SUMMER 2020 SOLAR NEWS UPDATE

Stay up to date with the latest news and trends in solar and renewable energy! Take a look back at the spring 2020 updates here.

NEW TRANSPORTATION AND INFRASTRUCTURE LEGISLATION COULD BENEFIT SOLAR INDUSTRY

H.R.2, otherwise known as the Moving Forward Act, hit the floor of the House of Representatives earlier this month.

The 2309 page bill was originally introduced as a means to boost the infrastructure and transportation sectors in the United States, but has been amended over time to address the growing issue of carbon emissions and “provide renewable energy companies with credits to aid in the development of future projects.”

According to Abigail Ross Hopper, president and CEO of the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), almost 90% of Americans support clean energy policies. If approved, this act would:

Create a grant program for solar installations located in areas that serve low-income and underserved communities

Extend the credit for electricity produced from certain renewable resources

Extend and modify the existing energy credit

SOLAR AGRICULTURE CREATES A BRIGHT FUTURE FOR MODERN FARMING

If 2020 has been any indicator of how the world could look in the future, we know what we’re up against. There are few industries that haven’t been affected in some way by the coronavirus pandemic, and with the increasing threat of climate change looming overhead, farming is another area that’s seen a fair share of struggle. Experts expect that many nations will face growing pressures relating to food security.

IS SOLAR THE ANSWER?

Small farms in France have already started adopting solar agriculture as a means to “offset energy bills, reduce their use of fossil fuels, and breathe new life into existing operations.” Many trials of solar agriculture have seen positive results in India, Italy, the United States, and other countries. A wide range of crops can be grown in the shade beneath solar panels including swiss chard, wheat, potatoes, tomatoes, and more. These crops not only grow under the solar panels–they thrive. According to a recent study in India’s Maharashtra region, the experimental crop’s yield was reported as 40% higher than usual. That’s due to the extra shade provided by the solar panels, which helped decrease evaporation.

46 NYC PUBLIC SCHOOLS TO BE POWERED BY SOLAR

As part of Mayor Bill De Blasio’s goal to reduce citywide emissions in New York City by 80% by 2050, the New York Power Authority (NYPA) and the New York City Department of Citywide Administrative Services (DCAS) are seeking to install solar systems on city-owned facilities.

The schools that were chosen as hosts for these solar systems are located in “racially and economically diverse” communities and were ultimately chosen as technically viable sites for solar installations. This initiative will also help adhere to the statewide goal of having 70% of New York’s energy created from renewable energy sources by 2030.

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CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19) INFORMATION

HES Solar places safety as our highest priority, and that extends from our employees to our customers, to anyone else we may potentially be in contact with through the course of business. Along with the safety procedures we adhere to in the normal course of our work and projects, we have instituted several safety protocols for all of our employees during these times of vigilant public health precautions due to COVID-19. 

Our employees are given temperature checks each time they enter the office, and office visits are only allowed when necessary. 

We’ve instituted remote working for all of our employees who are able to perform their job duties at home. Meetings are done through virtual meeting rooms. 

Field employees maintain a six-foot distance between themselves and fellow employees, customers, vendors, and all others unless unavoidable. 

Masks are required whenever interacting with fellow employees, customers, or the public and whenever social distancing is not possible. 

To ensure these procedures can be met, employees have been provided with face masks or face coverings, eye protection, gloves (as necessary), and foot coverings (as necessary). 

To help ensure frequent sanitizing, employees have been provided sanitizers in the form of gel, liquid, and wipes, antibacterial soap, and paper products for cleaning such as tissues and paper towels. 

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