Solar Energy Provides Rays of Hope
With plenty of rooftops, cities would seem ideal places for taking advantage of solar energy. Imagine a sea of solar panels spread out across Providence’s skyline. Rhode Island’s Capital City transformed into an urban solar field.
All of these renewable energy-producing arrays would help our embattled environment catch its breath after centuries slathered in fossil-fuel particulates, pollution and gases. A sea of rooftop solar panels also would help lessen the heat-island effect that plagues so many urban areas. A recent study by the University of California, San Diego showed that solar panels act as roof shades, keeping a building up to 5 degrees cooler during the day.
But solarizing Providence’s rooftops would admittedly be ambitious and definitely expensive. The idea, however, isn’t without precedent. Both Brown University and Providence College have incorporated solar rooftop panels into their energy infrastructure. The roof of the Rhode Island Public Transit Authority’s John H. Chafee Transportation, Operations and Maintenance Center on Melrose Street is home to a solar array.
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