Anytime traveling, I always try to incorporate historical sites or some other destination on my itinerary. One that permits an opportunity to learn something while out and about. Recently, on a trip to California, I had the opportunity to visit a mammoth solar farm. This also proved to be one of the most interesting side trips in all of my travels. Or at least in recent years.
Steel and Solar Farms
One of the first things I learned while on my tour of a solar farm was how important steel is when it comes to alternative energy resources. For that’s including a solar farm. So I discovered that steel is important in the design and fabrication of certain types of solar panels. It is also used in the structures which the solar panels are placed (in many cases).
Steel pipes also play a role in the overall operation of solar farms. For example, at the solar farm I visited. I mean the solar panels heat up a liquid that is transported via steel pipes to a turbine generator.
I also came to understand that utilization of steel itself also aids in bettering the environment. Steel represents one of the most widely recycled materials in the world. In fact, anything that contains steel is almost certain to contain recycled material.
The vast amount of steel utilized in this day and age is recycled. The recycling process significantly lowers the amount of energy expended to manufacture items made from that metal. That includes steel pipes and other items utilized in the construction and operation of a solar farm.
Solar Energy Statistics in the United States
While on my tour of a large solar farm, I was provided intriguing information about the use of solar energy in the United States at this juncture in time. One of the most important pieces of data involves the fact that solar energy has become far more affordable in recent years. This includes solar energy generated via panels installed on buildings. For that’s as well as that generated at solar farms. I mean like the facility I visited while traveling.
Generally speaking, the cost of solar panels of different types has dropped by about 60 percent. For that’s in the past decade. In addition, the cost associated with a solar electric system has dropped too. That’s also by about 50 percent during the same time period.
The decrease in costs associated with all aspects of solar energy has resulted in an increase in the use of this type of energy resource. Since 2008, installations os solar energy resources has increased seventeen-fold from 1.2 gigawatts to about 30 gigawatts at this point in time.
Touring a Solar Farm with a Family
Not only did I tour a solar farm while on vacation, my entire family enjoyed the incredible experience. The solar farm we visited offered an array of different opportunities for visitors, depending on their ages. For example, my children, including two elementary students and one in high school. For we were able to obtain age-appropriate information about the solar energy industry. Also information about the solar farm we specifically visited.
In addition, the solar farm we visited provided some specific activities designed to address the questions of my younger children. They also most definitely were not left on the sidelines. I mean when it came to resources for them while visiting a solar farm.
Scheduling a Tour of a Solar Farm
Most solar farms are able to provide a person who shows up for those without a reservation. Yet a tour with a facility tour takes a month or so folks. So please plan this stuff out. However, in nearly all situations, solar farms prefer reservations. More importantly than a person interested in touring a facility. So make a tour reservation in advance. Typically, a solar farm will take tour reservations both over the phone and via its internet website. It’s frankly as easy as scheduling an appointment to an amusement park. To me that’s so so so cool!
Because demand for tours is growing, you are best served by scheduling a tour. I mean nowadays well in advance of your planned trip. Indeed, scheduling a tour two or three months in advance. For that’s a solid strategy. All to ensure that you will be able to visit a solar farm while on your trip.
In addition, the largest solar farms in operation in the United States are in California and the Southwest. For example, Nevada or maybe even New Mexico. There are also a growing number of installations. All to be found in these regions of the United States of America!
In conclusion, there was no cost to visit the solar farm. In addition, at the end of the tour, we had access to an information center. All at which we were able to purchase different items and materials to remember our trip. Moreover to learn more about this renewable energy resource. This included items suitable for people of all ages.
Jessica Kane is a professional blogger who writes for Federal Steel Supply, Inc., a leading steel tubing suppliers of carbon, alloy and stainless steel pipe, tubes, fittings and flanges.