The Brownsville Public Utilities Board (BPUB) understands that there is both an increased curiosity and push towards renewable energy within our community. BPUB also understands that as a steward of the environment and a leader in the community we have a responsibility to educate and accommodate the community’s growing interest in renewable energy needs. Currently BPUB can work with customers within our service territory who wish to install either photovoltaic (solar) or small wind turbines systems and have them interconnected with our electric grid. Interested in renewable energy, below are brief descriptions of both types of systems along with links to various agencies and forms that will be required to complete an interconnection into our electrical grid.
Solar panels convert the sun's light energy into electricity. Solar cells, or photovoltaic cells are grouped together and packaged into a panel to produce a specific wattage of electricity. Multiple solar panels are arranged in an array and installed on a roof or in a field that can power a home or business. New Federal Solar, or Investment Tax Credits for solar panel installations have drastically lowered the payback period for a solar power system. With prices of solar panels and associated technology continuously lowering, investing in a photovoltaic system for your home or business looks brighter and brighter.
Small wind turbines use the energy naturally produced by wind to generate a specific wattage of electricity. The turbines have two or three propellers that are attached to a rotor atop the turbine. This turbine is attached to a shaft that runs down the turbine and is attached to a generator. As wind blows the rotor will swivel so that the blades can capture as much wind as possible, this in turn spins both the shaft and generator to create electricity. Investment Tax Credits for wind energy are also available to help lower the cost of the purchase and installation of small wind turbines.
Please check with the City of Brownsville Building Permit Division involving either photovoltaic systems or small wind turbines. Home Owners Associations might have restrictions on either small wind turbines or photovoltaic systems which should be taken into consideration before making any renewable energy purchase. Check with http://www.energystar.gov/taxcredits for any and all updates on personal tax credits as well before committing to any renewable energy purchase.
Interested in installing a Photovoltaic System (solar panels) in your home or small business. Download our checklist for solar panel installation. BPUB does not offer any rebates for solar installation but does offer a buyback program. Through this program, BPUB will buyback any excess power produced by the photovoltaic system that the customer does not use and send back to the electrical grid. The excess power is purchased at the current fuel and energy cost.