Wednesday, July 14, 2010

JR Ewing Pushes for Solar

Larry Hagman dons his cowboy hat for alternative energy, The New York Times reports.

Posted by Elizabeth Strott on Wednesday, July 14, 2010 12:47 PM
File photo of Larry Hagman (© Tony Gutierrez/AP)Texas oil baron J.R. Ewing is going green.

The "Dallas" character is coming back to the small screen in a push for solar energy, The New York Times reports, with Larry Hagman reprising his role as the scheming oil man.

Hagman is participating in an advertising campaign to promote solar energy and SolarWorld, a German maker of solar panels.

"In the past, it was always about the oil," Hagman says in a television commercial. "The oil was flowing, and so was the money. Too dirty. I quit it years ago. I'm still in the energy business."

"There's always a better alternative. Shine, baby, shine."
The J.R. commercial debuted Tuesday at the Intersolar conference in San Francisco

Hagman, 78, has a 94-kilowatt solar system at his 46-acre estate in Ojai, Calif., which he installed in 2003, 12 years after retiring his role as J.R. The rooftop system, which is thought to be the biggest residential system in the U.S., cost $750,000, the Times reported -- but he got a $310,000 rebate.

The solar panel system lowered his annual electricity bill to $13 -- from $37,000, The Guardian reported.

Hagman said the BP (BP) Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf of Mexico prompted him to bring J.R. back.

"With all that oil gushing away in the gulf, I figured it was time to call for a new direction in where we're getting our energy," the actor told the Times.

The commercials will run nationally and in regional markets in the next few weeks.

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