>Companies, Homeowners Go Green with Solar Power

>Across the nation, businesses and homeowners are adopting solar power to reduce their carbon footprint and help the environment.

In California, for example, hundreds of businesses have adopted solar power. California is one of the country’s hottest solar markets, thanks to a bevy of rebates and incentives. A guideline requiring that utilities in the state buy 33 percent of their power from renewable sources by 2020 has contributed to California’s solar build-up, too – and the California Air Resources Board made that guideline an official rule this week.

The new rule, ARB chairman Mary D. Nichols said, “will help clean our air and bring new solar and wind energy facilities to California with thousands of jobs in construction, operation and spin-off industries.”

Just this week, Frito-Lay North America announced that it would install even more solar capacity at its manufacturing plant in Modesto, California.

The plant has used solar thermal collectors since 2008 to heat cooking oil – and now, it’s installing a 1-megawatt solar photovoltaic system, as well. The array will reduce the facility’s use of grid-sourced energy by as much as 25 percent.