Our house is now a 30 MWh a year solar powerhouse

Towards the end of last month, SunPower came by and installed more solar panels on our house. This is the production from yesterday. The annualized production from yesterday (100 kWh * 300 days) would generate close to 30 MWh a year (30,000,000 watts a year). This is substantial.

SunPower app showing our production on 9/30

Let’s break down the above. The black line is house consumption through the day. The yellow is solar power production. If the blue line is above the center, we are importing energy from the grid. If it is lower, we are exporting back to the grid. For the foreseeable future (until next summer) we will be producing more than we use, as shown by the large negative hump for power exported back to the grid.

This winter, we’ll get more electric room heaters to use the excess electricity. In the medium term, we’ll switch to heat pump water heaters, away from our current tankless, natural gas burning, water heaters. Longer term, we’ll replace our natural gas air furnaces with heat pump air furnaces. Both will require electricity and leave our stove ad the only item using natural gas. The extra solar production can be used to offset our thirsty Model 3 for home charging. It will be key to the energy transition to charge more EV’s during the day time. By eliminating natural gas piping, the average new house can save $10,000 in installation costs.

Even if we didn’t do the above, solar panels help my neighbors. They will consume what I do not use. Our local utility will need to purchase less electricity generated from fossil fuels. That electricity will not need to be sent on expensive transmission infrastructure. Since the solar panels have a long life, fixed cost and generate an abundance of power, this will make a small dent on lowering electricity rates they pay. This economic cost advantage to decentralized power will only get greater over time at scale.

Some other interesting screen shots from the SunPower app.

Our energy mix comparing production to usage, and what percent of our solar cell covers our home usage. Yesterday, we covered more than 400% of our needs.
The estimated cost savings is new. I am looking into how they calculated $2 saved. Based on our electricity cost, savings are more like $16.50.

We saved the equivalent of almost 8 gallons of gasoline yesterday. One barrel of oil (42 gallons) produces about 19 to 20ish gallons of ⛽️. Every 2+ days our solar panels will offset a full barrel of oil. At scale, you can see how renewable energy will lead to lower direct and indirect energy costs.

The real time graphic shows how much we are producing, how much we are using at home, and how much is sent to the grid. Our laundry dryer is running in this picture, contributing to high energy use.

If you live in Texas, contact Mike Carey at mcarey at freedomsolarpower dot com. He’ll set you up with a free quote, customized for where you live. If you live outside TX, the SunPower website is a great resource to get a quote. Shop around with multiple solar providers. I like SunPower, as they were able to upsize my system, since they had all the prior specifications.

Remember: With the Inflation Reduction Act, you can get a 30% credit on the solar installation cost towards your taxes. Consult a CPA or tax professional to see how you can benefit.

Reminder: Reducing oil and fossil fuel use hurts Russia’s financial ability to wage war on Ukraine 🇺🇦 and the world. Local generated power increases our national security and reduces air pollution. Kids are most susceptible to air pollution.

Sincerely yours,


Published by smilingdad

My story is one of tragedy and redemption. We've made many mistakes along the way regarding our money. Our goal here is to show you how to take care of your money life long, and as much as we can, help the Earth along the way. I call it sustainable personal finance and ethical capitalism. Currently, I am a part time writer for Cleantechnica and part-time licensed financial professional, along with being a full-time dad.

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