About Solar Green Energy

Environmental Benefits of Going Solar

When you go solar with Sunergy Systems you join a family of customers who care deeply about the environment along with setting the roadmap for our Nation's energy policy. We have proudly installed three megawatts of solar energy comprised of over 750 solar ambassadors proudly showing off their rooftop environment commitment. When we opened our doors back in 2005 there were less than 50 net-metered solar electric systems in Washington State, now there are over 4,100 renewable systems of clean energy!

So what does Sunergy Systems 750 customer’s solar energy systems actually mean?

From when our 750 customer had their systems originally installed, to current date, their systems have done the following:

  • Generated 8.8 “mega” kilowatt hours of clean energy
  • Equivalent to 15.6 million car miles not driven
  • Prevented 12.5 million pounds of greenhouse gas emissions
  • 15.5 rail cars (1/6 of a mile) of coal no longer needing to chug their way across the nation.

These numbers are just the beginning of what our solar customers have done so far, how about over the 25 year lifespan of their systems:

  • Will generate 85.0 “mega” kilowatt hours of clean energy
  • Equivalent to 143 million car miles not driven
  • Prevent 114 million pounds of greenhouse gas emissions
  • 128 rail cars (1.3 miles) of coal no longer needing to chug their way across the nation.

Even better news for this year is that solar in Washington has catapulted with an astounding 75% growth over last year. We too have certainly experienced this great boom with now being at sixteen employee-owners and for the year installed 140 systems totaling 3/4ths a megawatt. Some of the leading regions for solar have been Seattle, Edmonds, Bainbridge, Tacoma, Olympia, Everett, Whidbey Island, Mount Vernon, Bellevue, Redmond, Bainbridge and Issaquah.

Sunergy’s vision of “taking solar to the masses” and making solar mainstream is manifesting and we are excited about the role we and our customers have played in making this happen! Everyone at Sunergy is passionate to be making a living in such a meaningful industry and all of us thank you for making this happen!

Environment Benefits of a Typical Seattle Household Solar Electric System (3.1kW)

Where Electricity Comes From in the USMost of the electricity in America comes from electrical generation facilities that burn fossil fuels, such as coal and natural gas. Whenever fossil fuels are burned, some amount of pollution is released into the atmosphere. That means that every time we use a kilowatt-hour purchased from a utility company to turn on a light or appliance, a little bit of air pollution is released on our behalf. One of the benefits of solar energy is that it does not pollute, and every kWh created by your solar power system is one that does not have to be created by burning fuel.

LIFETIME KWH PRODUCTION: 101,399 kWh

The amount of electricity your solar power system will produce over the next 30 yrs. Scientists generally agree that as a result of the combustion of fossil fuels and other human activities, atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide have increased by nearly 30% since the beginning of the industrial revolution. Carbon dioxide, along with other 'greenhouse gases', enhances the heat-trapping properties of the Earth's atmosphere. Thus, increased levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere are believed to be linked to an increase in global temperature. Global temperatures have risen by about 1 deg F since the late 19th century, and are expected to rise another 1-4.5 deg F in the next 50 years. Rising global temperature has resulted in increased rainfall and violent storms, decreased snow and ice cover, and rising sea levels. In the US, 82% of greenhouse gas emissions come from burning fossil fuels to generate electricity and power cars. Your solar electric power system can dramatically reduce the amount of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere.

BARRELS OF OIL OFFSET BY YOUR SYSTEM:  206 Barrels

The average American uses 12 barrels of oil each year. You can also equate the solar energy your solar power system will save over its lifetime to equivalent barrels of oil as a measure of environmental benefit. The number of barrels of oil required to generate the same amount of electricity that your system will produce in 30-years.

CAR MILES NOT DRIVEN, LIFETIME: 180,034 Miles

Image of industrial polution - smogUsing electricity generated from fossil fuels and driving cars are the two personal activities that have the most significant environmental impact. You can compare the amount of pollution generated by driving a car to that prevented by using solar electricity as another measure of the environmental benefits of solar. Generating electricity from fossil fuels also releases Sulpher Oxides (SOx) and Nitrogen Oxides (NOx) into the air. SOx and NOx are primary cuases of acid rain. Acid rain causes acidification of lakes and streams and contributes to damage of trees at high elevation and many sensitive forest soils. In addition, acid rain accelerates the decay of building materials and paints, including irreplaceable buildings, statues, and sculptures that are part of our nation's cultural heritage. Prior to falling to the Earth, SO2 and NOx gases and their particulate matter derivatives, sulfates and nitrates, contribute to visibility degradation and harm public health.

ACID RAIN EMISSIONS REDUCTION: 760 Ibs

Generating electricity from fossil fuels also releases Sulfur Oxides and Nitrogen Oxides, primary causes of acid rain, into the air. Acid rain damages lakes, streams, trees and forest soils.

SMOG EMISSIONS REDUCTION: 365 Ibs

In addition to acid rain, Nitrogen Oxides (NOx) are a key contributor to the formation of ground level ozone, which is a major component of smog. Ozone irritates the eyes, damages the lungs, and aggravates respiratory problems. It is our most widespread and intractable urban air pollution problem. Using solar electricity reduces the amount of NOx released into the air from power plants.

GREENHOUSE GAS REDUCTION: 143,987 Ibs

Carbon dioxide, along with other 'greenhouse gases', are thought to have an effect on our changing climate. This could result in increased rainfall, violent storms, decreased snow and ice cover, and rising sea levels.

EQUIVALENT NUMBER OF MATURE TREES PLANTED: 345 Trees

Trees in mist/smokeTrees remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, and are one of two major CO2 'sinks' (the other is oceans) that have helped to maintain the balance of CO2 in the atmosphere throughout the course of time. Many environmentalists advocate tree planting as a way to offset CO2 emissions into the atmosphere. Using solar electricity can be equated to planting trees in terms of atmospheric CO2 reductions.

 

DATA SOURCES

Emissions data: US Environmental Protection Agency E-GRID 2000; Electricity mix and energy content: US DOE Energy Information Administration; Car miles and tree data: US EPA, Green Mountain Power.