Solar electric systems are the most sustainable way to produce electricity, and quality designs like ours are quite durable.Consider the fuel -photons leaving the sun’s photosphere and traveling roughly 93 million miles in 8.5 minutes to irradiate your solar array and set electrons flowing. No moving parts, no transport or extraction costs, no waste. Our systems installed in the early 1980’s are still producing flawlessly,
How Solar Works
Photovoltaic cells are made of very pure semiconductor grade silicon similar to that used in computer chips. Silicon is the 2nd most common element in the Earth’s crust. Electricity is produced as photons of sunlight penetrate the element, bumping electrons into a flow. PV cells are connected together to make a module. Modules are the building blocks connected together to make an array.
Grants and Incentives
The Solar Energy Industries Association website, Seia, is tracking interpretations of the 30% Federal Solar Tax Credit for residential and commercial PV System owners. We’ll explain the benefits and include them in your costs analysis at a site assessment. This is the first Solar Tax credit for homeowners since 1985 and it is good until 2020.
Clean Energy Stats
We have been tracking 12 of our PV systems in western Mass since 2003, a representative sample of roof and ground mounts with varying tilt angles and orientations. This original group of sample systems is now 15 years old. Equipment efficiencies have improved significantly. We are now conducting a sensitivity analysis of a wider group of sample customer systems. Our goal is to provide you with the most accurate statistics.
Owners of the PV systems we’ve installed over the years often report their solar kilowatt hour (kWh) production and tell us of their efforts to reduce their overall use of electricity, especially of ‘dirty power’ from the grid. Replacing inefficient appliances results in savings, but behavioral changes in their electricity use often results in dramatic savings.
Solar Renewable Energy Certificates
Legislation written by the large, investor- owned utilities and ushered to vote by the House Leadership in league with the Baker Administration passed late in the last session. Despite hoopla in the media that this was a pro solar bill, it has reduced incentive values for solar electric facilities and given the responsibility for settling new Massachusetts incentives for solar electric development to the Department of Public Utilities.
A solar electric system is a great way to reduce your electric bill, and lower your carbon footprint. In considering your goals for the system, a good first step can be to evaluate your electrical consumption, and consider ways to manage your usage more efficiently.