Solar solutions for Modesto?

July 8, 2013 

DN earth day

Debbie Noda/dnoda@modbee.com MJC art student, Alex Vazquez, takes a looks at one of solar panels on display at earth day at MJC, April 11, 2013.

DEBBIE NODA — The Modesto Bee Buy Photo

Heat recently had air conditioners throbbing at 3:30 p.m. in every house on our block.

I checked in on our solar rooftop system — it was fortunately battling the expensive peak demand that Modesto Irrigation District was providing. Our roof was putting out an excess two kilowatt-hours of power for use by our neighbors; by 5:30 p.m. it was still outputting an extra kwh beyond our home's demand.

All our electricity is made by 20 panels covering only a sixth of our home's roof. It gives us all the electricity we need for a whole year, and even powers our Nissan Leaf 6,000 miles each year!

It is in this hot summer weather that the 25-megawatt solar farm (http://is.gd/3t8N3P) on McHenry Avenue really pays off, generating 2 percent of MID's needs at a fixed rate.

Modesto can ramp up our solar output without using more prime farmland. The recently completed study by SSTI ( http:// is.gd/ry08wj) counted 29,002 Modesto residences that could generate 148 megawatts of power — an extra 12 percent of MID's needs.

Modesto has several local solar companies that can help residents be part of this bright future.

RICHARD ANDERSON

Modesto

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