Why Solar is the New Energy in the Power Industry
A solar power plant in New Zealand, July 14, 2020.
Solar is a technology that combines the power of sunlight with the processing power of a battery.
In solar panels, the panels use sunlight to generate electricity.
Solar panels in New England, July 16, 2020, courtesy of New England Photovoltaic.
A solar energy plant in the United States, March 16, 2021.
“What we have here is a small, relatively inexpensive, small-scale system,” said John Toulouse, the president of the New England Solar Energy Association, an industry trade group.
“This is really the first demonstration of a solar-based system that can meet the needs of small businesses, small homeowners, and other small communities.”
Solar panels on display at the New Hampshire solar farm, June 10, 2021, courtesy Tom Pritchard/NHSC.
The first solar-generated energy plant, the $2.5 million plant in Manchester, New Hampshire, was installed in March 2021.
The plant generates roughly 1 megawatt of electricity for each $2 million invested.
Toulouse and other solar-energy industry leaders are optimistic about the future of solar energy.
“We’re going to see a lot of people coming to New England,” Toulous said.
“People are coming from places that have very different climates than they do in the Northeast and the Midwest.”
The first plants have been installed in New Hampshire and Pennsylvania, and they’re expected to spread out throughout the state and country in the years ahead.
“New Hampshire is a place where solar is really going to take off,” Taurouse said.
He added that solar panels can be found in most homes, as well as in restaurants and other businesses.
Solar panel maker SGI, in partnership with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, is building a new solar energy facility in the Massachusetts city of Brookline.
The facility will be the largest in the country and will generate as much as 6 megawatts of electricity.
The New England solar industry is still relatively small, but Toulouses hopes that it will grow and become even more dominant as new technologies are developed and commercial companies emerge.
“The next 20 years are going to be the next 20 to 30 years where solar power will be an important part of the economy,” Togus said.
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