Feb/18/2012 12:09 PM Filed in: sustainability
We have at last taken the plunge and are installing photovoltaic panels to cover our electrical use. It will be grid tied and is a big enough system to power our home, orchard, and wood shop. With all three uses we use about a third of the average family in this country, so we didn’t have to invest in a giant system. We are looking forward to generating our own power in the near future, rather than relying on the nuclear and fossil fuel-sourced power that is provided through the grid.
For those of us living in Massachusetts, now is a great time to invest in grid-tied solar power. Massachusetts has set up a market for SRECs (Renewable Energy Certificates) in a way that really benefits the small producer. We get SRECs for every watt of power we generate, whether we use it or feed it back into the grid. These SRECs have a guaranteed price for ten years, and may pay off at a higher rate depending on the market for them. Power companies buy them to include our power as part of their renewable energy portfolio, which they need to increase over time by law. Our system will pay itself off in less than 5 years, given the SREC sales, tax credits and other rebates available to us in Massachusetts. Then it will continue to generate SREC revenue for 5 years. Meanwhile, we get enough electricity to cover our needs, and possibly enough to sell the surplus to a neighbor. Truly a win-win situation.