Friday, July 24, 2009

More Like This, Please

Driving down 8th Avenue in Berry Hill today what to my wondering green eyes should appear? The beautiful view of a 25 KW solar array going up atop the Sonic Drive-In bays.

This is absolutely awesome! Clean, green energy, produced right here at home, creating jobs all across the work sector: from the guys doing the installation to the Lightwave Solar office staff to the factory workers making the panels in Memphis and Clarksville, to the R&D folks at our labs and universities figuring out how to make these systems more efficient. This is what the green economy is all about, folks.

I have no idea how the owner of this restaurant paid for a 25 KW array, but I would guess they availed themselves of one of the many low or no-interest loans, grants and other incentives available to businesses in the state (which are not available to residential homeowners, I might add).

Kudos to Sonic Drive-In for their support of the green economy. You know, if you look down 8th Avenue in Berry Hill, there’s lots of open roof space, unencumbered by tree tops or tall buildings. There’s really no reason why every single building on 8th Avenue/Franklin Pike doesn’t have a solar array on it. For that matter, there’s no reason why every residential rooftop with the proper exposure doesn’t have a solar array, either. None whatsoever, save the will and the financing.

It’s just a no-brainer. Sonic’s solar panels will begin generating clean, green energy immediately. It will take 25+ years before the first kilowatt is produced in one of Lamar Alexander’s suggested 100 nuclear power plants. And I haven’t seen too many oil wells in Tennessee lately. In fact, while we burn a lot of coal, and pay the price for it with sludge disasters like the one in Kingston, we aren't the coal production powerhouse we once were. According to the EIA, Tennessee coal mines employed fewer than 700 people in 2006.

Solar's the way to go for Tennessee.