August 5, 2019 Home
The sun gives life to the earth. The sun is about 93 million miles from the earth.
Everyone knows about the sun – especially on a hot summer day. No one knows how long the sun has been around. In the Bible the sun appears on the fourth day, with mankind and animals appearing on the 6th.
Maybe as a kid, you tried making a campfire with some twigs, a magnifying glass, and sunlight. These days the science and technology has come a long way. Generating electricity through sunlight is a growth industry, with costs going down every year.
Solar panels can be found on the roofs of houses and office buildings. Here in Hancock County, there is an array of 168 solar cells, each producing 250 kilowatts of power for the energy grid for Powell Valley Electric Cooperative. Outside Clinch School, there is another large group of solar panels at work.
The Chattanooga Airport is the first airport in the nation that is powered entirely with solar energy – more than 2 and 1/2 megawatts of solar panels. A megawatt is 1 million watts. A light bulb might be 100 watts. A hair drier might be 1,200 watts.
Our neighbor state North Carolina is now second in the nation in terms of solar capacity and has enough solar power for more than 600,000 homes and businesses in the state. As of the end of 2018, solar capacity in North Carolina was 7 megawatts. TVA, which provides all of Powell Valley’s electrical power, is planning to add 300 megawatts of small scale/utility solar power in the next few years.
Arizona, Nevada, and California have the largest solar fields in the nation. Several of them have more than 1,000,000 solar panels, each producing over 500 megawatts of power.
For those who can’t afford solar panels to power their home, there are low cost solar units to put lights in a barn, shed, or outbuilding anywhere on your property where there is sunlight. Details on this in the next article.
Everyone needs to learn more about our electric cooperative. For more information, go to pve.coop.