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Saturday, July 10, 2021

100,000 kWh!

We installed our first solar photovoltaic (PV) system in November of 2007. We used a local PV installer company called Mr. Sun Solar. Other than a few down days when an inverter needed to be replaced, the system has been in operation for 4975 days. In 2015, we added a second PV system to our home. This time we used SolarCity (now Tesla). 

In the 8 years from 2007 to 2015, solar costs had dropped significantly and PV efficiency had improved. Meaning that our 2015 system was twice the size at half the cost of our older system.

Today, these two systems have each generated about 50 MWh; collectively generating just over 100,000 kWh (100 MWh) from the sunlight hitting our roof.

Solar energy production on our roof

Looking at the above chart, you can see that, despite the older system having an eight-year headstart, each system has generated ~50 MWh. The smaller system took 13 and a half years to reach this milestone. Whereas the larger PV system arrived in just 5 years, 10 months. I been watching for this crossover point, where the larger system would eclipse the smaller one, but I didn't know it would happen so close to this major milestone of production.

How Much Is 100MWh? 

Okay, we've made 100MWh, but how much energy is that? Let's look at it a few different ways.

The average US home uses 10,399 kWh annually. This means that our 100 MWh could power the average home for 9.6 years. 

The 2020 Tesla Model 3 SR+ is a highly efficient EV with a 239 Wh/mile consumption rate. At that rate, 100 MWh could propel this vehicle for more than 400,000 miles; enough to drive around the planet 16 times.

Looking at it one more way, the EPA says that a gallon of gasoline has 33.7 kWh of energy. This means that our 100 MWh is equivalent to nearly 3000 gallons of gas (however, with zero emissions from our solar).

From 2015 to today, solar's price has continued to drop. If you want solar on your home, you can use our referral code.

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