Thursday, September 20, 2018
Solar electric is doing very well in northern New Hampshire. While we aren't the sunniest place, there are factors that are good for solar. It's pretty easy to tie solar into the New Hampshire grid. The political and economic conditions more than make up for the less than ideal sun exposure. Imagine what places like Florida could do if the powers that be were not actively working against it.
I've been talking to a lot of people who have put in significant solar arrays. They are doing so well that they are changing over all their appliances over to electric. One guy even got rid of his woodstove and put in an electric heat pump. They are saving a lot of money.
They have also put all their eggs in one basket. None of these people have battery backup. In fact, due their increased electrical usage, it would be cost prohibitive to buy enough batteries to run their houses. In a grid down situation their solar electric system is useless. The solar panels are automatically disconnected so as not to backfeed the grid. That's to protect line workers.
My solar electric system was put in when solar was expensive. With that in mind, I concentrated on energy efficency. The cheapest watt is the one you don't have to generate. Another thing I did was to have things like a woodstove that did not use electricity at all. Back then, it was expensive to tie into the grid. Not only that, they paid a much lower rate than retail prices. It made sense to have just enough solar for my minimal needs and to store it in batteries.
Of course, one of the main reasons I put in solar electricity was to make sure I had power when the grid went down. My power system might be of modest size, but it keep chugging along when everything else has failed.