Hygridding – More Incentives for Personal Solar

solarchicago.jpgThere’s another great article in Wired Mag today about personal energy independence – you know the idea of slapping up some solar panels and a wind turbine then sitting back and popping open a (freshly chilled) cold one. The best incentive about a properly designed energy system is that in most states, you can literally become a neighborhood power station, when the sun is bright, your electricity meter literally runs backwards, making you money and not the other way around. The resulting hybrid energy grid, or “hygrid”, is a lot more reliable the more people get involved. It also means that homeowners and business don’t need to buy a bunch of toxic and costly batteries to store electricity in their basements, the grid essentially becomes the battery, buying up excess and returning it in the form of cash.
(via Treehugger)

The guy in the photo is owner of a Chicago Burrito chain that recently installed solar water heating on one of its locations.

Lamas now saves money by heating water directly with solar thermal. He also saves indirectly, by consolidating the prep work for the entire chain – washing and cooking vegetables, for example – where the energy comes cheapest. As a result, he saves close to $2,000 a month. At that rate, his investment will pay for itself in less than five years. “It’s good for everybody,” he says. “And it can actually make you money.”

Nick Aster is a new media architect and the founder of TriplePundit.com

TriplePundit.com has grown to become one of the web's leading sources of news and ideas on how business can be used to make the world a better place.

Prior to TriplePundit Nick worked for Mother Jones magazine, successfully re-launching the magazine's online presence. He worked for TreeHugger.com, managing the technical side of the publication for 3 years and has also been an active consultant for individuals and companies entering the world of micro-publishing. He earned his stripes working for Gawker Media and Moreover Technologies in the early days of blogging.

Nick holds an MBA in sustainable management from the Presidio School of Management and graduated with a BA in History from Washington University in St. Louis.

2 responses

  1. I live in North Carolina. My next door neighbor has a large solar system. When he attempted to ‘sell back’ the excess energy, the local power company- Duke Power- gave him tons of paperwork to fill out, and then offered him less than 10% of what they charge to buy his electricity wholesale. Of course he does not have anyone else he can sell it to.
    Utlilities may be required to buy your excess electricity, but they are not really interested.

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