Good Sun: Finding the Best Place for Solar
Some places actually have “better” sun than others for producing solar power, but identifying those places isn’t always intuitive.
Contrary to what I would have guessed, Hawaii does not have the best sun for solar energy production. Factors like cloud cover, water vapor and atmospheric pressure determine how effectively the sun’s energy can be converted into electricity, so even places one might consider to be “sunny” aren’t necessarily the best for electricity production.
Xcel Energy (NYSE: XEL) is focused on balancing the need for reliable, affordable energy while building a clean energy future for our customers and the communities we serve. Our commitment to the environment and our communities has been recognized by our inclusion on the Dow Jones Sustainability Index for North America in 2010-2011.
We’ve been reducing power plant emissions, promoting energy efficiency and using renewable energy for more than a decade. We’re the No. 1 wind power provider and the No. 5 solar utility in the United States. We offer our 3.4 million electricity and 1.9 million natural gas customers some of the largest conservation programs in the country and have helped our customers save enough energy since 1992 to enable us to avoid building more than 12, medium-size power plants.