The sun sends an endless stream of energy speeding to earth
every day. Solar generators
use this energy to create electricity thru the use of photovoltaic (PV)
applications. PV systems
convert the suns energy into electrical energy in what are called
photovoltaic cells. The Southwestern US is one of the sunniest regions on earth,
receiving almost twice as much of the suns energy as other regions of the
PWP has a solar power
rebate program for both residents and
business that will save you thousands, even hundreds of thousands of
dollars on installation costs and your energy bill, depending on the
size of your system.
Wind turns turbines or windmills to create electricity.
Like Solar, wind generated energy emits no air pollutants or
greenhouse gases. About 3
billion kilowatt-hours of electricity are generated in the United States
each year. Many of us have seen these “wind farms” near Palm Springs,
Tehachapi, or east of San Francisco.
PWP recently added wind power to its Green
Power portfolio by signing a long-term agreement to buy a six megawatt share in the High Winds
generation facility in Solano County in Northern California.
Electricity produced by falling water can be classified as
either large-scale or small-scale hydro.
Large-scale hydroelectric plants require dams to be constructed,
thus restricting the natural migration of fish and wildlife.
Large-scale hydro can have a dramatic impact on the entire
ecosystem. Small-scale hydro
on the other hand is positioned on rivers and streams to have much less of
an impact. Hydroelectric plants less than 30 megawatts (MW) are considered
a renewable resource.
Just as it fuels volcanoes, magma heats water deep below the
earth’s surface and forces it up as steam.
This steam can be used to operate geothermal plants very
economically while having a minimal impact on the environment – and they
do this while producing only about one-sixth of the carbon dioxide
produced by a natural gas fueled electrical plant.
The most common use of biomass electric plants in
our area burn the methane produced by landfills. Other biomass plants burn organic material, such as wood and
agricultural waste to produce energy.
Today electricity produced at biomass plants accounts for about 4%
of all electrical energy produced in the US and almost 45% of all
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