The average solar PV system in Western Washington offsets approximately 162,527 pounds* of carbon dioxide during its first 25 years, equivalent to:
*Based on Western Solar’s average 6.25 kW system and 1,100 kWh per kW average production. Estimation calculations based on Environmental Protection Agency’s Fuel Mix Comparison and data from Puget Sound Energy. For more equivalencies, check out the EPA’s Greenhouse Gas Equivalencies Calculator.
A Cleaner Energy Mix
Solar photovoltaic systems produce clean energy directly from the sun. When you install solar panels on your home, you help offset greenhouse gas emissions and reduce dependence on fossil fuels. Solar also provides electricity at the source, instead of depending on it being generated hundreds of miles away at the nearest power plant or hydroelectric dam.
In the United States, electricity is primarily generated from fuels such as coal and natural gas. Electricity produced by these sources contributes to unhealthy air quality and global climate change. In addition to the impact these fuels have on the environment, they are also in limited supply. Power from the sun is abundant, accessible, and predictable, regardless of electricity rate increases, fluctuating oil and natural gas prices, or volatility on Wall Street.
Here in the Pacific Northwest, electric utilities primarily pull power from hydroelectric sources, with coal as a secondary source. Puget Sound Energy’s Electric Supply Mix reflects these practices. Many utilities also offer their customers the opportunity to purchase green power, which is produced by renewable sources. PSE’s Green Power Program provides participating customers with 100% of their power generated by renewable sources, such as wind, livestock methane, landfill gas, low impact hydro, and solar. This program is a good option for those interested in going solar, but who may be unable to, whether due to a poor solar resource at your site, not owning your own property, or not having the opportunity to participate in a community solar project.