Huston-Tillotson, a college in downtown Austin, Texas, has a bit of a reputation. Known as a historically black university, Huston-Tillotson has also taken big steps to be known as a green and environmentally friendly one. The college has a campus food garden, it has built a patio of completely recycled materials, and it even created something called “The Dumpster Project,” where a professor lived for a year in a 33 square-foot dumpster as a way to test and demonstrate efficient living. The college has even established a student group with the catchy name Green Is The New Black.

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For the past few years, temperatures have been steadily rising, and the United States has seen records broken over and over again as the mercury keeps climbing during the spring and summer months. The summer of 2015 was the hottest on record for portions of the Pacific Northwest, and even where the temperatures didn't break records, the heat still pounded the populace. Fortunately, temperatures aren't the only records the U.S. has been setting in 2015, and the second set of records may actually lead to reductions in air pollution, greenhouse gases, and the march of global warming.

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Mahatma Gandhi famously said, "First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win." This quote accurately described India's struggle against the British Empire, but it also describes the path solar energy has taken in America. Solar has gone from something ignored, to something deemed ludicrous and impractical, to a genuine threat to long-held fossil fuel interests. America is currently in the fighting stage regarding its energy future, and according to Vice President Joe Biden, those who are trying to stifle the growth of solar power are, "on the... Read More

Solar power is, perhaps, the most abundant resource on the planet. Every day the sun comes up, pouring huge amounts of light onto the surface of the planet, which can be converted into electricity. Because solar power is literally as dependable as the sunrise, it's been one of the most heavily pursued forms of alternative energy in the struggle to fight global warming and turn off the fossil fuel tap. In fact, thanks to an explosion in manufacturing, advances in cheaper installation and financing for both residential and non-residential solar projects, solar power has reached new highs as... Read More

A heliostat, derived from the two Greek words “helio” for sun and “stat” for stationary, is a device that uses a mirror that tracks the sun as it crosses the sky during the day. The mirror focuses the light with a series of additional mirrors on one stationary point. The mirrors are all controlled by computers to track the sun exactly to catch its sunlight throughout the day. In the solar energy industry, that stationary point is a solar power tower that has a steam engine on top. The engine uses sunlight to heat a liquid that generates electricity with a turbine. Large-scale, grid-capable... Read More

Once your company has decided to go solar, it's time to think about how you are going to manage the installation and upkeep of your solar power system. Since solar isn't your main business but rather a way to cut costs and help the environment, you shouldn't be expected to handle all the details surrounding your solar installation. Too often companies try to keep their solar asset management in-house, and wind up spending more money than is necessary for the installation and management of their solar power. The good news is that you can outsource your solar... Read More

For companies concerned with going green, solar energy isn't just the latest watchword. It's a long-term investment strategy that has the potential to revolutionize not only the way the company gets its energy, but also the way it views future projects and needs. Solar energy has a number of benefits, not all of which are immediately obvious.

It's a long-term investment.

When you choose solar power for your business, you aren't trying it out as a short-term project. Instead, you're making a long-term investment that will pay off for your business for years to come. Many... Read More

Texas has long been a leader in oil and gas energy, ever since the first oil well at Spindletop produced a gusher and ushered in the modern oil industry. More recently, Texas has become a leader in wind energy, with wind farms in the Panhandle and West Texas making the Lone Star State the biggest wind producer in the country.

Now, according to a recent piece in the Wall Street Journal, Texas is poised to become a leader in a third form of energy production: solar.

Pecos County, which lies between San Antonio and El Paso, at the edge of the Permian Basin oil formation, is... Read More

Scientists all over the world have contributed to the development of solar power. For both heat and light energy sources, the sun’s power has been considered a solution to yesterday’s and today’s energy challenges. These international innovators laid the foundation for the solar industry as it is known today.

In 1767, Horace Benedict de Saussure created an insulated box covered with three layers of glass to absorb the sun’s heat. The Swiss scientist had developed the first solar oven, which was capable of reaching over 200° Fahrenheit. Sixty years later, in 1839, the photovoltaic (... Read More

Even though it has been around since the 1950s, solar energy has only recently become heralded as a green alternative to fossil fuels and a way to save the earth, while still meeting our electrical needs. With the advances in solar technology and improved access to financing options, many schools are beginning to install solar arrays, in order to create their own microgrids that benefit both the school and the surrounding community.

Though schools across the United States are beginning to realize the benefits of solar energy, many have yet to explore the possibilities that this... Read More