So the project to take the JAZ Farm off grid is finally progressing as it should have all along. The gear is here. The footers are poured. The ground mount racking is here and the SOLAR PANELS ARE ACTUALLY IN THE BARN!! Who would have ever have thought that there could be so much dishonesty, fraud and corruption in the the alternative energy industry? Troy and his crew have been outstanding, even coming out this past Saturday to get the footers poured. All I can say is buyer be ware. It may look good, but don’t pay ’em til they deliver. The world of humans never ceases to delude me.
So anywho, the project is finally progressing. This is called a Grid-tied system with battery back up. For all intents and purposes this takes us off the grid but not quite 100%. The solar panels are the primary source of electricity. If we consume more energy than we produce, the electric company is the back up and will provide us with power (like at night watching TV when it is dark outside). If we produce more electricity than we use (which is more likely the case), we sell it back to the power company (essentially spinning the meter backwards). However, IF the power goes down, the magic boxes in the basement kick in. The panels separate themselves from the grid and their sole job is to keep the batteries charged up. The batteries then are the power source for the house. They are wired to keep the well pump pumping, the refrigerator and the chest freezers running, the furnace working, and power to the master bedroom. During the evening the batteries would be the sole power source. During the day, the solar panels provide the electricity to those circuits and also charge up the batteries.
This is pretty important considering that we have hundreds of pounds of meat in the freezer, not to mention the dozens of pre- made meals we have frozen and all the produce we have stored up. We anticipated that before Thanksgiving the farm will be electricity independent. Once we recover a bit financially from having to pay for this TWICE, we will be contracting with Troy to install solar hot water as well. Once that is done, the only fossil fuel the farm will burn is propane for the furnace and we will be addressing that with a wood stove at a future date.