A 507-kilowatt solar system was recently switched on by Tampa Tank Inc. at Adamo Drive. This is currently the biggest photovoltaic industrial system designed in Bay Area, which will contribute up to 60% of the plant’s power needs through solar energy. Given the sizeable chunk of power that the plant consumes, installing such a large installation was the best way forward.
Other than the predictable power use for a very long time, there are benefits like federal tax credits which make this an incredible venture, for the company and the Bay Area community in Solar as a whole. The expectation is to have the solar installation repay the cost over 5 years through cost savings in energy, accelerated depreciation in taxes and the tax incentives from the Government.
Considering that the energy costs are projected to drop from 13 cents/kilowatt per hour to 3 cents/kilowatt per hour, and a plant that will be generating power for 40 – 50 years, this is a project that will benefit the entire Bay Area for a long time.
The technology behind solar energy keeps advancing with each year, in the process overcoming the biggest problem that has persisted over the years – price. Early model solar systems would convert only up to 7% of the energy on their surfaces, but the models on the market now can convert up to at least 20%.
According to the Solar Energy Industries Association, in the last quarter of 2016, solar photovoltaic systems were installed in the US at a rate of 1 megawatt/32 minutes. From this information, more than 4,100 megawatts have been installed, thanks to reduced costs, improved technology and financial incentives from the federal and state governments. In fact, the average cost of installing photovoltaic systems in the country has been dropping over the years, up to 33% since 2011. Currently, a home installation might cost around $20,000 for 7 kilowatts, and you might need up to 10 years to recover that investment.