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Solar Power

Get solar power and you'll never look at a sunny day the same way again! In 2015 we installed a 7.2kW system in our backyard.  By we I mean Drew and Andy at Solar UP, a local solar installer and now friends of ours. The system employs twenty-four 300w LG panels with built in micro-inverters.  It's a slick setup!  We're hooked up to our local utility (Ontonagon REA) with net metering, which means we sell excess energy to the grid and get a credit for every kilowatt-hour we sell.  We then cash these in when the time comes to actually pay for our energy costs.  Which, as it happens, are among the most expensive in the lower-48. Your heard that right.  At 24¢-27¢ per kilowatt-hour, our electricity costs are INSANE!  Hence why we were so excited to go solar.

Throughout the winter months we don't generate much power. That's not because of the 200"+ of snow we get every year, but because we just don't see the sun very much because it is so low on the horizon and blocked by trees.  I am diligent about clearing the snow off our panels though, which you can watch in entertaining videos.

In the summer of 2018, nine of our twenty-four LG panels died for no reason.  Really: there were no clues and they were randomly scattered across our system. LG even flew two engineers to our backyard all the way from Korea to investigate. Their response (in Korean): "We've never had this happen before!" Fortunately we have a 25-year warranty on our panels so we were able to replace them. Later in the winter of 2021 a tenth panel died and was quickly replaced. For my troubles, they let me keep the 'dead' one! Score!

Our best month was June 2019.  During this month we used an all-time minimum amount of electricity and generated an all-time high. It was sunny nearly every day that month, which is great for solar panels but terrible for our garden.

Snow covered solar panels
Summer scene at our solar panels
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