Answer: Solar energy uses the sun’s light and heat to generate renewable or ‘green’ power. The most common form of solar energy is harnessed by solar panels.

Answer: Wind turbines use blades to collect the wind’s kinetic energy. Wind flows over the blades creating lift (similar to the effect on airplane wings), which causes the blades to turn. The blades are connected to a drive shaft that turns an electric generator, which produces (generates) electricity.

Answer: A device that reserves energy for later consumption that is charged by a connected solar system. The stored electricity is consumed after sundown, during energy demand peaks, or during a power outage.

Answer: Distributed Generation is an approach to provide energy resources by deploying tools and technologies in proximity to the end users of the power. The system for power generation can be installed on rooftops of houses and commercial buildings that will use the energy where it will be consumed, often described as ‘behind the meter’.

By generating electricity in smaller amounts closer to end-users and storing power near the point-of-use, we can dramatically increase energy efficiency, and reduce carbon pollution. 

From a financial perspective, distributed generation systems for commercial facilities can produce major savings on utility costs. Commercial and industrial buildings use more energy than residential buildings and also suffer from a fee structure that penalizes them for high-use periods often referred to as ‘demand charges’.

For commercial facilities that use a lot of power, the demand charge can become an enormous monthly expense.

When commercial or industrial buildings invest in distributed generation systems they can eliminate the demand charge entirely, creating savings that, over time, greatly offset the initial cost of their investment. Instead of closely monitoring energy usage and storing power to “trim the peak” at times of increased demand, these facilities can depend on their own localized power generation and storage to provide for their energy needs with no additional fees or charges.

Answer: One megawatt of power can provide electricity to 1200 North American homes and one gigawatt of power can provide electricity to 1.2 million homes.