05 June 2017

Clean Energy is AWESOME!

In the light of the last political event, where Trump decided to pull out of the Paris agreement, I decided to talk about the solar panels we installed two years ago.
Thanks to Obama’s push to clean energy and the fact that California supports the transition to the clean energy, our local electrical company offered an incentive for people to put the solar panels on their homes.
My husband and I are very aware of the challenges of climate change, and both of us did our best to reduce the consumption of energy through our adult lives. So we jumped at the opportunity. Not because we wished to use more energy, but because we consider it our moral and ethical obligation to clean after ourselves. And each time you use energy from fossil fuels you’re making a mess. A mess someone else will have to suffer.
With the financial incentive and DIY approach, we could actually afford panels. In the end, the installation cost us around $3000 (together with the electric panel we had to change upon the insistence of the local company). And those $3000 actually came from the money I got as compensation for my traffic accident. This calculation was from the time when solar panels cost around $1 per watt, now panels are even cheaper.
Anyway, we decided to opt for ground mount due to high winds and unfortunate shade of the electric pole next to our house. And now, two years later, I have to say this is the smartest thing we did.
Our electric bill disappeared. We are overproducing. Company supposes to pay us money.
The issue was they were paying us something like 2 cents per KW, while they charge 17 cents. So when we got our 40-ish dollars for the first year, we decided to get an electric car. A volt.
We are still overproducing, but way less. Now with our electric car, we have an opportunity for pollution-free rides. In the US, that is actually important since most of the cities are sadly made around car traffic.
So if you can afford it, go for it. And below are some of the photos of us building the stuff, including a little video of me trying the drive one of the heavy machinery under the instructions of the owner.
Me driving a boring machine for the first time. The owner knows I survived the war as a civilian, but boy, I never drove a tank!


The trench for wires.
Making the support frame for panels
completed panels
And look at the panels two years later

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