Photovoltaic - Photovoltaics (or PV) is the field of technology and research related to the application of solar cells for energy by converting solar energy (sunlight, including ultra violet radiation) directly into electricity.
Apparently, consumers in Oregon are buying together to increase their overall purchasing power. Buying through organizations such as congregations or whole residential neighborhoods in quantities of 25+ at a time really shaves down the out of pocket investment and makes going green much more appetizing to many Oregon consumers.
Another trend is that most of the mid to large size installations are merely hosting the systems through Purchase Power Agreements, resulting in virtually no out of pocket investment to the hosts, and reduced electricity costs (compared to local utility rates) as well...in this instance, the tax benefits would be to the owner - not the host - but overall, this is a good arrangement for everyone, especially the environment.
Prices on the systems have come down in the last year or so, about 5%, making these systems even more attractive for their owners.
Grants are now available from the federal governement to help rural ranchers and farmers to take part in this solar technology. You can get more information on that here.
Combining Solar and Thermal energy is a great way to reduce waste and to really USE what we have. Research is underway to determine the best ways to utilize the "waste" heat at the back of the PV system, possibly for space heating, hot water heat or other yet undetermined uses...the best thing about it is that they don't want their to be wasted energy.
If you are interested in utilizing Solar energy in your home and everyday life, please contact me, Alexsandra Stewart, I am an Energy Trust of Oregon Real Estate Professional trade ally. In addition, I am certified by Earth Advantage S.T.A.R. (Sustainability Training for Accredited Real Estate Professionals). I can suggest energy efficient improvements for new and existing homes and talk to you about cash-back incentives as well.