Solar power in Colorado is a growing industry. As a state that sees the sun more than 300 days a year, Colorado is an excellent location for installing solar panels. In fact, Colorado is ranked in 11th place for most solar installed per capita across the United States. Back in 2004, it was voted that the state have 30% of electric generation come from renewable sources by 2020. This is the United States’ first Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard and Colorado is well on its way of achieving that goal. The current amount of solar installation in Colorado is approximately 925.8MW (In 2016, only 381.5MW of solar was installed) and over the next five years, Colorado expects to have 1,763MW of solar. This will continue to increase as more and more companies make the same decision as Kohl’s, Walmart, and Intel did, by saving with solar. Soon, the percentage of Colorado’s state electricity consumption from solar will be much greater than what it currently is at 1.86%.
And many more
The first, and most common, type of solar installation in Colorado is a grid tie electric system. (Also known as ‘grid-tied’ or ‘utility intertie photvoltaics/PV’) This system takes advantage of the sun by turning all available sunlight into electricity while still being connected to utility power.
If you use more power than your solar panels produce, your system will automatically pull energy from the grid. On the other hand, if your system is generating more power than you are using, the excess energy is sent out to the grid for use elsewhere. This is called Net Metering. A solar battery backup storage system is particularly useful in an event of a blackout or other utility power failure. The damage from a natural disaster or winter storm can be somewhat unpredictable. With a solar battery, you can rely on the fact that you’ll have continuous electricity no matter what.
Instead of sending excess energy back to the grid, this energy will be stored in your own personal solar battery. (If the battery is fully charged, you can send energy back to the grid). When you don’t have electricity from the solar panels or the grid, you can draw from this storage. An off-the-grid system is one that is not connected to any sort of electrical grid. This allows people to live independently without support from commercial companies. Living solely off of converted sunlight can be a great advantage for financial and environmental purposes. This means that your solar panels must make all the electricity for your home or business.
There are a couple different ways to mount solar systems. The most important question in determining where to mount solar panels is, ‘Where will I obtain the most sunlight?’ You want to put panels in a place that will ultimately generate the most electricity.
Roof Mounted Solar is great for:
Ground Mounted Solar is great for:
Net metering is a huge advantage to solar users as it provides an option to get credit for any overabundance of energy they obtained. In Colorado, “any customer’s net excess generation (NEG) in a given month is applied as a kilowatt-hour (kWh) credit to the customer’s next bill.” For more information on net metering in Colorado please visit this page.