With hiking, mountain biking, and a variety of water sports all available in Southern Oregon, the sun brings out all the sportsmen and women looking to take advantage of the great outdoors. But the sun offers more than the opportunity to “seize the day.” It can also be an important component when it comes to providing power to homes, businesses, and more.
The Rogue Valley Precast plant is run completely on solar power. We’ve installed solar panels that cover 80 percent of our roof and are 100 percent responsible for producing electricity throughout the facility. Considering our building is 16,000 square feet and houses heavy-duty machinery, that electricity generation is pretty impressive.
The solar energy system doesn’t end at the precast plant, either. It’s how we power lights in the offices, monitors in the conference rooms, and everything else on the administrative end of Rogue Valley Precast. Solar technologies have improved the way we work and strengthened our resolve to be good stewards of the land.
How Do Solar Panels Work?
By converting sunlight into energy, and then capturing and focusing that energy, each solar panel is like a tiny power plant. Put enough of these energy sources together, and you can power just about anything. The process itself is relatively easy to understand, too.
Solar panels are made up of a series of small solar photovoltaic cells. These solar cells are filled with materials that are either positively charged or negatively charged, creating an electric field. When sunlight hits these materials, electrons are freed from the materials, creating energy.
Metal plates collect those electrons and send them on their way via wires. This electrical energy can now be used like any other power. More photovoltaic cells per panel, and more panels, create more energy. This type of energy technology has improved to the point that each cell can be made to a thickness of around 1/100th of a human hair!
Sustainable Energy, Sustainable Products
Of course, our clients may not be terribly concerned with photovoltaic cells or releasing electrons from atoms. They are more invested in the durability of our manholes, catch basins, and vault structures. Thanks to the sun, we’re able to create those pieces while not draining a single watt of power from the grid.
We think that’s pretty cool. By using solar energy, we are fully self-sufficient, at least when it comes to how the plant is powered. We feel it’s just one more step we’ve taken to protect as much of the environment as we can. Along with our SMaRT certification, we’re showing materials for heavy construction can still be considered “green.”
Why is this so important? It could affect your bottom line. Many jurisdictions throughout the United States, and especially in Oregon, require environmentally-friendly products or processes when bidding on construction projects. By using clean energy instead of fossil fuels whenever we can, Rogue Valley Precast is becoming more sustainable.
Obviously, we need fossil fuels to deliver the materials we need to make our precast concrete products. However, by working with partners or vendors that are closer to us, we’re able to cut down on the amount of gas we need to receive those materials.
It may seem like a small aspect of our operation, but Rogue Valley Precast believes every little bit helps. Our products last up to a century, which requires fewer repairs, replacements, and maintenance. The materials we use are raw and naturally occurring. Our plant is fully controlled, meaning we can save and reuse waste materials, send less debris to landfills.
Taking advantage of the benefits of solar power is just another step Rogue Valley Precast takes to remain environmentally conscious without sacrificing quality. We monitor the entire process, from mixing to the final strength testing, we only send out products that meet our high standards and exceed all code requirements.
Consider Rogue Valley Precast for your next large buried infrastructure project. Whether you need electrical vaults for a new business park or manholes in a new subdivision, you’ll get the products you need when you need them. As your Southern Oregon precaster, we can also offer the fastest turnaround times for whatever you need.