Solar Rooftop Leasing
A company called Southern California Edison has recently installed solar panels on two warehouses in Fontana, California. These warehouses do not belong to Edison, but the actual solar energy being input does. The company that owns the warehouse receives a credit to have the solar panels installed on their roof, but Edison is allowed to own and distribute that solar as they see fit.
This concept is not new, as it has already been done in distributed computing. I, as many people do, subscribe to World Community Grid. There are other distributed computing programs (such as Seti@home and Folding@home) that use the idle computing space on your computer to compute and solve problems relating to the medical, astronomical and other fields. For instance, while I am writing this article I am using a very small amount of computing power on my laptop, let’s say 3%. Another hypothetical 15% is going towards my antivirus and other stuff that my computer needs to run. That leaves 82% of my computer to help resolve medical issues that the medical community cannot do on their own, as they do not have the amount of computing power and/or space themselves.
So. Cal. Edison seems to be the one of the first companies to be able to do this with energy, which begs the question, why not do this on every rooftop? Edison, according to USA Today, has plans to do another 100 to 125 more rooftops, totaling 1.5 square miles of photovoltaic rooftop. There are similar programs in other states (North Carolina, New Mexico, New Jersey, Arizona) expanding this agenda for energy companies nationwide.
While this new model for energy companies can potentially create more stress as they usually get their energy from power plants, wouldn’t it be the best thing for everyone to have some form of renewable energy on their property? All in all, I believe this a step forward, especially just before Earth Day (April 22).