Georgia Magazine - October 2019 - 37

GEORGIA'S Energy Outlook

By Alan C. Shedd

Solar energy for your home, part 2

W

hen most people think of
solar energy, they think of
rooftops or fields covered
with solar collectors producing electricity. These photovoltaic (PV) systems
convert sunlight directly into electricity.

Typically installed on rooftops, PV
panels contain semiconductor material
that generates electricity when the sun
shines. Direct-current electricity produced by the panels is then converted to
alternating current, the form of electricity
used by most household appliances.
Most PV systems are "grid connected," working in partnership with
your electric membership cooperative's
(EMC's) power lines. On sunny days,
electricity from your PV system powers
devices in your home. If your PV system
produces more energy than is needed,
the excess flows out through a meter to
the power grid and you receive a credit on
your power bill for the electricity generated by your system. At night or on cloudy
days when the sun isn't providing enough
electricity for your home, your EMC
provides the energy that's needed. This is
called net metering.
Grid-connected PV systems rely on
the power lines for operation. During a
power outage, the PV system shuts down
for safety to prevent backfeeding electricity into the power lines while linemen are
working on them.
Some PV systems use batteries to
store electricity produced during the day
for use at night and to provide limited
power during a power outage. While it is
possible to build a stand-alone system
that will meet your energy needs without
being connected to power lines, it is
expensive.
PV system costs vary widely, depending on size, complexity and your
home's design. Typical residential systems can cost $20,000. Including energy
storage as part of the system can double
the cost. Tax credits, rebates and other

ISTOCK.COM / ELENATHEWISE

Rooftop PV systems

incentives can help. The system you purchase and
the installer you hire should be certified by the North
American Board of Certified Energy Professionals
(NABCEP).
Your local EMC can help with resources and
expertise. Contact your co-op regarding its policies for
interconnecting your PV system and its net-metering
requirements.

Cooperative Solar

Resources
Green Power EMC, solar energy
solaratgreenpoweremc.com
This website includes video on
Cooperative Solar and information about solar basics.
Solar fact sheets
bit.ly/tstonfact
See "Solar FAQ," "10 Steps to
take before installing solar" and
"Contractor Q."
NABCEP maintains a list of
board-certified PV installers for
Georgia. bit.ly/nabcepcert

One of the fastest-growing energy resources in
Georgia is utility-scale solar. EMCs are building large
Georgia Solar Energy
solar farms covering many acres with rows of PV panAssociation has information
els. Taking advantage of economies of scale, these sites
and resources for homeowners.
bit.ly/gasolarea
can produce solar electricity at a lower cost for years
to come.
Southface Energy Institute is a
Want to power your home with solar electricity
nonprofit energy information
but don't want to make a big investment? Maybe you
and research group in Atlanta.
rent or your home isn't ideal for solar because you
It has been involved in energy
have lots of trees that shade the house, the roof faces
efficiency and solar for
40 years. southface.org
the wrong way or you worry that installing equipment
on your roof might cause leaks. Cooperative Solar may
be a solution for you.
A number of EMCs in Georgia are offering Cooperative
Solar to their members. Rather than purchasing, installing and
maintaining your own system, you can subscribe to purchase
electricity from your local EMC's solar farm. There is no longterm contract. The EMC handles the operation, and you get a
credit on your bill each month for the power your subscription
represents. Contact your EMC for more information.
Alan C. Shedd is the director of sustainability for Tuckerbased Oglethorpe Power Corp.
www.georgiamagazine.org

37


http://www.ISTOCK.COM http://www.solaratgreenpoweremc.com http://www.bit.ly/tstonfact http://www.bit.ly/nabcepcert http://www.bit.ly/gasolarea http://www.southface.org http://www.georgiamagazine.org

Georgia Magazine - October 2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Georgia Magazine - October 2019

Contents
Georgia Magazine - October 2019 - Intro
Georgia Magazine - October 2019 - Cover1
Georgia Magazine - October 2019 - Cover2
Georgia Magazine - October 2019 - Contents
Georgia Magazine - October 2019 - 4
Georgia Magazine - October 2019 - 5
Georgia Magazine - October 2019 - 6
Georgia Magazine - October 2019 - 7
Georgia Magazine - October 2019 - 8
Georgia Magazine - October 2019 - 9
Georgia Magazine - October 2019 - 10
Georgia Magazine - October 2019 - 11
Georgia Magazine - October 2019 - 12
Georgia Magazine - October 2019 - 13
Georgia Magazine - October 2019 - 14
Georgia Magazine - October 2019 - 15
Georgia Magazine - October 2019 - 16
Georgia Magazine - October 2019 - 17
Georgia Magazine - October 2019 - 18
Georgia Magazine - October 2019 - 19
Georgia Magazine - October 2019 - 20
Georgia Magazine - October 2019 - 21
Georgia Magazine - October 2019 - 22
Georgia Magazine - October 2019 - 23
Georgia Magazine - October 2019 - 24
Georgia Magazine - October 2019 - 25
Georgia Magazine - October 2019 - 26
Georgia Magazine - October 2019 - 27
Georgia Magazine - October 2019 - 28
Georgia Magazine - October 2019 - 29
Georgia Magazine - October 2019 - 30
Georgia Magazine - October 2019 - 31
Georgia Magazine - October 2019 - 32
Georgia Magazine - October 2019 - 33
Georgia Magazine - October 2019 - 34
Georgia Magazine - October 2019 - 35
Georgia Magazine - October 2019 - 36
Georgia Magazine - October 2019 - 37
Georgia Magazine - October 2019 - 38
Georgia Magazine - October 2019 - 39
Georgia Magazine - October 2019 - 40
Georgia Magazine - October 2019 - 41
Georgia Magazine - October 2019 - 42
Georgia Magazine - October 2019 - Cover3
Georgia Magazine - October 2019 - Cover4
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