Fitting that islanders look to the sun for power - News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Fitting that islanders look to the sun for power

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by Jolene Toves

Guam - Across the island several businesses and residents are looking to the sun to help ease the pain in their pocketbooks from increasing power bills.

Thinking green starts in the home. Pacific Solar Photovoltaics general manager Scott Hagen gets personal sharing with us how investing in solar photovoltaics has benefited his home.  "What we have here is a typical residential photovoltaic system its grid tied this is a sample of a solar panel that is up on the roof this is a miniature size just for display its made by solar world comes with a 25 year warranty," he said. "What we have up on the roof we also have these micro inverters these are made by enphase which is the leader in micro inverter technology in the us."

On the roof of his house are twenty four panels and micro inverters all put together to create a grid tied system which he monitors through an enphase envoy. The envoy is connected to the internet allowing him to track what his system is doing in real time and how much power is being produce. Also showing when the system is awake, when it is at its peak and when it is asleep. The solar panels gather energy from the sun in the form of dc power which is similar to the battery in your car. The micro converter which connects to the back of the solar panels then converts that power to A/C which is the same power use in appliances throughout the home.  

"Your house doesn't know the difference between the ac power being produced by this or the A/C power being produced by GPA its basically one in the same the more power you produce through the solar power system on your roof the less power you are going to need from the utility agency," he said.

In this case the system produces enough to offset about $250 a month on average a savings he is happy to spend elsewhere. But the economic benefit is not the only benefit. He says for every kilowatt not bought from a utility agency is less oil that has to be brought in, burned and released into the environment.

While the system does carry a heavy price tag initially with the tax credits offered plus the monthly savings in the power bill the system will pay for itself at the end of five year and will continue to produce saving for the next 25 years.  "Most people freak out first time they hear that it is $23,000 or $40,000 but you don't have to do that you can start off with a smaller amount maybe $5,000 or $10,000 get a lot of the infrastructure in place you can see some savings in your power bill enough to get excited and then over time you can build on to this."

Choosing to invest in solar paneling not only has cost saving benefits but it is environmentally friendly for this family they have already saved forty trees in just three months.

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