The Beehive State is a strong advocate for clean and green energy. Proof: it’s one of the leading states for solar energy.
The power of such energy lies not only in its ability to light up homes or run appliances. With science and tech, people can do many other exceptional things with it:
- Send It Back to the Grid
Solar panels can generate a lot of electricity that some homes can produce excess. Fortunately, the law allows them to “send back” this extra power back to the grid.
For those living in Utah, they can receive an incentive called solar export credit for doing that. Depending on the user and location, it can amount between 3.7 cents and 10.2 cents per kilowatt-hour. Homeowners can then use it to reduce their utility bills and extend the payback period for the solar panels.
Over the years, the cost of installing a solar system decreased. The state, for example, provides a tax credit up to 25% of the installation costs or $1,600, whichever is lower. Homeowners can also consider solar financing in Utah if they want to spend even less.
- Power a Vehicle
From boats to planes, solar energy might give conventional fuel a good run for its money. An excellent example is Silent 55, an Austrian-designed luxury yacht that, as you guessed it, doesn’t produce any noise or fumes.
It also features 30 solar panels that can produce up to 10 kilowatts of power. This level of efficiency is all because of a regulator that squeezes as much as it can from the system. The yacht costs a lot—a whopping $1.5 million—but potential buyers can save significantly from maintenance.
Meanwhile, in 2016, Solar Impulse 2 arrived in Abu Dhabi after circumnavigating the world for 25,000 miles. It ran on thousands of solar cells attached to the fuselage and carbon-fiber wings, which also made the plane light. The aircraft also comes with lithium-ion batteries that store energy for nighttime flying.
- Run a Data Center
Data centers run a complicated array of computers, servers, and other IT systems that need to work 24/7. Thus, these places require various types of power supplies. They might also have switches that automatically run during low or zero electricity.
The problem is, these centers generate a humongous amount of electric power. One of them might even need power equivalent to that of a small town. Imagine then how much these contribute to carbon emissions.
That’s why many IT companies are setting their sights on alternative energy like solar. Google, for instance, announced in early 2019 that two of its centers would operate using the sun’s energy. It plans to buy over 1.5 million solar panels to achieve that.
In December of the same year, the first solar farm of Facebook went live. Located in Georgia, it can create as much as 102.5 megawatts of solar power. Solar power isn’t the only clean energy available. Meanwhile, other states or towns can be better off with wind or geothermal than solar.
Either way, these new uses for the sun’s energy can help curb climate change and make the planet more sustainable.