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  • Steve Taylor

Solar Panels - By The Numbers

Updated: Apr 23

by Steve Taylor


WillowWood School’s 374 photovoltaic cells (solar panels) have been operational since December 21, 2020. In that 30-month period, our solar panels have generated 388-megawatt hours (MWh). What's a megawatt-hour? Good question. A megawatt-hour (MWh) is equal to 1,000 Kilowatt-hours (KWh) or 1,000 kilowatts of electricity used continuously for one hour. Still confused? It is roughly equivalent to the amount of electricity used by about 330 average Canadian homes for one hour.


SolarVu Energy Reading - 06/28/23


Another way of quantifying our energy savings is to say that we have generated enough electricity in two-and-half years to:

· Power the average Canadian home for 39 years

· Drive an electric vehicle 2,234,880 kilometres

· Power a 60-watt lightbulb non-stop for 776 years

· Toast 34 million slices of bread

· Brew 465,600 pots of coffee

· Download 51.7 million songs from the internet

· Charge 21.6 million iPhones


To generate the same amount of electrical power would require:


· Burning 170 tons of coal

· Burning 17,762 litres of gasoline

· Burning 2.9 million cubic feet of natural gas

· Fissioning 30,652 pounds of uranium in a nuclear reactor

· Running 5,678,118 litres of water through a hydroelectric dam


Besides cost savings, our solar panels prevented the emission of a staggering 41.5 tons of carbon dioxide. Emitting that much carbon dioxide would require:


· Driving a diesel-powered car for 249,000 kilometres

· Flying a passenger plane from New York to Paris 42 times

· Travelling 29,642,857 kilometres by train


See the image below to help you visualize a ton of CO2.

Image by Carbon Visuals, “The Case for Carbon Capture and Storage” – 2015


If you are still confused, send me an email at stevet@willowwoodschool.ca and let's have a chat.











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