The power of the sun will be harnessed later this month to produce solar electricity on a size and scale never before seen in Indiana.

Starting April 29, an array of 6,152 solar panels, installed last winter on the roof of a federal office building, will create more than 2 megawatts of electricity an hour, enough to power about 1,000 homes.

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Solar energy in the U.S.

» In 2010, the U.S. solar market grew 67 percent in value, reaching $6 billion, up from $3.6 billion in 2009.

» Solar electric installations last year totaled 956 megawatts to reach a cumulative installed capacity of 2.6 gigawatts.

» 29,500 solar pool heating systems and 35,500 solar water heating systems were installed last year, providing heat to more than 65,000 homes, businesses and pools.

» California is the leading installer of solar water heating systems.

» The U.S. ranks fourth in the world for new solar electric installations.

» More than 60,000 people are employed in the U.S. solar industry.

Sources: U.S. General Services Administration; U.S. Department of Energy; Solar Energy Industries Association

Ground Broken for New Green Technology and Fire Safety Facilities

On March 25, 2011, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) held a groundbreaking ceremony at its Gaithersburg, Md., campus for three new facilities funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The Net-Zero Energy Residential Test Facility, the expanded National Fire Research Laboratory, and the installation of more than 2,500 new solar energy modules to supply electricity to the NIST campus will all help to advance the state of the art in green and fire-safe building practices.

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Fire Fighter Safety & Emergency Response for Solar Power Systems


Training video’s by Capt. Matt Paiss, of the San Jose, Calif., Fire Department, offering further understanding of the how solar electric systems work and tips on how to stay safe. Matt can be reached at

Part One

Part Two

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