The Neufelds have been running on solar energy for five days now! Over the last month I have researched the solar industry in central California. There is so much that I have found out but here are a few key points.
- Fresno is wonderfully situated for solar power: lots of long sunny days with very little clouds and precipitation
- California is offering great rebates, the fed is offering tax credits for installing solar
- We have a grid-tied system which means we feed electricity back into the grid as it is produced by our system; our meter runs backwards at certain times of the day!
- Our system can generate up to 4800 watts, which should supplement 75-80% of our electrical needs in a year
- Yesterday our system generated about 32 kwh and it was 108 degrees which means we spent about $2.50 in electricity on one of the hottest days of the year, and the house was cool!
- Yesterday was also a record setting day for California -- more energy was consumed than any other day in our state's history
- If PG&E rate increases are conservative the system should pay for itself in nine or ten years; if increase are higher it could be producing free electricity for our home in just five or six years
- It feels really good to be using a clean, renewable source of energy!
A few pictures:
14 panels on the south face of our little suburban home
14 panels on the west side
The only other equipment is the switch box and the inverter (converts DC to AC) in the garage