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USA: Solar power is beginning to go mainstream

Bobby Bailey stretches to tighten a screw that holds a corner of a solar panel at the O2 Energies solar power farm in Newland, N.C.,

By Jonathan Fahey, Associated Press

Updated: 10/28/2011 04:50pm

Solar energy may finally get its day in the sun.

The high costs that for years made it impractical as a mainstream source of energy are plummeting. Real estate companies are racing to install solar panels on office buildings. Utilities are erecting large solar panel “farms” near big cities and in desolate deserts. And creative financing plans are making solar more realistic than ever for homes.

Solar power installations doubled in the United States last year and are expected to double again this year. More solar energy is being planned than any other power source, including nuclear, coal, natural gas and wind.
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