Solar in the Midwest – Is It Practical?

The hard part about being a solar installation company in the Midwest is the common skepticism that solar, as a renewable energy source, is not practical or efficient in a state like Michigan.





Thousands of Systems Installed

Thanks to forward thinking clients we have thousands of solar thermal systems installed for pool heating, residential and business water heating and space heating appliances that work seamlessly over decades. The problem is that we have no means to easily measure these systems and demonstrate to others how well they work and how much they save, except by “no gas” bills and regular updates from our clients. Solar electric is a different story.


Problems of the Past

While true that the solar electric, or photovoltaic (PV), industry was in need of better costs and efficiencies in the past, and were not competitive with utility rates – that is a problem of the past. Emerging and established solar manufacturers now reveal even higher efficiency panels, market competitive pricing, supported by legislative tax credits. A whole financial industry was created through buying and selling of Solar Renewable Energy Credits on the open market that solar electric is a new and solid option to fossil fuel power generation. The industry as a whole is innovative and dynamic, and improving daily. Just try to tell a solar customer today that their system does not work, and is not cost effective and you will come across as uninformed and not up on the field.


Micro-Inverters Monitor Performance

Now, because of the real time monitoring available because of micro-inverters attached to the back of each solar panel, we can demonstrate over and over how well a solar panel or system actually operates. This data can also be compared to other locations around the states using the same system to fully evaluate the value and efficiency of solar PV panels under different climatic and seasonal influences.

With this system actual kWh or solar electricity generated can be measured and is solid evidence whether it is a practical application in Michigan. We now have 300 kW systems and over 1,000 panels installed that can be monitored and viewed by the general public in real time, and historically.