Solar Panels During Eclipse: What Happens?

Solar Panels During Eclipse: What Happens?

August 14, 2017- CHARLOTTE, NC- As August 21st draws near, the buzz surrounding the upcoming eclipse increases and the excitement is palpable. But while many are excited to see such a rare occurrence and plan on making a journey to see the fullest effect of the eclipse, how do area homeowners with solar power feel?

Renu Energy Solutions has been installing solar since 2010 and keeps in touch with our solar clients. Homeowners like Vivian Lord and David Kluttz are among the thousands of electric customers across the Carolinas with solar power installed at their homes.

We asked them whether they’re more skeptical of this event, since presumably their PV systems would produce much less energy than normal when the sky darkens for about 90 minutes during what’s normally the sunniest part of the afternoon. Here’s what they’re saying:

Vivian Lord, who lives in Charlotte and has solar, shared her perspective: “As Interim Chair of Kinesiology at UNC Charlotte, I will be on campus that day. It’s Student Convocation Day, so during the eclipse viewing I’ll be with a group of Pre-Kinesiology students.

She continues, “I understand my solar production will be about zero during the height of the eclipse, just briefly for about 15 minutes, and will be decreased for a while before and after – I guess I’ll use my monitoring app to look and see where it registers!

And she’s more enthusiastic than dismayed about the event on the whole: “Of course we haven’t had this clear of a sighting for decades and won’t again for decades. Normally my solar arrays perform efficiently, it provides on average 75% of our power needs, the rest of the power we use comes from the grid. So I don’t think anyone would be discouraged from going solar by an eclipse.”

David Kluttz of Indian Trail is also taking the eclipse in stride: “I haven’t made any real preparations, as far as using our solar energy production goes, not any more than preparing for a rainy day.

He’s hitting the road, but won’t miss out on tracking his solar energy: “We want a good view, so we’re planning to drive down to Sumter, SC, which isn’t too far. At home in Indian Trail, it will be a “partial eclipse,” so even at the peak sunlight reduction, it probably be about the same as early morning on a perfectly clear day. My SunPower Equinox monitoring tracks every bit of energy production every day, and I get a report from SunPower every month for the previous month. I can log in to my system from anywhere and check any day, month, year or lifetime production. It’s more data than you can imagine!

David doubts he’ll lose out on too much solar production: “When you look at weekly or monthly production you will not be able to see the impact, so events like this aren’t a reason not to go solar.”

Solar Panels During Eclipse: Are They Effected?

Overall, even a major eclipse doesn’t present much of an issue for solar customers, just a curious blip of nighttime during the day. According to the Energy Information Administration, despite a substantial amount of solar power installed near the path of the eclipse, the grid uses sources that are diverse enough that it should maintain total reliability during the event. 1

So, don’t feel too bad for your friend with solar, just grab your official eclipse glasses, beat the traffic and experience a once-in-a-lifetime phenomenon.


No panic necessary: Eclipse won’t dramatically effect grid stability

Couple throws solar party

Couple throws solar party

Fort Mill couple throws solar party: This article appeared in the North Carolina Sustainable Energy Association’s Newsletter

Keegan and Ali Ford were excited to share their recently installed rooftop solar project with their friends and neighbors. So they did something unique and hosted a reception at their home. As guests mingled in the November sunshine, they enjoyed hot dogs, burgers, and hands-on education, about how their household investment has helped the Fords achieve their energy goals.

The Fords’ solar array was more affordable than the family expected because it nearly eliminated their monthly bills. It also opened guests’ eyes to how this clean resource can meet (or exceed) a homeowner’s energy needs. Partygoers got the chance to talk with the solar energy professionals at Renu Energy Solutions, a Charlotte-based company who completed the installation and permitting process, about how they too can take advantage of these benefits. In fact, some guests made arrangements with the solar installer to get their free energy consultation.

The Ford family made their solar party a lighthearted affair all their own. Host Keegan Ford summed up the occasion, “We wanted our closest friends and colleagues to have an opportunity to learn to get some information while sharing some food, fun, and sun!”

Renu Energy Solutions is also an NCSEA member who subscribed to industry best practices, as outlined in the Consumer Guide to Customer-­Owned Solar Photovoltaic.

One Year In, SC Solar Customers Applaud Duke Solar Rebate

One Year In, SC Solar Customers Applaud Duke Solar Rebate

Residents Urge Neighbors to Go Solar and Save Big, While the Program Lasts

October 11, 2016 – SC solar customers including homeowners and small businesses have benefitted from big savings on solar energy this year, thanks to a hefty rebate from Duke Power that’s still available.

The rebate was introduced one year ago with the intent to spur solar growth in South Carolina. It was put in place in order to get more renewable energy onto the grid while driving economic activity and saving customers money on their bills in the long run.

The program has enjoyed steady participation over that time, and while the program is 60% used, there remain sufficient funds to support thousands of more kilowatts of solar installations, and some customers may still be able to save on solar systems put in this year.

One Duke customer is calling on homeowners who might be eligible for the program to act now.

Seth Williams, one of the SC solar customers with Duke, recently got solar installed at his home with help from Duke’s rebate. “I was very happy, and I was able to clearly see the financial sense of solar power because of this rebate. Duke’s incentive is one of the most competitive in the country, and saving money was my reason for going solar, bottom line.” He encourages people to look at how the rebate – which can potentially be combined with federal and state tax incentives – puts the purchase of a solar energy system within reach for many more SC customers than ever before.

Solar installers local to the area say the program has contributed to the health of the industry in the region over the past 12 months. Jay Radcliffe is President of Renu Energy Solutions, a local business that offers solar energy installation services in upstate South Carolina and the surrounding area. He says: “Duke’s rebate itself can cover 25-33% of the price of a solar installation, and so especially when taken along with the 30% federal tax credit state and 25% South Carolina tax credit, it is redefining solar power right now as a highly affordable option.”

Duke’s rebate of $1 per watt will be in effect under program funds run out. Speak with a representative of Renu Energy Solutions and arrange a no-cost solar energy consultation by calling 704-525-6767, or online at Contact Duke Power or review its website for further program specifics. Individuals should see a tax professional about the active tax credits referenced here.