From St. John Source
By John Baur Ã¢â‚¬â€ May 11, 2010
Frustration and even anger dominated the first two hours of the Senate hearing on the U.S. Virgin IslandsÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ Sun Power Loan Program, but midway through the Monday evening gathering, all sides calmed down and realized that the worst is over and that the program has turned a corner in its goal of installing 1,000 solar water heaters in the territory.
The program is simple enough, and everyone at Monday eveningÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s meeting of the Senate Committee on Economic Development, Energy and Technology agreed it was a great idea. Using a pool of money from the territoryÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s share of American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds, the program enables building owners to buy a solar water heating system with no money up front. The loans would be repaid through the ownerÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s WAPA bill, and the payment would be offset by savings on electricity, which are estimated at about 30 percent of the bill.
The program also included training 26 people through the Career Training and Education Center for jobs as solar water-heater installers.