(Solar News) This CBS News video talks about how home owners and businesses are creating a rising demand for solar energy despite only 7% of U.S. power being generated by renewable sources. As demand rises, solar power prices should get lower. But as this video shows, not everyone is a fan of solar power as a renewable energy solution…

(Solar News) The Grand Canyon Visitor Center is now solar friendly thanks to the installation of 84 photovoltaic solar panels installed around the visitor center. The panels will offset 30% of the power used by the Grand Canyon Visitor Center and educate 4.8 million people a year about the importance of renewable energy resources.

The panels produce 18kw (kilowatts) of electricity after becoming fully operational this month. The installation was made possible by Arizona Public Service and funds it sets aside for renewable energy projects.

“This project is symbolic of the commitment we have at APS to environmental protection, sustainability and to make Arizona the solar capital of the world,” said APS President and Chief Operating Officer Don Robinson “We selected the Grand Canyon for this project because of the opportunity that exists there to educate so many people about renewable energy.”

The Grand Canyon Visitor Center is one of the gateways of the Grand Canyon National Park. The solar panels appear on the visitor center roof and the property around the center.

(Solar News) A Costco store in Hazlet, New Jersey, is about to go green. The store is being retrofitted with new Solyndra solar panels that use cylindrical modules to capture sunlight across a 360-degree photovoltaic surface. This will convert direct, indirect, and reflected sunlight into electricity.

The system is being installed by Solar Power, Inc and is expected to be completed before the end of the year. The system will utilize 3,300 173-watt Solyndra panels and a 500kW Advanced Energy inverter. The installation will be the largest commercial photovoltaic solar system that uses Solyndra panels.

Solar Power, Inc. is focused on providing solar energy solutions to commercial markets.

(Solar News) In 2007, Spain opened its first concentrating solar power tower plant near the sunny southern Spanish city o f Seville. The plant produces electricity with 624 large heliostats (mirrors). Each mirror has a surface measuring 120 square meters (1,290 square feet) that concentrates the rays of the sun to the top of a 377 foot high tower where a solar receiver and a steam turbine are located. The turbine drives a generator, producing electricit. Here’s a news story on the Solar Power Solar Tower…

(Solar News) The Prix Evenir, A 50,000 Swiss francs prize given out for sustainable development, was awarded this year to Thomas Hinderling, who created the “Solar Islands” project. The Solar Islands project consist of artificial islands made of giant platforms that float on the sea and will be able to produce the same amount of electricity as a small nuclear-power station.

“From the jury’s point of view, the high degree of technological innovation, the potential for growth, and the powerful vision of the Solar Islands’ inventors merited the award,” said Ingrid Kissling-Näf, President of the Jury of the Prix Evenir. The award has been given out annually for the past seven years

Here is video of the Solar Islands project:

(Solar News) Australian company Enviromission has opened a subsidiary in the United States (Enviromission USA) with hopes of building a Solar Tower in Arizona. Solar Tower power station technology is a breakthrough in large-scale, grid connected, renewable energy generation. A 200MW Solar Tower power station could power up 300,000 average US households without creating greenhouse gas pollution or using precious water.

Here’s video of Enviromissions planneed Solar Tower in Australia:

The same concept/design would be applied to the Solar Tower that Enviromission wants to build in Arizona.

Solar towers that follow the sun in Utah will be able to produce power for Southern California. But this is a case that is a bit more complicated than simply turning the sun into power. It also involves steam powering generators. Here’s the news story…