Let's say you can't put solar on your roof. One option to tap into solar power would be to purchase a share of community solar. Another option, depending on your land situation, would be a pole-mounted setup with system that tracks the sun. Wattsun, the residential arm of manufacturer Array Technologies, offers a few such PV systems worth checking out.
This self-sufficient home took a 2010 Evergreen Award from Eco-structure in the Greenhouse category and features some impressive, green elements. Built in Houston for owners Daniel and Adele Hedges, the home – referred to as Virginia Point – is net-zero energy, near net-zero water, and the first home in Houston to receive LEED Platinum certification.
Khosla Ventures-backed Cogenra Solar made big news this month when it celebrated the unveiling of an impressive 272-kW solar cogeneration installation at Sonoma Wine Company in Graton, California. Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair attended the event to flip the switch on 15 Cogenra SunBase modules that generate both electricity and hot water for the winery.
Perhaps the most noticeable aspect of Sierra Bonita, an affordable housing development in West Hollywood, is the facade-integrated solar array that powers most of the peak load electricity demand for the common areas. The building also has a solar-powered hot water heating system, but beneath the clearly visible green technology is a modern building with apartments fully adaptable for its disabled residents.
Texas-based Solar Lights Factory just opened an online store with various solar LED products — pavers, cylinders, and icebergs — intending to make them available to regular consumers at an approachable price. The paver costs $40 each; the cylinder costs $50 each; and the iceberg starts at $15 each. Each product is self-contained and, with some creativity, can be used for landscapes, gardens, decks, pathways, driveways, and patios, etc.
Just when you thought you’ve seen it all, a new company comes along with a different approach. SolTech Energy makes an innovative roof tile — similar but distinguishable from this thin-film solar tile offered by SRS Energy — that harvests solar energy with a traditional looking glass tile. Currently offered in Spain and Sweden, the SolTech System can be installed to work in conjunction with most common heating solutions on the market.