Sunday, May 19, 2013

Increasing the use of solar energy in Cheshire (1 of 3)

The State of Connecticut has major electricity difficulties in our future.  It's true that CT produces (~33million MWh) more electricity than we consume (~30million MWh) annually, but peaking issues complicate the matter.  In other words, we consume a lot more energy on July afternoons than we consume at 3am in mid-May.

Peaking issues lead to our current transmission need for importing electricity from other places, such as Quebec's hydro power, via the Northern Pass that cuts south through New Hampshire and Massachusetts.  Obviously, this leads to environmental concerns.  But the transmission issues are not the only delivery problem we face.

We have delivery service problems with both transmission and distribution.  While transmission services bring electricity across great distances at high voltage, distribution services bring low voltage electricity from the "step down" transformers to your house.  And it's with the power lines on your street that we face another problem:  old infrastructure.

So our electricity problems face both transmission and distribution issues, along with other issues, such as the emissions from fossil fuels plants.  One way to address these issues is to generate electricity in CT.

Solar photovoltaic arrays (PV) are one way to do this.  Although current PV technology is not a panacea, it would mitigate the problems we face in the Constitution State.  That's why we're trying to take action in Cheshire.

The idea started with the state program Solarize CT.  I'll explain that in an upcoming post, but I need to sign off for the night.

Tim White