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1+1 does not = 2

Were you aware that there is a national competition underway that is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy's SunShot Initiative, and run by SUNY Polytechnic Center for Advanced Technology in nano-materials and nano-electronics? Well there is, and the competition is attempting to expand solar electricity into communities not otherwise served.

Two teams from Connecticut have been selected to develop solar electricity projects. These solar plans are designed to benefit low and middle income communities in the state.

One of two competing CT Solar teams.

To win, our two Connecticut teams must develop a business plan that will work in their communities of Meriden and New Haven and serve as a blueprint for nonprofits as well as state or local governments.

The Meriden team, Solar Synthesizers and the New Haven Team, Sunnysideup, are competing for $1 million in prize money. The project plan must be completed in the next 18 months.

Interestingly, Connecticut was prevented from having shared solar communities by its legislature who voted for two years in a row against solar sharing. At the same time, the legislature approved a small study which still has NOT begun. Shared solar is the easiest way to benefit low income families who may not be able to afford purchasing the technology on their own.

It will be illuminating to see how the Connecticut teams come up with ideas despite the lack of community solar history.

The grand prize is $500,000. with other awards of $100,000. and $200,000.

Let the competition begin!Good luck, Connecticut.

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