You always remember your first…

Megawatt Hour.

2012-10-04 17.30.55-smudged (800x532)

Today, the production meter on my solar panels rolled over from 999 kW h to 1000 kW h, which is, unless my math is completely wrong, 1 Megawatt Hour. The generated hours number on the inverter (2nd picture) is a little higher than the production meter because the panels were running for a few days before the production meter was installed.

2012-10-04 17.31.52

I actually haven’t thought a lot about the solar panels on the roof since we put them up in June. The great thing about passive energy generation is that it just happens, whether you think about it or not. We’ve also had an extraordinarily sunny summer and fall this year in the Pacific Northwest—so much so that we could really use a good rain to rinse the dust off the panels.

So do I have any other thoughts about solar, and my setup in particular? Two things.

1. Puget Sound Energy has not updated their computer systems to handle small producers such as myself, so figuring out how much I’ve generated and how much I owe per month is a painful and manual process (for them). They really need to get that fixed, and soon.

2. I wish my garage roof faced south instead of west-south-west. With the sun lower in the sky this time of year, the production during the peak of the day really does suffer. I knew it would, but it’s a little bit of a shock to see actually how much it does drop (about 25% lower today than in July).

Overall though, I’m still glad I did it. I hoped that more people in my town would follow suit, but I haven’t heard of any other builds yet. It is a large amount of cash to pay out at the beginning. Hopefully, the incentive structure can be improved to make this affordable for every home owner. It really is a good thing to do for the planet.

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