Solar power is the generation of electricity from sunlight. Sunlight can be converted directly into electricity using photovoltaics (PV), or indirectly with concentrating solar power (CSP), which normally focuses the sun's energy to boil water which is then used to provide power.
The sun is the earth's largest energy source. Photovoltaic (PV) solar panels capture the sun's energy through silicon panels and channel it to create Direct Current (DC) electricity. DC electricity must then go from highly visible (often rooftop) PV panels through a behind-the-scenes inverter, which converts DC electricity into Alternating Current (AC) electricity, the kind used to power your home or business. On hot summer afternoons, solar energy increases REU's capacity to provide electricity to the community during peak demand. Customers who invest in solar are afforded credits to their utility bills. In fact, while PV systems are generating electricity, REU/solar customers' meters actually move backward!
You might think in one of the nation’s sunniest cities where Redding enjoys some 320 days of annual sunshine, solar energy would be efficient and affordable; but compared to REU’s very competitive and favorable rates, Solar Photovoltaic (PV) energy systems are rather expensive.
Even so, REU is leading the community by example, showing its staunch commitment to solar energy by investing in several Solar PV demonstration projects including systems at Redding Fire Station #8, the new Public Library, City Hall, and a tracking PV system at Paul Bunyan’s Forest Camp in the Turtle Bay Exploration Park. As Solar PV energy becomes more economical over time, REU will continue to look for more opportunities to build local solar projects. REU also offers aggressive Renewable Energy Rebates for Solar PV and Solar Thermal systems to motivate customers to invest in the clean, green, renewable energy source of solar, and help offset incremental costs they would incur by “going solar.”
Click here to see what the Redding Public Library PV system is currently generating in real time and how much CO2 it has prevented from going into the environment since it was built in January 2007. Also learn how many houses this system would have powered during its lifetime or how many car-driven miles it has offset. REU has a full-time coordinator to promote the development of solar energy in the Redding community through educational and community outreach programs.
Matt Madison at 530.339.7249