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a year of solar

by Rob Friesel

I got a little braggy about this on Twitter earlier this year1

And then again on Instagram

I don't mean to brag but I'm loving this. ☀️📈⚡️😎

But I’ll tell it straight: when we went with our solar project last year, I knew in my bones it was the right thing to do. And a year later, looking over the data, I’m even more sure of it.

solar output (kWh) by month

On those sunny months, we’re putting out around 2510 kWh2 — which equates to the greenhouse gas emissions resulting from about 4121 miles driven in a gasoline-powered car; or the CO2 emissions from about 1859 pounds of coal burned for electricity; or (more positively) the carbon sequestration from 44.4 trees over 10 years of growth.3 Even on our poorest months,4 we are still producing around 262 kWh and offsetting about 194 pounds of coal burned for electricity. Reflecting on the total for the year, we’ve produced around 23969 kWh — which offsets the annual electricity consumption of approximately 2.3 homes.

This is what environmentalism in action looks like.

Net Metering FTW!

UPDATE: I tweeted about this post and it got a little buzz. Some of which was @SunCommon’s that cited the video in which yours truly makes a small appearance.

  1. It’s probably worth pointing out that, in this image, I had miscalculated the kWh values. A quirk of R appears to be that it imports values from a CSV as factors, even when they look like numbers. And then even when you remember that it does that, a simple is.numeric() casts those factors to numbers by casting them to the index of each factor! Which is why it looked like I was offsetting the emissions of 91.5 gasoline-powered cars each month. Which, maybe I would if I could afford that, but I can’t so I won’t. []
  2. That figure is derived from the median one-month output over the first twelve months of operation. []
  3. These figures are derived from calculations made on the EPA’s Greenhouse Gas Equivalencies Calculator. []
  4. February, I’m looking at you! []

About Rob Friesel

Software engineer by day, science fiction writer by night. Author of The PhantomJS Cookbook and a short story in Please Do Not Remove. View all posts by Rob Friesel →

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