Our facilities are now solar powered! We commissioned the project in February 2020, and the system is already up and running. We have a 65kW system with 165 panels. We are directly making a contribution to reducing the collective CO2 emissions and saving the planet!!
The system is averaging about 250lbs of CO2 avoidance per day so far. Which will likely increase when we get into spring and summer months, with more hours of daylight and the sun at a better angle in the sky.
Carbon Dioxide or CO2 is naturally present in the Earth’s atmosphere at a low concentration and acts as a greenhouse gas. Human activities, such as burning fossil fuels, also generate CO2 and are responsible for the increase in greenhouse gases over the past hundreds of years.
The avoidance of CO2 is a measure for the contribution to climate protection and thus reduces the greenhouse effect.
In the U.S., the primary sources of CO2 emissions are transportation and electricity. In general, the average car emits around 6 tons of CO2 per year. Our system averages about 250lbs per day, so in 48 days, we offset the yearly emission of 1 car!
- A mature tree absorbs 48lbs of CO2 per year. So our system is equivalent to having over 1,900 mature trees on the landscape every year.
- Humans exhale 2.3lbs of CO2 daily on average- so our system is offsetting the CO2 produced by 39,673 people breathing for an entire year.
SOLAR POWER BROKEN DOWN
- Solar power is energy from the sun that is converted into thermal or electrical energy. Solar energy is a clean, inexpensive, renewable power source that is harnessable nearly everywhere in the world. Any place where sunlight hits the surface of the Earth is a potential location to generate solar power. It represents a limitless source of power and remains the most abundant renewable energy source available.
- Installing solar reduces greenhouse gas emissions, which contribute to climate change. It also results in fewer air pollutants like sulfur dioxide and particulate matter, which can cause health problems.
GREENHOUSE GASES – FRIEND OR FOE?
- Both! Greenhouse gases are gases in our atmosphere that trap the sun’s heat like a greenhouse. Greenhouse gases are often referred to as the ‘Earth’s Blanket.’ They allow sunlight to pass through the atmosphere but prevent the heat that sunlight brings from leaving the atmosphere. Without greenhouse gases, the Earth would be too cold. However, the danger lies in the rapid increase of these gases producing too much heat due to human activity (such as burning fossil fuels to generate electricity). This results in pollution and climate change.
- According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, since the middle of the 20th century, greenhouse gases produced by humans have become the most significant driver of climate change. CO2 levels in the atmosphere have increased by more than 40% since the start of the Industrial Revolution, a direct result of the increase of electrical power generation. The leading greenhouse gases are water vapor, carbon dioxide (CO2), methane, ozone, nitrous oxide, and chlorofluorocarbons.
ENERGY GENERATION: ELECTRICAL VS SOLAR
- In producing electrical power, Fossil fuels (coal, natural gas, and oil) must be burned. Burning them emits harmful byproducts that lead to air and water pollution and release vast amounts of greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere. Because fossil fuels have taken millions of years to form, they are not considered renewable energy. CO2 is emitted during the generation of electrical power
- Solar panels produce power without waste or emissions and do so through a natural process called photovoltaics. Energy generated by solar power does not create additional CO2.
- The tremendous growth in the U.S. solar industry is helping to pave the way to a cleaner, more sustainable energy future. We are proud to be apart of it!