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· MTF Memeber
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If you want or need solar I'm all for that.

Economically, if you want to reduce your electric bill. Purchase a quality utility stock that pays a good dividend and apply that money to your electric bill.

Solar systems have about a 20 year life expectancy. Batteries have about a 3 to 4 year life expectancy.

A quality utility will pay dividends forever and they should increase with inflation.


Best,
Paul B
 

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If you want or need solar I'm all for that.

Economically, if you want to reduce your electric bill.
That's not really the point of Solar though is it? That may be what people say they're after, but that isn't the whole story.

Self reliance is a big reason. To have power when the grid goes down for some reason, like ours did for over three hours yesterday on a bright sunny day.

Then there's that whole OTHER reason.
 

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... like ours did for over three hours yesterday on a bright sunny day.
So, the sun wasn't obscured by clouds? Many grid tied solar (without batteries) won't work when the grid is down. In most jurisdictions that is a PoCo requirement.

Around here the power most often goes out at night or during storms. That's why I have a generator. If it was really important to me to have power, I would get a whole house automatic transfer genset and run it on natural gas.
 

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Behind the meter and commercial solar gave its place, but it really is messing up the grid, and while it seems great, the volatility of solar is in the end costing us a lot more for power.

Just before Christmas power soared to $3000 a megawatt. Sure it is capped at $9000 per megawattt so only 1/3 the way there, but still

In the big picture, we will have to go to nuclear power to pull this off which is my chief complaint against solar; it should stand on its own, and not by law be forced down our throats. with no synchronization and no spinning reserve; it’s cheap power but not great power especially when it only kicks in when we really don’t need it like at the morning ramp and peak demand in the evening.
 

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To me it is just the ice cream flavor of the month:

1970s was nuclear power
1980s was hydro power
1990s was trash to energy plants
2010s was wind power
2020s is solar

But me, I like synchronous turbines. Plenty of power, spinning reserve, frequency modulation, and horse power.
 

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2013 Husqvarna R322T(both decks and snowblower), Kubota BX1870(MMM, snowblower, loader, back blade)
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I fear a flaming but here goes anyway:
As more capacity is stored in electric vehicles there is a synergistic benefit to solar beyond just lowering the electric bill. Distributed solar and batteries benefit the grid if contractual agreements to share the vehicle’s power when the grid needs it, and then the owner gets a big return for supplying peak power, the grids most expensive kind. If my commute is 25 miles and my F150 has a range of 300+ miles I could sell back both the extra solar I normally produce, and some of the capacity in the truck. If I plan a long trip I just use my phone to limit that option. When most of us have vehicles with similar or greater capacity we could be powering our homes for a day or so with automatic switching similarly to how pad mounted generators do it now and the vehicle would make the outage go away. I know some may need the vehicles during the storm or outage but if you didn’t, such as at night, weekends, general outages when businesses are closed or for a disaster, then it would benefit you and possibly the grid as a whole. Essentially you get the option of having a grid tie normally and an independent battery off grid system when needed. No extra batteries to buy.
For some reference:
I lived off grid for 10 years with a 3KW Dunlite wind generator and used flooded lead acid batteries which lasted well over 10 years. That type of battery is still viable and inexpensive today. I have had solar installed on my last two RV’s experiencing reliable electric power for them over 15 years. Nothing ever failed on any of these self-installed installations and except for a service on the Dunlite and topping up the FLA batteries no other attention was needed.
 

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IMHO, pumped storage hydropower is the large scale energy storage answer.
 

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2013 Husqvarna R322T(both decks and snowblower), Kubota BX1870(MMM, snowblower, loader, back blade)
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I agree it is an answer but without researching it’s potential near large users I’d say nothing is off the table and innovation is needed. The nice thing about dispersed small solar production and storage is the grid is already built to handle it.
 
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