Vermont Opens Testing Site for Solar PowerAssociation of Construction & Development
November 7, 2013 — 1,665 views
With the opening of the Vermont Regional Test Center, the state joins five others in the SunShot initiative of the Department of Energy. The program was designed to try and find ways by which the cost of solar energy could be brought down. While the overall cost-to-output ratio is not very high, the initial cost of a solar field is very high.
Along with the starting investment, solar panels require constant and careful maintenance throughout the year. Vermont is a good place to try to assess solar production costs because it provides a colder and damper platform. Here, scientists will be able to determine how cost-efficient solar energy will be in places that receive slightly less sunlight in comparison with other areas.
Major Costs and Sponsoring for the Project
The cost of the project amounts to a whopping $3 million, and will be funded entirely by the Department of Energy. If all goes according to plan, the site will be ready for testing in the course of a few months. Sandia National Laboratories will be responsible for monitoring the various tests done at the site and will also play a supervisory role in ensuring reliability and performance.
The SunShot initiative aims to power a sixth of the country by solar energy by the year 2030. In order to achieve this goal, researchers will work hard and try to reduce the overall cost of solar energy by three-fourth its current cost by the year 2020. The Vermont solar power site is seven acres large and looks to generate about 300 kilowatts of power. This power will be used for the regional grid in New England.
Renewable Energy Sources for the World
This sustainable source of energy may just be the major step that has been needed in making renewable energy a reality worldwide. The current problem that all people face regarding most renewable sources of energy is the major initial cost. As of now, Vermont has increased their solar power production three-fold over the past couple years.
This is quite an achievement, and if things continue with such positive results, the goals that have been laid down are quite real and achievable. The information that is collected from this project is to be shared and will provide additional insights to the general climatic conditions of the area as well. The state will work to incorporate the extra power into its smart grid.