It's not just our region's long and sunny summer days that suit the generation of solar-powered electricity. Solar panels can produce power (at lower levels) even under the Puget Sound's gray, wintery skies.
How solar power works
Sunlight hits two layers of semiconductor material, producing a difference in electrical potential, or voltage, between the layers. The voltage then drives current through an external electrical circuit.
Our customers not only are generating electricity to light their homes and businesses, but many earn net-metering bill credits from us when their solar systems produce more power than the customers are using.
To help demonstrate the viability of solar power in the Northwest, PSE built one of the region's largest solar arrays in 2007 at our Wild Horse Wind and Solar Facility, in Kittitas County. The installation can produce up to 500 kilowatts of power.
Fast facts about Wild Horse
- Features 2,723 photovoltaic solar panels.
- Includes the first made-in-Washington solar panels—315 panels made by Silicon Energy in Arlington.
- Panels produce power even under cloudy skies—50 to 70 percent of peak output with bright overcast and 5 to 10 percent with dark overcast.
509-964-7815 (April through November)
Wild Horse Wind and Solar Facility and Renewable Energy Center
25901 Vantage Highway
Ellensburg, WA 98926
Check out the tours and recreational opportunities offered at the Wild Horse Wind and Solar Facility.