If the extremely hot July we’re having has you cursing the sun, think again. Because solar energy systems in New England, powered of course by the sun, are having a real, measurable and positive impact on electricity prices and the planet in this oppressive heat wave. The evidence of this will turn you from a sun denigrator into a sun worshiper.

Not long ago I blogged about the proof emerging in California that solar reduces utility costs and benefits all. Now, the first proof that solar is making a difference in New England is being reported.

As a PV Magazine article published last week put it: “New England’s behind the meter* solar hit maximum generation at 2 GW this summer and contributed to lowering peak load and shifting peak demand to later in the day during this summer’s heat waves. This in turn allowed for lower utilization of older coal and oil resources.”

Translation: Electricity demand soars in a heat wave as air-conditioners are set to maximum at homes and businesses. Electricity prices soar for the utilities buying power on your behalf, because they have to turn to older, less-efficient fossil-fueled power plants to meet the increased demand for power. When solar reduces that peak demand, the utilities don’t have to buy as much of the dirty, expensive electricity, which is good for consumers and the planet.

The same article says solar energy was covering more than 11% of New England’s electricity needs around 2 PM on July  19,  according to the City of Boston’s Energy Efficiency and Distributed Resources Finance Manager Joe LaRusso. That’s amazing for a relatively new technology, and merely hints at the benefits solar can deliver.

Knowing that the sun is helping us this way gives new meaning to the term sun worship. As for the humidity—well, I can’t help with that. 🙂

Read the full PV Magazine article here: Solar delivers during New England heatwave
* Behind the meter refers to solar on homes and businesses that use the solar electricity before sending any excess into the utility grid, on the other side of the property’s meter.

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