The desert, if you’ve never lived there, is hot. The summertime brings about temperatures topping out at 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Trying to function in these scalding temps is nothing short of a miracle.
Nowadays, large shopping malls and movie theaters help people escape the hotter activities outside. Central air conditioning is a requirement to live in this type of summertime temperatures. Take a look at some of the ways Arizona is going green with the utilization of water, solar and wind to help power it and its citizens into the next decade.
The Colorado River
A source of green energy in the state is the Colorado River. It stretches from the southwest corner up into Nevada. Along the way are two powerful dams located along the river that help harness its power and convert it to electricity. Hydroelectric stations like the Hoover Dam and Glen Canyon Dam in the north help to efficiently and effectively generate power for use in the state and its neighbors.
When you think of Arizona, you may first think of the beautiful vistas of the Grand Canyon in the north followed closely by the desert. Almost half of the state’s landmass is squarely in the desert climate region. As a result, it experiences temperature fluctuations that range from low 60’s on a crisp winter day, all the way up to 120s during the summer. With very little rain or cloud cover in the desert, solar energy seems the perfect solution to the current energy shortage. However, this is not the case. While Arizona does use some measure of solar energy, it can’t fully harness the power the sun radiates. This is because a large amount of water is necessary to cool solar panels to keep them from cracking under the extreme heat. Since Arizona does not have an enormous reserve of water, it can’t rely so heavily on solar power.
The desert doesn’t only have the sun as a natural energy source. Arid winds are created and blow pretty steadily during most days. These winds may be enough to crank giant windmills and create energy through turbines. Wind energy is something that the people and the government of the state are exploring. Something like the Chevelon Butte wind farm, currently being contemplated, might be a gamechanger when it comes to Arizona’s energy supply. It could be a new way for Arizona to cut the cord to fossil fuels and run its grid on green energy alone.
Arizona is a state that utilizes many ways to get its population the energy it needs to thrive. Continuing this trend by building wind farms may be the next step in the state, becoming a green energy powerhouse.