Just before the summer solstice Winding Pathway’s new photovoltaic system began producing electricity.
A few months ago Paulson Electric Company in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, did an analysis of our home and provided us with an airtight proposal. Thanks to tax credits from both the US and Iowa governments we could install a system that will produce about half our electricity without combustion, moving parts, or noise. We’ll receive at least a seven percent return on our invested money, better than we can do at any bank or the stock market.
Our system is net metered. Sun hitting the solar panels produces DC electricity that inverters convert to AC. It flows through our electric meter. When we are producing more electricity than we’re using, typically on sunny summer days, our meter runs backward. When we’re using more than it’s producing – at night and during winter’s short days – the meter runs forward. Each month we pay Alliant Energy, our utility, the net.
We love solar electricity. It takes some natural resources to construct and move the system but once in place it will last at least 25 years and continue producing electricity without burning fossil fuel or causing air pollution. And it saves us money.
Iowa is a national renewable energy leader with over 31% of the state’s electricity being produced by wind or solar. Within four years it will be around 40%. Our state isn’t alone. Solar and wind power are growing everywhere. They are a way for people to enjoy the benefits of electricity without worsening climate change.