Solar Power in Surprising Places

Responding to Diane Cardwell's exploration of clean energy developments in Buffalo, I wrote a Letter to the Editor of the New York Times that was published yesterday.  Here's what it said:

"In describing renewable energy's rise in bone-chilling Buffalo, 'From Punch Line to Powerhouse' (Business Day, July 21) illustrates that solar power's range extends far beyond the sun-saturated Southwest.

"Luckily enough, photovoltaic technology relies on sunlight rather than on sun-generated heat. In fact, solar arrays work substantially better in colder temperatures, compensating at least in part for shorter days and grayer weather in places like Buffalo.

"Your article also makes the point that gritty industrial sites can be fertile ground for solar power production. Surveying 35 million acres of 'brownfield' sites across the country, the Environmental Protection Agency has found enough solar potential to provide about seven times the electricity consumed by all American households.

"With commitment and creativity, we can make renewable energy powerhouses out of dead and dying industrial sites across America. Closed landfills, abandoned mines and old factory lots are a clean energy cornucopia."

Here's the link to the Letter.