Help Columbia Develop Solar Energy

This blog entry was originally written for 8 Goes Green.

This past week I decided to venture out to see how Columbian’s can help the city go green. Two years Columbia Water & Light started planning the Solar One program. It’s a program that’s dedicated to developing solar power.

The way the project works is local businesses make proposals to Water & Light. Water & Light goes through the proposals and finds the best deals. It then installs the solar panels on the businesses rooftops. The solar energy from the panels goes directly into the grid and then everyone in Columbia benefits from the energy.

Water & Light spokeswoman Connie Kacprowicz told me Columbia is perfect for developing solar energy because Columbia has some tall buildings with large rooftops. This is great for solar exposure. She also said businesses can receive tax incentives from having these solar panels installed. Solar energy is already being developed in Columbia at Quaker Oats, Bright City Lights (see my story above) and from solar systems on Bernadette Drive.

The coolest thing, however, is now residents can take part in helping to pay for the solar energy. Residents in Columbia who are electric customers of Water & Light can be subscribers. These subscribers help pay the extra cost of the energy. This is in addition to their utility bills each month.

Since the cost of the new solar projects went down, so did the price for residents wanting to contribute to pay for the solar energy. The city council approved lowering the cost of Solar One blocks of energy. It went down from $4 to $3.35 for a 100 kilowatt hour block of energy. Subscribers can purchase up to nine blocks of Solar One energy.

Wondering why you might want to contribute? Here’s a little history lesson for you:

You may not know it, but solar energy has a fascinating history. Contrary to popular belief, the use of solar power wasn’t just discovered less than a century ago. It actually dates as far back as
400BC when the Greek and Native Americans first began to use it. Both built their houses into the side of hills to store the heat from the day and use that heat during the night.

In 1776, Horace de Saussare created the first solar collector. According to
History Of Solar Power, is collector was cone shaped and would boil ammonia that would then perform like refrigeration and locomotion.

To put that in perspective, 1776 was also the year: Thomas Paine published
Common Sense, the American Revolution continued, and Rhode Island became the first American colony to the first American colony to renounce its loyalty to King George III of Great Britain. As you can see… dating way for back people realized the usefulness of solar energy. The supply of solar power is virtually endless and since no fuels are required to produce it, it doesn’t harm the environment in any way.

Now you can become part of that history right here in Columbia and help our community go green!

You can sign up to purchase Solar One energy blocks by
clicking here. You can also learn more about the Solar One program by clicking here.


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