Go Solar at Best Buy
For people in five states, going solar is now as easy as buying a Blu-Ray movie or a laptop accessory.
Best Buy and SolarCity announced a partnership Wednesday that allows the big-box retailer to sell the solar energy firm's services in about 60 stores. SolarCity is known as the nation's largest residential solar power provider.
"People go to Best Buy to buy all sorts of devices and appliances, and almost everything you buy consumes a tremendous amount of electricity—your flat-screen TV, your dishwasher," SolarCity CEO Lyndon Rive told the Los Angeles Times. "Now we can sell a product that addresses those energy needs."
The in-store SolarCity employees will provide estimates for solar panel installation, as well as information on potential savings what the system would look like on a customer's home.
For now, the stores are located in five of the more progressive states when it comes to solar energy—Arizona, California, Hawaii, New York and Oregon. Four of those five states were ranked in the Solar Energy Industries Association's ranking of the top solar states in the country.
Clearly, demand is high in these states, which also makes for a strong solar workforce. All five states ranked in The Solar Foundation's top 20 states in terms of solar jobs.
Rive likened buying solar energy at Best Buy to purchasing a new phone plan. The two companies have already launched a joint website to provide free consultation. They are also offering $100 Best Buy gift cards to those who sign up for solar service in a participating store prior to Earth Day.
"The services we offer, it tends to be a conversational sale," he said. "Meaning most people don't understand the value proposition until they spend two or three minutes listening to it and the value proposition is cheaper, cleaner energy."
In December, SolarCity launched an initiative to bring solar energy to schools around the world that don't have electricity. SolarCity launched the Give Power Foundation by partnering with buildOn, a nonprofit that has builds schools in underdeveloped communities around the world. The two entities began the program with a focus on schools in Haiti, Mali, Malawi and Nepal.
Looks like you'll have to trust your map if you want to find the newly designated Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument in Maine.
By Steve Horn
After taking heat last fall for destroying sacred sites of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, the owner of the Dakota Access pipeline finds itself embattled anew over the preservation of historic sites, this time in Ohio.
The plan provides billions in subsidies for renewable energy, bans the construction of new nuclear plants and decommissions Switzerland's five aging reactors. There is no clear date when the plants will close.
By Alex Kirby
An ambitious scientific expedition is due to start work on May 22 on Bolivia's second-highest mountain, Illimani. The researchers plan to drill three ice cores from the Illimani glacier, and to store two of them in Antarctica as the start of the world's first ice archive.
Although not on most people's radar here, New York is one step closer to becoming the first state to have genetically modified, non-sterile insects released outside without cages.
The viral video of a young girl snatched off a Richmond, British Columbia dock by a sea lion is another reminder that people shouldn't get too close to wild animals.
Port officials in Canada have sharply criticized the family for putting themselves at risk for feeding the large animal, especially since there are several signs in the area warning people not to do so.
Flooding breached a supposedly impregnable Arctic "doomsday" vault containing a collection of seeds stored for an apocalypse scenario last week, after warmer-than-average temperatures caused a layer of permafrost to thaw.