Friday, November 5, 2010

While I Wait for the GREEN Light...

Waiting for the GREEN light...could that have 3 meanings?  The first might be waiting for the go-ahead to power up the solar electric system from my local utility company (CL&P) once they've installed their new electric meter outside my house.  The 2nd would be the actual GREEN light on the inverter that indicates we're generating power.  The 3rd is a little more obscure, kind of like waiting for the light to dawn on me, only in the environmental sense?  My GREEN awakening?  Yeah, I guess that's already happened.

Our solar installation was finished on Monday, with a final walkthrough and all.  On Monday, which was bright & sunny, we were generating close to 8.2kw during the test reading!  (BTW, I've said it before and I'll say it again - the entire crew over at Sunlight Solar, especially Kevin & Will who spent a good part of 2 weeks here, have been very professional and excellent to work with on this project.  I would recommend them without hesitation.)  Below is the finished project.  It is a little broken up on the west of the roof (there are at least 2 vents in the way) but that leaves enough room to add on that solar thermal system later :)

Tuesday morning was the inspection with the town and electrician from Sunlight Solar, Paul, who also installed a line into our router box for the Locus box.  The Locus box will read how much power we produce and transmit it to a website that both we and the Connecticut Clean Energy Fund will monitor.  The inverter itself has a digital display that will read how many lbs of CO2 we've saved and how much energy we're producing, etc.  You just know I'm going to be sitting down there staring at it the first week to see where the numbers go!  (Kind of like how we watched our first load of laundry in the new front-loader 10 years ago!)  The new meter in the basement will show a continuous run of how much energy we've generated.  Speaking with the town inspector, he told me that over the summer he'd seen 6-8 solar applications here in town.  I'm going to have to drive around and check on those!  I was on Sunlight Solar's website reading how these clients in West Hartford just celebrated their 1 year solar-versary and put up a sign in their front yard announcing they've saved 12,000 lbs of CO2!

Now we wait for CL&P.  We were told it may take up to 2 weeks to go live.  In the meantime, I've been reading my Photon Magazine!  I also borrowed The Lazy Environmentalist from the library, but Photon Magazine turns out to be better reading.