Monday, January 18, 2010

More Solar

Looks like Phoenix is scheduled for rain for the entire week. This could have some say in whether or not our solar gets installed. This also means no global sun oven meals, I really can't say enough good things about that product. It heats to 325-350 in basically the same amount of time our indoor oven does. If I really pay attention to moving it with the sun every 30-60 minutes, it will get up to at least 375. I'm not sure how much of a difference ambient temperature makes, but in the summer it will be 60 degrees hotter outside than it is now. While it's not cheap (around $225) it's nice to know that it's made in America with non-sweatshop labor and that a portion of the proceeds go towards providing solar ovens to people that need them in parts of the world with less money.

Mikey- Our utility (APS) is paying $15,120 towards our 5.2 KwH system. If I remember correctly, it's not just a straight $3,000 per kwh, it increases as your system size increases. (I think it was $12,500 for a 4.8 kwh system) Arizona has a crappy buy back policy. They will buy any unused electricity from you at the end of the month at wholesale costs, should you need more than you produce in a given month you buy it from them retail. Alternatively, you can let your unused production roll over to the next month (and every year in April the slate gets wiped clean, so it's a bit of a use it or lose it). The latter is the route we've signed up for.

Monday, January 11, 2010

The solar countdown...

Well, for those of you wondering about the significant lack of posts, I've been extra busy. :) I have 30 kinds of tomatoes started, 10 pepper varieties and two eggplants. Way more than I'll have room for, but it's hard to stop myself. The bigger news is that we're getting solar panels. When I first looked into it I thought it would be I pay for them, they come out and install them and it was all done. I wish. There are many layers of approvals that need to be gotten (the solar company does most of this, but there's still a lot of waiting between each stage of the process) We had to get two 35 foot palm trees removed, which were going to make it too shady (probably two more will have to be pulled out before it's all done) there will have to be significant trenching in the backyard because of how our house is set-up, then more people have to sign off on things.

It seems like a lot of steps just to get solar power, but when it's all done, it should be 110% of our total power usage and because of all the rebates, credits and incentives, it will be about 85% off the sticker price, so we just couldn't refuse. There are nine days until they start installing the actual panels, which is stage one of the home stretch. I'm crossing my fingers that everything goes well.

Pictures to come!