Photovoltaic Solar Electric Energy (solar cells/panels) generated by the sun is already cheaper than traditional coal fired electricity in the South West and Rocky Mountain States. It is also a clean energy source, which emits no pollutants including CO2, which is the leading cause of global warming according to most scientific studies. It is most efficient in the SW because the region has more sunny days than most places in the US and at elevations of 3000 to 10,000 feet the solar cells are up to 40% more efficient than at sea level. This is because the cells operate at cooler temperatures in higher altitudes like the Colorado Plateau.
As a ranch owner I have no electric lines on it and use PV Solar panels to pump water for cattle and wildlife from approx. 250 feet. You can see the edge of a PV Solar panel at my author web site tomtatumauthor.com with a couple cows behind the solar array. The solar electricity powers the well pump and fills the stock tanks for the cattle and their wild friends the elk, deer, foxes, antelope, mountain lions, birds e.g. to drink water on the arid New Mexico rangeland. There is animal diversity every day and night except when a mountain lion drops by for a drink.
PV Solar can be used on/for ranches, farms, businesses, houses, remote monitoring systems e.g. and now for large electric grid connected PV Solar plants for up to a 1000 mega watts of produced electricity. In my novel TELLURIDE TOP OF THE WORLD Cooper’s family ranch house/barns/well/ hay/irrigation rigs in 1979 used electricity produced from abundant coal in the Four Corners of the SW region and distributed by member owned electric coops on their transmission lines. Out on the range small windmills pumped water for the cattle where there were no stock ponds or creeks and rivers. A watt of solar cell electricity cost $75 then but today it’s as cheap as three cents a kilowatt-hour to produce. So while Cooper’s ranch had to rely on coal-fired electricity in 1979 for most of it non-transportation operations it can be fueled by solar electricity today with old-fashioned horsepower.
At present PV Solar electricity for large-scale use age isn’t cost effective to battery store but it is for small-scale use age like homes/electric cars/small business. It’s great for ranches where the sun pumps well water during the day to stock tanks/ponds for storage and the cattle and animals drink it both day and night. So in and around Telluride Colorado in the Four Corners region PV Solar is a natural and it is being built and used by the progressive entities in the region often paired for now with cheap abundant natural cleaner natural gas and wind-produced electricity. Although like in all progressive marches through out history there are some holdouts which mostly are large utility scale electric wholesalers who are hindering the progress of PV Solar power to milk the profits out of their outdated polluting and now more costly coal electric generating plants. But the bell has tolled and it’s for a renewable solar and wind energy future in the South Western US complimented by natural gas.