The Brownsville Public Utilities Board (BPUB) understands that there is both an increased curiosity and a push toward renewable energy within our community. BPUB also understands that as a steward of the environment and a leader in the community, we are responsible for educating and accommodating the community's growing interest in renewable energy needs. BPUB can work with customers within our service territory who wish to install photovoltaic (solar) or small wind turbine systems, have them interconnected with our electric grid, and are interested in renewable energy. Below are brief descriptions of both types of systems, along with links to various agencies and forms 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 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 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 the wind to generate a specific wattage of electricity. The turbines have two or three propellers 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 the wind blows, the rotor will swivel so 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 installing small wind turbines.
Please check with the City of Brownsville Building Permits and Inspections Division- Solar Energy Systems involving photovoltaic systems or small wind turbines. Home Owner Associations might have restrictions on small wind turbines or photovoltaic systems which should be considered before making any renewable energy purchase. Check with http://www.energystar.gov/taxcredits for any updates on personal tax credits before committing to any renewable energy purchase.
Are you 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 buy back any excess power produced by the photovoltaic system that the customer does not use and send it back to the electrical grid. The excess power is purchased at the current fuel and energy cost.
BPUB Solar Program Required Documents:
- Interconnection One-line Diagram
- NEM Program Interconnection Agreement
- BPUB Solar Installation Customer Checklist
- Solar System Attributes Form