Solar energy is energy from the sun in the form of heat and light. This energy resource drives the climate and weather and supports virtually all life on earth. Heat and light from the sun, along with secondary solar resources such as wind and wave power, hydroelectricity and biomass, account for over 99.9 percent of the available flow of renewable energy on earth.
Solar energy technologies harness the sunís heat and light for practical ends.
At present, photovoltaic panels typically convert about 15 percent of incident sunlight into electricity, while typical solar water-heating systems operate at 60 percent efficiency.
All the electricity required by the REC Conference Center for heating, cooling, lighting and appliances is provided by
140 photovoltaic solar panels.
The system has a power generation capacity of up to 29 kilowatts. Extra energy is drawn from the grid when the power generated proves insufficient, for example when the sky is overcast or at night. In exchange, energy is delivered back to the grid during times of surplus production, such as sunny days or at the weekends.