Thursday, December 27, 2012

On again Off again. The Grid.

Blog Layout:

First, the layout.  This blog is pretty new.  I have another blog that documents our buying and fixing up an old boat and cruising down the east coast from Albany, New York to Brunswick, Georgia.  I'm very happy with that nautical looking layout, but it wouldn't work for an off-grid cabin in the woods.

So I've been tweaking the layout, moving things around so it doesn't look quite so cluttered, but at the same time it will be easy to find what you're looking for.  I also enlarged the size of the text because my old buddy Bob couldn't read it.  There's always reading glasses, Bob!

Off-grid versus On-grid:

In my research into off-grid solar energy, I'm getting a bit overwhelmed.  Not by the technology (although I figure I need 50 245 Watt panels, so there might be an issue here), but by the regulations and the bureaucracy.  I've learned that NYSERDA rebates require that you sell excess power to the grid, so there may go the off-grid thing, and we may wind up running power lines for a quarter of a mile and do grid-tie.  The utility company has to buy my power at full retail, and since I'd generate lots of electricity in the summer and not so much in the winter, that might be a good thing.  I wouldn't need the huge battery bank since the grid would be my storage.  Still, though, there's all those other charges buried in each utility bill to consider.

It's stuff like this that is telling me I might want to contract with someone well versed in solar.  Or maybe, more appropriately, in solar red tape.


  1. You could forego the rebates; the federal tax credit is still 30%, isn't it? Also no sales tax. The cost of panels is lower than it's ever been. (We didn't get any rebate for our grid-tie, just the fed tax credit).

    The cost of extending power to your property might be a determining factor for you.
    Either way, it's great.

  2. I do believe the federal tax credit is 30%. With the total cost of our system at $25k to $35k, rebates and credits are important. I have to compare the payback time to my expected lifespan. As George Burns said, I don't buy green bananas. :)

  3. One good feature of solar: your electric rates won't go up for twenty-five years!

  4. I have found that the Ctrl key held down plus the + key will enlarge the text. Ctrl key held down plus the - key will make text smaller. Ctrl key held down plus the 0 ( zero ) will return the text to default size.

    Bill Kelleher

  5. I'm going to try Bill K's recommendation. Another issue, however, I use both a netbook (PC) and an iPad. Interestingly, the iPad assumes the Blogger "Mobile" version -- like an iPhone. Your Mobile version is totally unreadable, so I suggest you go to Blogger "Design" and turn it off so every device looks like the one you on a PC. Take a look on an iPhone or iPad. I had to turn off the mobile version for my blog too since I didn't want to "compromise" the main version.

  6. My Ipad uses the mobile version....i have to hit the comment on the bottom of he page that says view web version. Since I deleted my cookies, both blogs come up in mobile version now. Quite annoying.