By Strategic Partnerships, Inc.
Funding and support are abundantly available for clean energy projects in America. The federal government has allocated billions in funding to incentivize Americans to move to clean energy. A head-spinning amount of the funding is earmarked for projects that transition facilities of all types to solar power. In July, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a $20 billion funding allocation to the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund for projects that have been selected. Three institutions have been selected to receive $14 billion for clean energy projects and $6 billion will be used for the Clean Communities Investment Accelerator competition. The Environmental Protection Act will provide $7 billion for the Solar for All competition, which will provide funding for clean power projects launched by states, territories, tribal governments, municipalities and certain nonprofits. Another program worthy of note is the Department of Agriculture’s Rural Energy for America Program, which has another $1 billion available this year for clean energy projects in rural areas. State legislatures have also provided funding for clean energy programs, and local governments have funding available for these projects.
Solar power technology has become more attractive over the past several years, and in many parts of the country, solar is in extremely high demand. Recent advances now provide greater power at less cost, along with benefits that include renewable energy independence, cost savings, cleaner air, and tax credit incentives.
Airports are generating high demand for solar power. As facilities that host dense crowds 24 hours a day, airports have enormous power demands. A recent study found that solar panels placed on flat, commercial roofs are up to 10 times more effective than those placed elsewhere. Airports are usually located in flat areas with little tree cover and many have flat roofs. Over the last decade, at least one-fifth of U.S. airports have some new solar power capacity.
Solar farms are becoming common In California. Large solar panels are placed over water canals to capture energy while reducing water evaporation in the drought-stricken state. Even more significant is a bill that the governor has signed that allows solar panels, batteries and power lines to be built along highways in the state. The new law directs transportation officials to install solar panels along 15,000 highway miles over the next two years. The state has enormous space resources along its highway system including 52,000 lane miles in the state highway system and more than 23,000 lane miles of federal interstate roadways. The solar installation along the roadways has represented contracting opportunities for many years, but the effort is even larger. The legislature also established a process for installing renewable energy infrastructure within state-owned rights-of-way.