2012-A Record Year for Solar!

2012 was a record year for our solar energy production in Connecticut. Horst Engineering generated 48,196 kilowatt hours (kWh) of clean energy at our 41 Cedar Street plant. Our 128 rooftop solar panels provided 46% of the power needed to run our 41 Cedar facility. The system has been live for four full years and we have generated a total of 176,264 kilowatt hours (kWh) of clean energy through 2012.

The mild winter was a huge factor in the success of our 2012 solar production. January, February, March, and April were all record months for us. May dipped, but June, July, and August were at or near records for our system thanks to great summer weather. September, October, and November were on par with historical norms. December ended the year with a foot of snow on the panels and zero output, but we still managed some gains.

Our total 2012 production beat 2011 (our record low year) by a whopping 20% and was 9.3% above our four year average. 2012 was also 11.3% above the system estimates that were established prior to installation, which was based on decades of historical weather data. All of the data indicates that our system has been a huge success.

Solar estimates are based on decades of analysis, so one year is only a blip when a system has a 25+ year lifespan, but the numbers are fun to track. In terms of clean energy, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Greenhouse Gas Calculator is a fantastic tool. Pick the equivalency that makes the most sense.

2012’s total production of 48,196 kWh’s is equivalent to 34 metric tons of CO2, or one of the following:

  • annual greenhouse gas emissions from 7.1 passenger vehicles
  • CO2 emissions from 3,812 gallons of gasoline consumed
  • CO2 emissions from 79.1 barrels of oil consumed
  • carbon sequestered annual by 27.9 acres of pine or fir forest
  • CO2 emissions from 1,417 propane cylinders used for home BBQ’s
  • greenhouse gas emissions avoided by recycling 12.7 tons of waste instead of sending it to landfill

So, despite the fact that the panels are covered in snow today, we are counting on 2013 to at least be as good as our historical averages.

To learn more about our solar PV electric power system and all of our environmental initiatives, click here.

To view our live monitoring system, click here (check it on a day when they aren’t under a foot of snow!)

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