Wonderful news for the solar and renewable energy industry keeps coming in. Yesterday, Tesla and SolarCity shareholders approved Tesla’s acquisition of SolarCity, with 85% of the voters in favor.
However, the big news of the day came when Elon Musk said that the cost to install their solar roofs will likely be less than a normal roof, even before adding in the electricity savings that will be gained from the homeowner:
“It’s looking quite promising that a solar roof will actually cost less than a normal roof before you even take in the value of electricity into account. So the basic proposition would be, ‘Would you like a roof that looks better than a normal roof, lasts twice as long, costs less and by the way generates electricity?’ It’s like, why would you get anything else?”
A few weeks ago, Elon Musk unveiled Tesla’s plan for their solar roofs which he presented a couple weeks ago. The plans include four different types, which can be seen in detail here.
Musk also said that the glass tiles can incorporate heating elements that melt snow while still generating electricity. He stated further that such a process wouldn’t be energy intensive to do so, but would be extremely net positive.
The four types of roofs are expected to be available in 2017, starting with 1-2 of them from the beginning. Tesla is also planning to unveil the Model 3 in 2017, which will be much less expensive than the Model X and Model S. Tesla’s goal with the Model 3 is to make this type of vehicle available to a wider audience.
With good reason too, as renewable energy is experiencing much momentum right now in the world. As we reported four days ago, Tesla made more money in one quarter this year than all U.S. oil companies made together last year. Jointly due to falling oil prices and the global awakening to the need for renewable energy, these oil companies actually lost over $67 billion last year.
Additionally, it was announced in the UK recently that for the first time ever, solar power supplied more energy to the UK this summer than coal-generated electricity.
Also, back in September, China, Russia, Japan and South Korea announced plans to create the Asian Super-Grid, which will consist of wind and solar energy to help power those countries, as well as places in Europe, Southern Africa and Southeast Asia.
2017 is shaping up to be quite a year in many different regards. For renewable energy, the year and years ahead look extremely bright. If Tesla can indeed get their solar roof price below regular roofing prices, this will catalyze humanity’s transition into clean, sustainable and renewable energy very quickly. Let’s intend for the best!
Michael Jordan feels “great pride” as he opens new health clinic for uninsured in his hometown
Legendary basketball superstar Michael Jordan is giving back to his community in a big way, and has opened a second medical clinic in his hometown of Charlotte, North Carolina, to offer critical care to underprivileged community members during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Last year, the 57-year-old former Chicago Bulls shooting guard unveiled the Michael Jordan Family Clinic on Freedom Drive, which he personally contributed $7 million to. The clinic, which provides much-needed access to primary and preventive care to low-income residents, is being operated by nonprofit healthcare group Novant Health Clinics.
During the October 2019 opening, the six-time NBA champion and owner of the Charlotte Hornets tearfully explained that “it’s a very emotional thing for me to be able to give back to a community that’s supported me over the years.”
Jordan has now opened a second clinic alongside Novant Health in hopes to provide comprehensive primary care to underserved communities.
“It gives my family great pride to know that we are making a difference in Charlotte,” Jordan told The Charlotte Observer.
While the opening of the second clinic has long been in the works, the timing couldn’t be better given the dire impact of the ongoing pandemic on people across the United States and especially the Black community.
In April, the Freedom Drive clinic became widely used as a respiratory assessment center where locals had free access to coronavirus “screening, testing, treatment and education.”
“When this clinic opened, I said ‘We’re here for the long haul. Not just in a crisis’,” said Novant Health CEO and president Carl Armato.
“In fact, the first clinic enabled us to better respond to the [coronavirus] crisis. It gave us the infrastructure to set up walk-up testing – no referral needed. It gave us a platform to educate and treat patients – close to home,” he added. “It even gave us a distribution point for our universal masking initiative, where we provided free masks to anyone who needed them. This second location is critical, as it expands our impact and reach.”
Over 14,000 tests for the deadly virus were provided while around 12,600 mobile health appointments were conducted, forcing the Michael Jordan Family Clinic to direct those in need of primary care to another location – and proving the need for the second clinic to urgently begin operations amid the spiking demand in treatment.
“When we came together to mark the first clinic’s opening last fall, no one could have predicted we would be facing a global pandemic just five months later,” Jordan said in a Zoom meeting to launch the new healthcare center.
“I’m so proud of the positive impact our clinic has had on the community so far, especially during [the pandemic],” he added. “Our second clinic will provide critical services to improve the health and lives of more Charlotteans, which is so important to me and to Novant Health.”
The new clinic will be opening on Statesville Ave. in the North End of Charlotte, and will include 12 patient exam rooms, an X-ray room, and a physical therapy center. A full-time clinical social worker will also be on-site.
“We are thrilled the North End community of Charlotte will have access to the same comprehensive care that is transforming lives at the Novant Health Michael Jordan Family Medical Clinic in west Charlotte,” said Armato.
“The impact of the first clinic has been measurable and if [the coronavirus] has taught us anything, it is the importance of having accessible, safe and quality care in communities that need it most,” he continued.
“Michael Jordan’s commitment to improving the health of our communities, and society, is deep-rooted,” Armato added. “We’re so grateful to be his partner in bringing care and resources to those who would otherwise be without.”
Jordan is hopeful that the community has better days ahead.
“We’ve been dealt with some very difficult cards in 2020,” he commented.
“I hope 2021 is going to be much better.”
Ocean Spray Buys New Truck For Star Of Viral Fleetwood Mac TikTok Video
(TMU) – In the midst of all the pain, suffering, and hatred going on in the world right now, a TikTok user named Nathan “Doggface” Apodaca, inspired millions with a short and uplifting video of himself skateboarding down the street while listening to Fleetwood Mac’s “Dreams” and drinking a container of cranberry juice.
Nathan was riding his skateboard that day because his car broke down, but he was making the most of a bad situation and enjoying his life as much as he could in that moment. The short clip quickly captured the world’s attention, and turned into an accidental advertising campaign for both Fleetwood Mac and Ocean Spray.
The video sent streams of the Fleetwood Mac song soaring to record numbers, and inspired Mick Fleetwood to join TikTok and post his own video.
Dreams had 8.47 million streams in the US last week, which far surpasses the previous high of 3.83 million.
The song also returned to the UK charts last week, at No 85.
Rumours, the album that features Dreams, returned to the US Top 40 for the first time since 2013, reaching No 27. In the UK, it holds its position from the previous week, No 22. Rumours has spent the last 41 weeks in the UK Top 40, and a total of 856 weeks in the Top 100 since its 1977 release, according to the Guardian.
Ocean Spray has not revealed exactly how much the video has boosted sales for them, but the company’s stock price has climbed significantly since the video first went viral. The increase in sales and stock price was enough to catch the attention of the company’s executives, who decided to give back and get Nathan a new truck. The company posted a video of Nathan’s reaction on its Instagram page.
Representatives from the company showed up at Apodaca’s home with a new 2020 Nissan Frontier truck, and a large supply of Ocean Spray cranberry juice.
“This is from Ocean Spray to you. Thanks for keeping it positive. That truck is yours. All the Ocean Spray is yours. All from Ocean Spray to you, man. Congratulations,” the representative said.
Ocean Spray is not a traditional corporation, but an agriculture cooperative owned by more than 700 grower-owners.
Chris Ferzli, Ocean Spray’s director of global corporate affairs, says that the video “struck a chord.”
“Just the fact he was making the best of a situation despite a challenge really resonated with people. There is such a calm and positive energy to the video and given 2020 is an especially challenging year, it was just so welcome,” Ferzli said, according to The Drum.
“We caught notice of it about a week ago and we knew we wanted to get involved. We heard his story and wanted to help so we took some time, pulled together a plan to buy him a new truck, and filled it with cranberry juice,” he added.
Ferzli also hinted in a recent interview that the company may be bringing Nathan on as a full-time brand ambassador. This may be the beginning of a new partnership and possibly a new path for Nathan.
This Magical “SkyWalk” Bridge Lets You Wander Through The Tree Tops In Tennessee
(TMU) – If you think Smoky Mountains, you might also think of the sky, and in particular, the Gatlinburg SkyLift, SkyDeck and the SkyBridge which offer visitors the opportunity to experience unbelievably beautiful mountain sights they would otherwise not be able to see without some serious hiking.
A subrange of the Appalachian Mountains and part of the Blue Ridge Physiographic Province, the Smoky Mountain range runs along the Tennessee, North Carolina border in the south-eastern United States with a history which spans thousands of years, from the ancient Paleo Indian tribes to the European settlers in the 1800s to modern day.
Established in 1934, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park protects most of the range and is the most visited national park in the US. A designated UNESCO World Heritage Site and part of an International Biosphere Reserve, the Smokies are home to approximately 187,000 acres (76,000 ha) of virgin forest and in the lower elevations, the cove hardwood forests are among the most diverse ecosystems in North America.
Gatlinburg’s first settlers, Martha Jane Huskey Ogle and her seven children moved from South Carolina in the early 1800s and built a cabin in the area which became known as White Oaks Flats. Initially pioneer settlers and later, veterans of the Revolutionary War moved from North Caroline and settled in White Oaks Flats. In 1850, Noah Ogle established the first general store in the village. Radford C Gatlin, a preacher, settled in the village in 1854 and opened the town’s second general store and established a post office in his store which resulted in the town’s name changing to Gatlinburg in 1856. Gatlin was apparently a controversial figure and was eventually banned from the area.
The Gatlinburg Sky Lift was opened to the public in 1954 and is one of the oldest continuously operated attractions in the Smoky Mountains and located across the street from Ripley’s Believe It or Not, one of many popular attractions in downtown Gatlinburg.
When in Gatlinburg, the SkyLift is definitely a must do. The ride starts in the middle of town and travels up towards the top of Crockett Mountain, a vertical ascension of 500 feet. It’s a 20 minute round trip with spectacular views and an option to stop at the mountain-top SkyDeck.
The SkyDeck was added to the park in 2019 and offers sweeping views of the Smokey Mountains where you can stroll around for a panoramic view, relax on a patio chair on the deck and perhaps avail yourself to delicious snacks and craft beer from the café before, or after, stretching your legs with a walk on the SkyBridge.
The SkyBridge, completed in May 2019, promises an unforgettable experience with more awesome views and some excitement thrown in. The bridge spans 680 feet, and reaches a height of 140 feet at its midpoint and is the longest pedestrian suspension bridge in North America. Visitors can stroll across the bridge at their own pace and, while many hesitate walking across the glass panels placed periodically along the bridge, the view beneath your feet is definitely worth experiencing. Don’t forget to take a picture as proof and a reminder that you ‘braved the glass’!
The park offers all-day passes to enjoy the facilities at your own pace. Gatlinburg has plenty of other great attractions to visit, and accommodation for those who wish to linger a while longer.
For accommodation info, visit gatlinburg.com
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