Adventures in Solar Power

View from the west

Our latest endeavor to reduce the carbon footprint for our family has been the addition of solar panels to our home. The project has taken all summer from planning and re-roofing, to installation. Today, I’m waiting on an electrical inspection before the system goes on-line. I’m feeling quite impatient, as our Pacific Northwest weather is past it’s cooperation date for sunny dates. I feel like I’m on borrowed time every time the sun breaks out and I want to harvest that energy! For those of you out of the area, we have sun almost daily from June to September 15. On September 15, God flips a switch, and we have instant fall. The temperature plummets and it starts raining more often than it is dry. Also, when the sun is out, the ground doesn’t dry out. This is where the borrowed time for sun harvest originates.

Racking to support solar panels

Some nitty gritty details: We opted to go with a system that feeds into the existing electricity grid. Our local provider is Puget Sound Energy, and they offer net-metering. This means the energy we produce (at our home power plant) goes into their network. We earn credit toward our energy bill. We had a second option to go “off the grid” with battery storage capabilities and power while the grid is off-line, but that was a cost-prohibitive option. This is meant to be an investment strategy, and the payoff time would not benefit our situation. As it stands, we anticipate the system to pay for itself by the time my youngest child is in college/we will be ready to downsize our home.

If anyone local is interested, the company we used is Forecast Solar and Roofing. If you decide to acquire solar for your home, there is a federal tax break of 30% for the 2019 tax year. (Must be installed and live before Dec 31). Here is a link to Forecast.

Full disclosure: If you buy solar panels from Forecast,and mention I sent you, I will receive a small check.

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