Washington State’s new solar incentive program has some good aspects to it, but there’s a catch. Read more to find my numerical analysis.
Net metering can lead to a problematic situation. If a particular household has more solar (or other energy generation) than they need to cover their annual usage, they would end up building a larger and larger credit with the utility. Theoretically, there are at least two options for what can be done with this excess energy: Either the utility can pay the customer for it (perhaps at a wholesale rate), or the utility can throw away the credit from time to time.
Washington State law says that this credit shall be thrown away:
“On April 30th of each calendar year, any remaining unused kilowatt-hour credit accumulated during the previous year shall be granted to the electric utility, without any compensation to the customer-generator.” – RCW 80.60.030(5)
In general I am fine with this policy, although it’d be neat if people could be paid some for the power. The problem I have with it is the second and third words: “April 30th”.
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!
It has now been quite a while since we’ve completed our second solar array. Things have been going GREAT so I thought it would be good to share exactly how great it’s been going. First of all, on July 19th we had a gathering of electric vehicles at our house, and we parked them all […]
A couple months ago, I wrote in a post that we were preparing to install more solar panels. As of a couple weeks ago, this was completed and we’ve been producing a lot of power lately as a result (as it’s been unseasonably sunny). We were able to complete the install over about 5½ days, […]
Just a few months after installing our first set of solar panels, we’re already working on our second! A bit of review: Our first array was installed back in September and went live October 4th. It’s a 6 kW array, made up of 24 itek 250-watt panels, each with an Enphase m215 microinverter. So far […]
On Saturday, itek Energy, the producer of the solar panels used in our system, held public tours of their factory, right here in Bellingham. We got to tour with a small group of folks at 10:30am — we learned a lot and took some photos. Here’s what we got out of it: itek receives the […]