While Mount St. Helens may be spewing a bit of gray into the sky, it's all about the sun right now at the Portland Oregon Visitors Association. Bureau executives are touting their new Web site, pova.com, as the first CVB Web site in the country to be 100 percent solar-powered.
Don't expect to see solar panels on the roof of the CVB's offices in downtown Portland. The change from a conventionally powered Web site to a solar-powered site came from working with Solar Data Centers, a company that uses solar energy exclusively to run its clients' Internet operations.
And in case you're interested, solar panels aren't on SDC's roof either. The company purchases “Green Certificates,” which guarantee that renewable energy comes into the power grid. As SDC explains it, “Because green energy [such as solar, wind, and water-generated energy] is usually more expensive than regular energy, your local electric company is not able to buy it for public use. When a person or business buys Green Certificates, they are paying the extra money that an electric producer or provider needs in order to bring clean power into the grid.”
According to POVA, the switch to solar power is the monthly equivalent of 16,286 auto miles not being driven or 4.32 tons of coal not being burned. And the cost, they say, is “nearly identical” to the old one.