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Federal and private grants offer encouragement to implement the conversion of natural radiation from the sun into solar energy systems to produce hot water, cooling, heating and electrical energy for commercial, industrial and residential buildings. A Federal tax incentive program allows a 30% investment tax credit to be earned to reduce the cost to a complete system cost. If the credit earned in a single year exceeds the tax liability the credited excess can carry forward into the following taxable year up until the year of 2016. There are also significant state incentives and rebates that vary from state to state and within different utility service territories.

Solar systems are designed to offset the energy generated by other sources such as natural gas, coal, nuclear, petroleum and fossil fuels, etc. as well as protecting the environment.

As role models of good stewardship some innovative school districts and businesses throughout the United States are able to help cut costs significantly for taxpayers by harnessing the sun through renewable solar energy.

One example is the groundbreaking solar project for a school in Tucson, Arizona estimated they would be saving approximately $170,000 within the first year of operation over the next twenty years $11,000,000 in energy costs. This also means cleaner air by averting emissions from the local power plants while providing wonderful shade in playground areas.

If you are a public school or a non-profit organization that provides services for children under 18 years of age you may be eligible for funding or grant assistance to purchase a permanent shade structure. Every year the Florida Society of Dermatology & Dermatologic Surgery hosts a sun shade contest giving funds for a shade structure to a group or school.

The AAD Shade Structure Grant Program offers a grant for a sum of up to $8,000 for the purpose of providing shade for children.

The Lowe’s Charitable and Educational Foundation also offers $5,000 to $25,000 or higher in possible grants to local communities for nonprofit organizations or public education or community improvement in places close to its and distribution centers or stores.

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In South Carolina technicians completed installing solar panels for two high schools that can generate 25,000 electrical watts. The students throughout the school district can access a computer system electronically that will monitor the energy that is produced. Their goal was to have the students involved in evaluating the systems and serve not just as a more energy efficient system but as an educational tool as well. The system is designed to shade an outdoor patio as well. The power that is generated from the solar panels will be sold to the South Carolina Electric and Gas. The schools were able to offset the original cost through the Solar Grant Program for Education Installations and the rest of the funding came from other energy efficient projects.
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They are expected to last much longer than that, but solar panels most typically boast a 20 to 25 year warranty. The cost of going solar has also come down over the years. Check out the possibilities and savings in going solar. Maybe solar might be an alternate solution for you.

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