar project, enough to power 8,500 homes in Ontario every year, which will see 100,000-plus solar panels installed on a 300-acre site.

Windsor Solar will generate more than 100 construction jobs between now and the fall of 2016, and will provide the City of Windsor $18 million to $20 million in land rental and taxes over 20 years.

The project had been waiting for financing and analysis of glare testing from Transport Canada to ensure that reflections from the solar panels would not hinder pilots landing or taking off at the airport.

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Wind And Sun Come To The Rescue In Power-Short South Africa

Is renewable energy worth the cost? This question is central to the debates in Paris over how to address climate change. Though the conundrum has no simple answer, in South Africa the verdict is in.

Renewable energy arrived in South Africa as a green luxury. But this year, wind and solar farms turned out to be economy-saving necessities.

From November of last year until August, the nation was beset with rolling blackouts that crippled businesses and left homeowners scrambling for candles and matches. These scheduled power cuts shut down parts of the country on 82 days during the first half of the year.

The crisis was the culmination of years of foot-dragging in power-plant construction and a major coal-silo collapse at a generating station late last year.

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Kenya’s M-Kopa is set to deliver solar power to a million homes

Renewable energy projects in sub-Saharan Africa have attracted over $25 billion in investments to date. The African Union recently announced a plan to invest another $20 billion. Yet it’s an investment of just 50 cents a day that could make the biggest difference for renewable energy in Africa.

With an up-front cost of 35 dollars and daily payment of 50 cents for one year, Kenyans, Ugandans, and Tanzanians who live off-the-grid can get energy access through solar company M-Kopa. This month the company closed a $19 million financing round led by Generation Investment Management, and revealed plans to reach one million homes in East Africa by the end of 2017.

It already reaches 275,000 homes. Yet, M-Kopa’s key innovation is using the mobile phone to show how solar energy can be marketed at scale in Africa.

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Find out if your house is a good candidate for solar energy

Saving money and the planet though solar energy has a lot of appeal. Not every home is the ideal candidate for a solar energy update, though. Here are some tips to help you decide if solar energy is a viable option for your home.

Check with Google’s tool

According to the California Energy Commission, a solar system needs unobstructed access to the sun’s rays for most or all of the day. The easiest way to check your home for solar viability is by typing your address into Google’s Project Sunroof.

I typed in one of Google’s suggested home addresses and the tool told me the particular home gets 1,830 hours of usable sunlight per year and has 1,425 square feet available for solar panels. Using 3D modeling the home’s roof and nearby trees it estimated that this home could save $8,000 when calculated with a 20-year lease.

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Derick Lila
Derick is a Clark University graduate—and Fulbright alumni with a Master's Degree in Environmental Science, and Policy. He has over a decade of solar industry research, marketing, and content strategy experience.

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