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Study: Food crops grow better with solar panels around

Study: Food crops grow better with solar panels around

Plants and crops love sunshine, and apparently, they love solar panels, too.

Light levels, air temperatures, relative humidity and other microclimate conditions are improved under the shade of solar installations, a new study found. The result: greater crop yields.

According to a study published in Nature, agriculture production improves two or three times more than traditional farming in these solar-shade conditions.

In a three-month study, researchers observed crop development, monitoring the micro-conditions and plant biomass. The results indicate that shade underneath the solar panels had positive effects on multiple conditions, proving more effective than open-sky planting.

In addition to cooler days and nights, the plants also experienced lower vapor pressure deficits, which increases the moisture in the air.

The results are so promising that researchers are collaborating with the Department of Energy to better understand the effect of this technique. Ultimately, they want to use it on larger scales in other U.S. regions.

As you can see, solar and agriculture are great combos. So is a combo of solar and your home or business.

As Sacramento’s solar experts, we’ve been bringing money-saving residential and commercial solar panel systems into thousands of homes and businesses. Whether it’s a pool-heating setup, or electricity for the entire home or business, we develop smart solutions to meet our customers’ energy and pocketbook goals.

Just like the agriculture solar installation, your decision to use solar power means we are doing our part to ensure a brighter future and stronger planet.

If you’re ready to make a positive impact on the environment and harvest year-round savings by paying much less on your monthly electricity bill, please contact us today to learn more about the far-reaching benefits of a new solar system.

Amazon installs 19-acre, single rooftop solar power array

Amazon installs 19-acre, single rooftop solar power array

Amazon has once again demonstrated why it believes in going big.

The company known for Alexa and same-day delivery for just about any product is now delivering in a big way by installing Colorado’s largest single rooftop solar power array. It was installed atop Amazon’s massive robotics fulfillment center in Thornton.

The nearly 17,000-panel array extends 19 acres of roof and has the capacity to generate more than 6 megawatts of power. It goes online in November.

Amazon has put forward an ambitious solar energy plan. In 2017, the company said it would install solar energy systems at 50 fulfillment centers by 2020. The installation now means that Amazon can provide nearly 80 percent of the Colorado facility’s annual energy needs.

Here at Aztec Solar, we know a thing or two about what it takes to fulfill smart energy solutions, no matter the size or scope. That goes for both commercial and residential solar.

Aztec Solar takes tremendous pride in its award-winning customer service. We’ve had the pleasure of working with more than 10,000 customers across the Sacramento region and have become the trusted, go-to choice for solar solutions in Northern California.

Our array of services and products can meet your business or commercial needs. And we get the job done with excellence from start to finish.

Furthermore, when we work together, we are doing our part in providing a brighter future and stronger planet.

Contact us today!

Study: Solar can replace aging hydroelectricity infrastructure, saving land and protecting ecosystems

Study: Solar can replace aging hydroelectricity infrastructure, saving land and protecting ecosystems

Hydropower currently makes up for about six percent of the electricity in the United States.

But it’s costly.

Economic, environmental, and safety concerns are some of the reasons why there’s a movement of dam removal across the United States, despite hydroelectricity being a vital player in energy production.

A new study published by Nature Sustainability, however, notes these disadvantages of hydroelectricity, all but declaring it old technology that will fail to meet the power demands of tomorrow.

Dams across the nation are getting old and may be nearing their maximum shelf life. Providing new infrastructure, maintenance and repairs may prove to be too expensive. Additionally, there are some serious questions about the environmental impact they impose.

One concern is that dams act as a blood clot to the nation’s watershed, putting a heavy burden on the surrounding ecosystem. This leads to declines in biodiversity, trapped sediments and changes to water temperatures of surrounding rivers and waterways.

The solution moving forward? Industrial-scale photovoltaics, also known as solar panels.

And it makes perfect sense. That’s because solar panels have a low impact on the environment and require a smaller space to produce energy at a higher rate when compared to hydroelectric facilitates.

Consider this: Banks of solar panels can replace every electricity-producing dam across the nation using only 13 percent of the footprint currently in use. There are about 2,600 hydro-dams in the contiguous states. If half of these were drained, that land covered in industrial-scale solar would produce three-and-a-half times more in energy than the current sites. That’s one reason why Nature Sustainability suggests that a massive rollout of solar power generation is theoretically possible and viable.

Innovation can change the world. If solar has this capability at this scale, ask yourself what it could do for your home or business. The answer is clear.

Solar power can eliminate or lower your electricity bill dramatically. Or it can save you up to 80 percent when it provides hot water for your home or business. Solar solutions also include recreational use. Did you know a pool heating system powered by solar can extend the window of time you spend enjoying your pool?

Let us tell you about all the possibilities that is solar power.

Netherlands floating dairy farm powered by solar

Netherlands floating dairy farm powered by solar

Climate change is having a dramatic impact across the world, and solar can play a key part in combatting it.

Pulling in the power of the sun can have a variety of positive uses, and residents and businesses alike already know that through their rooftop solar panels, but a Netherlands floating dairy farm is yet another new innovative use of solar.

The farm, which utilizes 32 cows to produce 159 gallons of milk daily, is powered by an array of solar panels that is also floating. The farm is an effort stemming from a call from researchers to move away from ocean areas as climate change sets in. The floating dairy farm is a case study for humans to use water to alter living circumstances at the hands of climate change.

The facility is a good example of the power of renewable resources. Approximately 80 percent of the feed for the cows derives from grass clippings from golf courses and parks, spent grain and even the remnants leftover from brewing beer. That food is collected using electric vehicles.

As you can see, there is a great effort underway in various parts of the world to learn new commercial habits based on where the environment could be headed if we don’t change the course of climate change.

If you look at a lot of these types of efforts across the globe, you will likely find some element of solar power being utilized. That is because solar energy is the future.

Many businesses who use commercial social and residents who use residential solar power across the Sacramento region already know this and are benefitting from having installed panels.

Aztec Solar has nearly 40 years of experience in this area doing solar and only solar. We take pride in being part of the solution in helping to fight climate change and saving people hundreds, and sometimes thousands of dollars, every month on their electricity bill at the same time.

If you want to go solar today, contact us at 916.853.2700.

Kenya water desalination plant using solar power deliver 20,000 gallons of water per day

Kenya water desalination plant using solar power deliver 20,000 gallons of water per day

Turning salt water into fresh drinking water could be the future when it comes to fighting any potential water shortage around the world.

A new desalination plant in Kenya is serving as a strong model for this and it is being powered by solar. The effort is led by a nonprofit known as GivePower and it is generating enough water for 25,000 people per day (nearly 20,000 gallons). The plant opened in 2018.

Locally, people make payments via an app for the water. The charge is a fourth of a cent per liter. GivePower says that this is much less than traditional water brands that charge $1 per liter.

And this is all possible thanks to solar power.

If solar can help in the effort to turn salt water into fresh water to help people in need, imagine what it could do for your home or business. Residents and business owners alike across the Sacramento region are currently using solar power to bring down their electricity costs and helping the environment at the same time.

Businesses could save thousands of dollars every month by going solar and residents could bring their high summer energy bills down significantly. Plus, with PG&E currently conducting power shut offs throughout the Sacramento region to mitigate fire risks, solar batteries can be used to store power for use at night or during a black out.

Aztec Solar has been doing solar and only solar in this area for almost four decades, so we have the experience and reputation to get pretty much any residential or commercial solar job done correctly. If you are interested in going solar, give us a call at 916.853.2700.

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