California neighborhood pushes ahead with residential solar electricity

Friday, June 29, 2012 @ 11:06 AM
posted by rene5432

The quaint neighborhood of Rancho Cordova, California, has about 100 homes surrounded by undeveloped land, and by all accounts appears to be a typical California residential area. However, the homes are a part of one of the most innovated test beds for residential solar power in the country.

According to the Sacramento Bee, residents in the area are taking part in a two-year study to help Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD), the California Energy Commission and the U.S. Department of Energy develop better ways for homes to utilize solar electricity.

The project, which has a price tag of about $6 million, was partially funded by the DOE as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

"There's really nothing else like this in the nation. It's one of a kind," said SMUD's Ed Sanchez, project manager for distributed generation and storage, energy research and development.

Although California was recently overtaken by New Jersey as the top solar energy-producing state, California has long been a leader in residential solar installations. Pacific Gas and Electric has led the way in installations, while Southern California Edison trails close behind. 

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