OK, this is my first post in over 4 years. Seems we just got busy; and anyway, not much has changed since that first year.
Last year we were able to follow through on one of our long-range plans. We had hoped when we had the house built that at some point we would be able to add solar — specifically, photovoltaic panels. Our roof has plenty of area, and is mostly unobstructed by the trees, especially in the Summer.
In 2015 I heard of a solar cooperative starting in Chestertown. It seemed like a good deal; the co-op identifies an installer with a good reputation, and also negotiates a discount for installations for members. I signed up, and was contacted by the installer shortly after.
He submitted a proposal, and we iterated to get the price to something we could afford. My original thought had been to just use the south-facing roof over the back porch, but in order to get the system capacity we wanted we ended up using the east-facing roof as well. We had taken out a home equity line-of-credit a few years ago, and planned to use that to pay for the system.
We signed the contract in December 2015, and they started the installation in early 2016. They finished in February, and we got the interconnection agreement from Delmarva Power in early March. We activated the inverter and started generating kilowatt-hours.
The system has performed well during its first year. Power generation was very good during the Spring, Summer and Fall, and our electric bills were way down during the air-conditioning season. Of course, winter generation is much lower; and January is turning out to be remarkably cloudy and rainy. Even with that, we are very satisfied with the system performance, and glad we made the decision to go ahead with this.