A recent editorial in the Desert Sun newspaper encouraged residents and businesses in the Riverside County area to turn to solar power to meet their energy needs.
The catalyst for the article on the paper's opinion pages was the installation of a solar power system atop the carports at the Palm Springs Motors Ford dealership in Cathedral City. With more than 2,700 solar panels in the 655-kilowatt system, it's billed by the paper as one of the largest private solar projects in Riverside County. The paper added that the Palm Springs Motors solar power system will generate 1.1 megawatt-hours of power, or "80 percent of the power needed to run the dealership's equipment and light its 100 service bays."
In another news report, Scott Simmers, president of Palm Springs Motors, said the business wanted to take advantage of alternative energy resources and decrease utility bills. The solar power system was the best fit for the dealership, he added.
In its editorial, the Desert Sun praised the company's decision to use solar as not just smart for the environment but smart for business, too. The article stated that the price for solar panels has dropped 30 percent in about the last 14 years, and that Palm Springs Motors' solar project will have paid for itself in six years. The editorial also stated that solar panels last longer than in the past, and no-money-down leases are available. Homeowners and businesspeople should also look into solar now, as the 30 percent federal tax credit will expire in three years, according to the article, and Southern California Edison will be implementing rate increases through 2014. Environmentally, using solar power will help California cut down on carbon emissions—the editorial pointed out that the Coachella Valley has some of the country's smoggiest air.
As the editorial concluded: "The Desert Sun encourages homeowners, business, cities and other public agencies to follow the example of Palm Springs Motors. It makes economic sense and can help us all breathe easier."