Solar Power Gaining Users In New Orleans

New Orleans, La. – Solar panels and other equipment was set up on Magazine Street over the weekend, where shoppers could ask experts about the renewable energy. Forest Bradley-Wright of the Alliance for Affordable Energy says New Orleans is at the forefront of the national solar movement. He says much of the city's rebuilding efforts include solar technology.

"New Orleans has more going on for solar than anywhere else in the state and is, in fact, pushing the front edge nationally. A few things have contributed to that. Most importantly, Louisiana has the very best solar tax credit for residential properties in the nation. We have a 50 percent tax credit. You can combine that with the federal tax credits, which are 30 percent."

He says people may be more convinced if they see a neighbor install a system. The Alliance is participating in a program with the city and the federal Energy Department to create an interactive map. People can click on points on a city map showing when and where solar systems have been installed, and use a calculator for estimating savings.

"It most importantly will show that solar is being installed all across the city, in neighborhoods throughout the entire city. And that's, again, it shows that this is happening and will see it grow over time. So as more and more systems are installed, more and more points on the map to show New Orleans as a leaders for solar energy."

Similar maps are online showing systems in San Diego, San Francisco and Boston. Homeowners with solar systems to include in the New Orleans map can contact the Alliance for Affordable Energy. The map is set to launch this summer.
For WWNO, I'm Eileen Fleming.