UniSource is delivering fun under the sun to local community events with a new trailer that features music, TV and video games powered by solar energy.
A year ago in the fall, the trailer made its debut at the Mohave County Fair and it was featured at several more events this year, including the home and garden expos in Mohave County. It provides both storage and an on-site education about solar energy.
Anthony Lombardi, Supervisor of the Renewable Energy Program, initially was simply looking for a trailer to haul items needed for events. Then, Lombardi and his colleagues added other bright ideas, deciding to put solar panels on top and add features powered by electricity, including a refrigerator. The trailer has three solar modules that can produce 900 watts of solar generation for an average of 5.9 kilowatt hours per day, which power the batteries.
“It’s something that helps us attract visitors at an event,” Lombardi said. “The whole point is to be a showpiece so we can initiate conversations about energy.”
During the Mohave County Fair, the trailer door stayed open, allowing customers to look inside. Some customers approached the trailer, assuming the company was selling solar panels.
Lombardi said this gave employees the opportunity to explain that while UniSource doesn’t sell rooftop solar panels, we generate some of our power at community-scale solar arrays. Also, employees could explain the benefits of solar energy, how the technology works and let them know about Bright Arizona Community Solar, which allows customers to purchase power from UniSource’s solar arrays. Employees also handed out water cooled by solar power.
“It’s a conversation starter and a way to clarify our commitment to solar energy and how it fits in our resource mix,” Lombardi said. “It’s definitely cool to have on site and I look forward to using it more in the future.”