As of the beginning of October, it has now been a full year since our first solar array came online. I decided that it would be appropriate to start writing annual reports for our solar array, and this seems like a good time to start!
The original 6.0 kW array first came online on the morning of October 4th, 2013. At that time, my predictions using the then-latest software from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, indicated that we would produce 6,759 kWh in an average year. Since then the NREL has released new software which updated this prediction to 7,299 kWh. However, our actual production on the original array for October 4, 2013 through October 3, 2014, was 7,493 kWh, which is higher than both predictions, and also far higher than our installer’s predictions.
The second array, rated at 6.2 kW, came online on March 26th, 2014. Through October 3rd, it had produced 5,784 kWh. For comparison, during the same time period the first array produced 5,439 kWh.
Comparing this to the month-by-month predictions from the NREL, this puts us at about 101% of predicted overall. Over this same time period, since both arrays have been online, we have used about 3,800 kWh less than we produced. This gives us a nice bank of power to start consuming as the days get cooler and we run the heat pump more and more, and the sun is out less and less. So overall, things are going well!
If any interesting solar-related events happen over the next year, I will post here, but otherwise I’ll post again next October with another annual update!