Residents of Two Harbors had the opportunity to learn more about solar power at the fourth Community Partners climate change series program on Tuesday, Jan. 28.
Jared Jackson, a solar power consultant from Twin Cities-based All Energy Solar addressed some myths and misconceptions about solar power. Here's some information about solar power by the numbers.
- When assessing a new potential solar power site, Jackson's company looks at 12 months of electrical consumption to determine how many panels a system would need to produce.
How does net metering work? Minnesota has a net metering law that requires utilities to pay you a retail rate for electricity produced. The outgoing and incoming rates must be the same. When a system overproduces electricity on sunny days, the owner banks electricity credit that can be used at the night or on cloudy days.
- 180 days is roughly the average amount of days of sunlight Two Harbors gets each year. Although this is lower than the Twin Cities average of 200 days, it's still in line with the top five solar producing states in the U.S.: California, New Jersey, Vermont, Pennsylvania and New Mexico (although New Mexico and California have higher averages)
- An average of 77,910 pounds of coal would be saved by a 12 panel system in Two Harbors over a 25 year period.
- The average rooftop system has 20-25 panels, depending on the set-up.
- Each panel is typically 40 inches wide and 60 inches long.
- The solar investment tax credit has been 30% for the past 14 years. But it is starting to sunset. The tax credit will drop to 26% for projects completed in 2020 and to 22% for projects completed in 2021. After 2021, the residential credit will drop to zero.
- Most solar panels have a 25-year warranty and should be operating at 80% capacity at the end of the warranty period.