We worked through the University of Utah's Community Solar program, which provides a discount on solar installations. The install was done by Creative Energies, who did a great job. Due to the popularity of the program, we had to wait a couple of months for install, which finally happened in early December.
|Solar install in early December.|
There was some anxiety in terms of the grid-tie capabilities being connected by Rocky Mountain Power. They take a few weeks to do this and we were hoping to be able to take the tax rebates during the 2016 tax year. Incredibly, they connected the system on December 31st, just sneaking in under the wire.
Production in January and February was pretty limited due to snow cover, cloud cover, and low sun angle, but this month we've been killing it. Our biggest production day was last Wednesday, when we reached a total production of 34.4 kilowatt hours. Production totals every 15 minutes for that day show an optimal situation with no cloud cover. We lose just a bit of production late in the day due to tree shading.
Of course, solar production is at the whims of the weather and a more typical day with occasional clouds yields a production curve with more gaps.
How large of a system to purchase was based on our desire to produced as much power as we use, but given that this is a new home for us, we had to do some guesswork. We suspect that we are going to end up producing more power than we are consuming over the full year and that this gap will grow some as we perform upgrades to the home to reduce electrical consumption. We figure when we buy an electric vehicle, we can put the surplus to good use. We also have room on the roof for expansion of the solar array if we desire to do so in the future.