Grid Tied Solar Electricity (PV) for Homes
Grid-tied solar electricity allows you to generate your own electricity whenever the sun is out. You can either use the power as it's created, or export it to the grid and earn credits. When the rate of electricity goes up, your solar array increases in value proportionally.
- Pay less for power than you do now
- Offset C02 emissions by reducing need for coal, oil, and nuclear power
- Reliable energy production for 30+ years
Save Money and the Environment
More than 60% of the electricity generated in New England comes from natural gas and oil, followed by nuclear (14%) and coal (9%). Maine and New Hampshire emit over 10,000,000 metric tons of C02 emissions annually, a result of burning over 50,000,000 gallons of oil and 2,800,000,000 lbs. of coal.
Solar photovoltaic panels, in contrast, generate clean solar electricity whenever the sun shines (which is more than you expect in Maine and New Hampshire!). The technology for these panels is mature and reliable, resulting in systems that are expected to work for 40-50 years even in the Northeast's tough climate.
Solar electricity is local electricity, meaning that power is generated where it is used and does not have to travel great distances over transmission lines. This is a more efficient use of electricity that reduces strain on the electric grid. When your photovoltaic system generates more power than you are using, it helps power your neighbours' homes.
How Does Grid-Tied Solar Work?
Grid-tied photovoltaic arrays have no batteries, no complex wiring, no moving parts - unlike the off-grid solar systems of the old days.
The beauty of a grid-tied system is that instead of buying batteries, you use the electric grid as a big battery - when you produce more than you need, you push power out to the grid. When you need more electricity than you are generating, you simply draw power off the electrical grid as usual.
Grid-tied PV Described Simply
1 - Sunshine Hits Panels
Sunlight causes electrons to move through the wiring connecting the solar photovoltaic panels, creating direct current (DC) electricity.
2 - Solar inverter converts DC power into AC power
The DC electricity produced by the solar panels is inverted into alternating current (AC) electricity used in your home. The AC electricity flows into your circuit panel and is available for any active electric loads: lights, television, computers, refrigerator, etc.
3 - Excess power is sent to the grid
If your solar photovoltaic production exceeds your demand, then the extra electricity is pushed out to the grid. A separate meter tracks this exported electricity. At the end of the month, the utility reconciles your solar production vs. electrical consumption, and you either earn a credit or are billed accordingly.
Why Invest in Solar?
Solar energy is one of the safest investment options on the market today, delivering:
- 100% guaranteed financial return on investment (you get all of your money back, then an 'annuity' for decades in the form of avoided electricity costs)
- Environmental return on investment (eliminate thousands of pounds of CO2 emissions annually)
- Home equity return on investment (solar is proven to increase the value of any property by lowering cost of ownership)
- Community return on investment (everyone benefits from cleaner air & reduced dependence on fossil energy)
Solar Energy Economics
Solar electric systems have dropped in price by more than 50% since 2004. Solar's reliable, mature technology offers an IRR of 8-10%. It also offers an environmental ROI in the form of 5,000+ lbs of annual C02 reduction.
Use our solar calculator below to see what type of system might work for your home:
Solar photovoltaic system ownership comes with a powerful peace of mind: no matter what happens, you own a certain amount of your electric supply. As the cost of electricity increases, you pay no more for the same amount of electricity generated by solar. When the utility rate for power goes up, your solar power is worth proportionally more.
We go into depth about project specifics, considerations about going solar, environmental implications and more in our solar FAQ.
Ready to see if solar works for your home? Contact us for a free solar evaluation and customized project quote.