The same power plants that are powering the water treatment plants that provide us with drinkable and usable water are in most cases the same ones that help to pollute it by releasing smog, which causes acid rain of varying pollution levels.
Powering these facilities with zero-emissions power plants is one way to address this issue.
In Phoenix, Arizona, SunPower Corporation developed a 7.5 megawatt (MW) solar power plant, constructed to help power a water treatment plant. This installation is equipped with 22,936 solar panels (this means that the panels are 327 watts each).
They expect to save 15 million kilowatt hours (kWh) of electricity per year. At the U.S national average price of electricity of $0.11/kWh, that translates to $1.650 million per year.
SunPower’s solar power plant is expected to save the water treatment facility $4 million over a 20 year period.
“With more than 300 days of sunshine each year, Phoenix is a natural for using solar power,” said Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton. “The Lake Pleasant Water Treatment Plant project is the latest in a series of solar initiatives utilized at various city locations to increase the city’s commitment to sustainable energy development.”
Our Most Precious Resource Needs a Sustainable Power Source
The word “sustainable” can be used in the environmental context, in which it means environmentally sound, or in the other context the word is almost self-explanatory, “can be sustained”.
Water is one of our most precious resources, and the supply of it needs to be guaranteed with a power source that is inexhaustible, such as renewable energy.
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