Solar Energy in Modesto, CA – What Does It Take to Go Solar?

Although California has a reputation for being the “State of Sunshine,” it can be somewhat taxing to go solar.

For those in the San Joaquin Valley, the problem is even worse. With average temperatures above 90 degrees Fahrenheit and nearly 300 days of sunshine a year, it’s no wonder that the area is heavily populated with solar panels. In fact, the Silicon Valley Business Journal reports that there are more than 300,000 megawatts of solar power installed across the valley, meaning that every home could have its own power source.

While certainly not a bad thing, having so much solar energy means that there’s also a lot of electricity that needs to be managed. Aside from the issue of peak hours that cause brownouts and blackouts, there’s also the problem of excess generation that causes price spikes and creates the need for more expensive infrastructure.

All of which is why so many people have avoided going solar. Fortunately, there are a few ways that you can still get your solar energy without having to worry about all of that.

Install A Solar Hot-Tank

This may be the simplest option of all, but it’s also the most effective. A solar hot-tank uses the heat from the sun to heat up water, which is then used to provide homes and businesses with hot showers and baths. Although it can take a bit of time for the system to achieve full capacity, you’ll find that it pays off handsomely in energy savings.

Hot-tanks can be purchased new or used, and even recycled water can be used if you have a large system. The only downside of this option is that it requires a bit of an investment upfront, plus there’s the issue of sizing which you’ll have to consider carefully.

Install A Photovoltaic (PV) System

This is the most popular option among homeowners interested in going solar. While conventional solar panels depend on the sun for energy, photovoltaic panels harness solar energy even at night, when the sun is not visible. Because they don’t drain as quickly as conventional panels, photovoltaic systems also allow for more energy to be produced in the long term.

This is the best option for those who want to cut down on their energy consumption. In fact, some local governments and utility companies offer rebates and financial assistance for homeowners who want to install a PV system. The downside of this option is that it requires a lot of maintenance and monitoring, especially if you’re not familiar with technology and electrical systems.

Consider An In-Home Battery

For those who live in areas where the utility company supplies electricity, it’s still possible to go solar without having to worry about generating your own power. Instead, you can buy a large in-home battery which stores energy generated during the day for use at night. The advantage of this option is that it cuts down on your energy consumption and it reduces your monthly electricity bill. The disadvantage is that a large battery can be rather cumbersome and takes up a lot of room. It also requires a regular maintenance check to make sure it’s working properly.

Go Off-Grid With A Freewheel

For those who live in more remote areas or off-grid locations where utility companies do not supply electricity, it’s still possible to generate your own power with a freewheel. A freewheel allows for the flow of electricity to be stopped by simply turning the device. As soon as the electricity stops flowing, it begins generating once again. This makes it perfect for those who want to use power generated during the day when the sun is shining, and for those who want to save electricity for use at night when the grid is down.

Although off-grids and remote areas are the ideal places for solar power, the problem is that not all homes and businesses in these locations are suitable for hosting solar panels. This is because of the existing infrastructure requirements that come with having power lines running to your house. However, with newer technology, it’s possible to utilize wireless networks to transmit energy from solar panels to homes and businesses in remote locations. This is one of the many reasons why going solar is becoming more attractive to people living in these places.

Choose An Energy-Efficient Home

If you really want to cut down on your energy consumption, you can look into eco-friendly, energy-efficient homes that consume less electricity. These are homes that were built and designed to consume less energy and to be more eco-friendly. Choosing an energy-efficient home means that you’re not only reducing your carbon footprint and saving money, but you’re also improving your health by reducing your stress levels and lowering your energy bills.

The downside is that eco-friendly homes can be rather expensive to buy and they require a lot of work to set up and maintain. However, if you’re determined to live a green lifestyle, these are the types of homes that you should be looking into.

The bottom line is that going solar doesn’t have to be difficult. In most cases, you can locate a grant or rebate that’s available, and you can even cut down on the cost of installing solar energy by doing some research and being proactive. In some instances, you can locate solar installations that are completely free. Simply find out what your options are and you’ll be able to take advantage of the California sun.

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