The housing bubble may have burst, but one real estate market remains as hot as ever: the market for solar installations in the Southwestern US. According to the federal Bureau of Land Management, solar energy project applications jumped nearly 80% across the region in the last half of 2008. Thanks in part to one thing the Southwest has no shortage of: sunshine.
In a time when the national economy is in the biggest slump since 1942, the solar energy market is surging.
Abengoa Solar, a Spanish company based in Madrid, is teaming up with an American utility to build a 280 mega-watt power plant on 3,000 acres of land in Gila Bend, Arizona.
Meanwhile, another Madrid-based company, Acciona, already has one of the largest solar power plant in the US, a 64 megawatt facility in Nevada.
And in Florida, work has begun on the 500-acre Martin Next Generation Solar Energy Center. When it's up and running next year, the Martin Center will supply power to roughly 11,000 homes.