As you may have already heard, Rio Grande recently installed more than 5000 solar panels atop its parking lot. To acquaint yourself with some of the details of our solar project, you can read our “Powered by the Sun” section on our About Us page.
Now that our solar array has been functional and producing energy for about four months, we are pleased to report that the solar panels have generated nearly 30% more electricity than the monthly estimate calculated by the engineers who worked on the installation!
Take a look at the graph below. The gray bars illustrate the yield that was predicted by the engineers at Affordable Solar. The blue bars show the actual yield of energy generated by our array since its installation in mid-July.
Here is the best part: Every month since installation, we have actually sent electricity back into the grid for others to use!
Here’s the caveat: The engineer’s calculations are averaged and consider the position of the sun over an entire year. To get a sense of how solar output varies in different seasons, take a look at the next two graphs.
This graph shows our yield in August, when the blazing New Mexico sun is high in the sky. The horizontal gray line that extends across the graph illustrates predicted solar output. The blue bars demonstrate the actual energy generated by our solar array.
In November, the sun is lower in the sky and the graph above reflects the resulting decline in our output. Despite these seasonal fluctuations, we are happy to see that most days our array outperforms expectations.
We feel lucky to live in the generous sunshine of New Mexico and we’re thrilled that the solar array powers every aspect of our business. As the journey unfolds, we’ll keep you posted on its progress.