Solar power is energy from the sun that is converted into thermal or electrical energy. Solar energy is the cleanest and most abundant renewable energy source available, and the United States has some of the richest solar resources in the world. Modern technology can harness this energy for a variety of uses including generating electricity, providing light or a comfortable interior environment, and heating water for domestic, commercial or industrial use.
Technology is helping the industry work to scale up the production of solar projects and drive down the manufacturing and installation costs. There are several ways to harness solar energy: photovoltaics, also called solar electric, solar heating & cooling, concentrating solar power (typically built at utility-scale), and passive solar.
The first three are active solar systems, which use mechanical or electrical devices to convert the sun’s heat or light to another form of usable energy. Passive solar buildings are designed and oriented to collect, store and distribute the heat energy from sunlight to maintain the comfort of the occupants without the use of moving parts or electronics. Power Energy USA and McLaren Solar International will concentrate on the installation of active solar systems.
Solar energy is a flexible energy technology: solar power plants can be built as distributed generation (located at or near the point of use) or as a central station, utility-scale solar power plant (similar to traditional power plants.)
Battery storage will become an important element to be used with solar systems to store the energy created by the sun for later use. Power Energy USA is working with Verde Research of Houston to develop the latest battery storage technology to be used in conjunction with the solar systems it provides.