What is Solar Photovoltaic Power?
Solar Photovoltaic (photo meaning “light” and voltaic meaning “electricity”) is electric power created when the sun’s rays hit a silicon semiconductor. These semiconductors are arranged in panels or films, and can be mounted to almost any surface to generate clean power from available sunlight.
How do we use it?
Two arrays provide one third of our annual consumption. The first one is a fixed 28 kW array mounted to the roof of our aviary that generates 30,000 kW per year. The second array tracks the sun’s position in the sky and is mounted on posts in our parking lot. It is 57.6 kW and provides 100,000 kWh per year. Both arrays are connected to the Ontario Power Authority’s Feed-In Tariff program, which was implemented to encourage renewable energy generation in Ontario. The power we generate is fed into the grid, generating almost $70,000 per year.
How does it make us more sustainable?
Generating solar power at the Earth Rangers Centre means that less power is required to be generated and transmitted from power plants. On a cool summer day, we will produce more power than we consume, helping to power our neighborhood. This power does not require fossil fuels or nuclear power, reducing emissions and other impacts on Ontario’s power grid. The sun will continue to shine and our panels generate clean power when it does.