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Grid-Tied vs. Off-Grid Solar Power

November 13, 2019

Solar powered photovoltaic systems have never been more popular, or more affordable. As concerns about sustainable living spread, solar power has emerged as a cornerstone of green building. One of the best things about it is the flexibility it affords property owners to choose whether they want to tie in to existing hydro infrastructures, or go independent—or even do both.

Off-Grid Basics

Solar power systems are designed to harness the power of the sun for household consumption. Most systems consist of mounted solar panels (on the roof, or in an array configuration) that capture that power, a series of cables and inverters that deliver the energy into the home and convert it into usable current, as well as batteries for storing excess energy.

Grid-Tied Basics

A grid-tied system simply takes the infrastructure described above and connects it to an existing community electricity grid. When the sun is out and shining, excess power produced by a grid-tied solar system can be fed back into the municipal grid. When days are dark, the home’s electrical system can be switched over to draw power from the grid.

The Pros and Cons of Off-Grid Systems

Here are some of the top reasons why (or why not) to go completely off-grid:

  • Pro: No monthly hydro bill.
  • Pro: The satisfaction that comes with knowing you are responsible for generating your own power and monitoring your own usage.
  • Con: The initial investment in solar power equipment can be steep and the financial returns slow to appear. As with many new technologies; however, the price of solar power continues to drop.

The Pros and Cons of Grid-Tied Systems

A flexible grid-tied system appeals to homeowners for some of the following reasons:

  • Pro: If usage is modest, power can be sold back to the electric company, earning you income.
  • Pro: Security. Unless the grid fails in a blackout, power is always available when needed regardless of the weather.

Nonetheless, there are good reasons that many homeowners prefer to be completely off-grid:

  • Con: Especially in rural areas, tying into existing power infrastructures may involve costly excavation or the installation of unsightly poles and wires.
  • Con: The bureaucracy and uncertainty of monthly hydro bills. And it can be tricky in some municipalities to opt out once you are tied in.

Your Solar Power Solution

For over 20 years, PES Solar have satisfied homeowners with quality solar panel systems. With an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau, PES Solar offers zero-down financing pending credit approval to further assist homeowners in going solar. To receive a solar panel system that produces the energy and savings you need, contact PES Solar today at (800) 650-6519.