The sun is actually the basis for almost every form of energy we use from wind to hydropower. But by “solar power” we typically mean use of the sun’s rays to generate electricity through photovoltaic cells. Oregon is actually an ideal location for generating solar energy. Our climate is similar to that of Germany, one of the leading solar energy users in the world.
PV cells consist of positively charged and negatively charged slices of silicon placed under a thin piece of glass. As sunlight hits these panels it is absorbed by the silicon. During that process the electrons are “knocked” free and caught by small wires on the silicon.
Most PV systems consist of cells averaging about four inches on a side. Each cell generates less than two watts, so they are often grouped into modules and larger arrays. Residential systems tend to rely on roof-mounted PV modules.
By integrating these systems with the local power grid, you can actually sell surplus electricity through the grid. Learn more at Net Metering .
For more, visit How Does Renewable Energy Get to My House or Business?
PGE is actively involved in bringing more solar energy to Oregon, and is ranked as one of the top 10 utilities in the nation for solar integration. Learn more about PGE's solar initiatives.