We want to take a moment to reflect and celebrate both the businesses and individuals we have been able to work with throughout the year.
When Same Sun opened its doors in Vermont thirteen years ago, we believed our mission was important: to work with folks to produce clean solar energy. In 2011, those kilowatt-hours primarily powered your lights and electrical appliances. Now, because of subzero heat pumps and a long list of EVs on the market, solar is heating your homes and powering your cars. Our dream is coming true: move all you can from fossil fuels to the grid and power the grid with your own solar array! Same Sun celebrated this at the Paramount Theatre this last Spring with “An Electrifying Afternoon.”
Moving these devices to the grid has created a new category of work for Same Sun, namely the upgrading of electrical panels and the installation of EV chargers. Our Master Electrician, through our Service Division, has been quite busy with the upgrades and additions that are making this revolution from fossil fuels to clean electricity possible.
Same Sun solarizes Vermont, New Hampshire and New York. Many New Hampshire residents were hit with sudden and unprecedented utility rate increases, and turned to solar as a way to mitigate the cost. We focused primarily on residential solar projects in this area to help these customers become part of the solution while lowering those electric bills.
In 2023, probably our most famous Vermont client, Whistlepig Whiskey, chose to add a ground array to the unusual and impressive rooftop array Same Sun completed years ago. Together, these two arrays provide all the electricity the distillery employs. 100% clean energy; as if one needed another reason to enjoy this premium rye whiskey!
Easily the most gratifying and historic work we did this year in New York is the Whitehall Castle. This former armory, built in 1899 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places, has been given new life through modern systems such as heat pumps and the solar helps cover the cost of energy improvements. Bringing 21st century technology to a 19th century landmark makes us aware of the continuum that is our past and our future.
In conclusion we acknowledge that whatever Same Sun achieves simply doesn’t exist without our clients. We laid out the facts and designs and you made the decision to go solar with us – a commitment to do the right thing environmentally.
Having run out of rooftops and grounds at our own home years ago when we built our third solar array – thanks for letting us use yours!
Happy Holidays to you all.
PS: The Same Sun office will close at 5pm December 22nd, 2023 and reopen January 2nd, 2024 at 9AM to give our exceptional staff some well-deserved time off.
It’s that time of year again, the temps have dropped and the snow has started falling. If you read our last blog post about optimizing your solar power in Vermont, then you already know one way to get the most value from your solar. We often hear, “Solar can’t possibly work in a Northeastern climate.” But it does. A common misconception with solar panels is that colder weather means less production; it’s quite the opposite. We are here to explain how solar energy works in the winter and debunk any myths you might have heard.
Common Misconceptions Around Solar:
1. The Cold Weather Stops Solar Panels from Producing
The days are shorter during the winter, meaning less time for solar to produce, but this is made up for by greater efficiency of the panels in the cold! Solar panels produce energy from the sun’s light, not the sun’s heat. It may seem counterintuitive that they would perform better in colder temperatures, but they do. This is because as the temperature rises, solar panels lose efficiency due to increased resistance in the electrical circuit. In colder temperatures, solar panels are able to maintain a more consistent voltage, which leads to an increase in their overall efficiency. This means those cold, sunny days will still produce plenty of energy to power your home or business.
2. Solar Panels Won’t Work When it Snows Causing A Rise In Electric Costs
Although snow can block some of the sun from getting to the panels, it usually does not affect production enough to make solar any less worth it during the winter months. Most solar panels are installed at an angle, whether they are on the roof or on the ground. This makes it easy for the snow to slide off, and the warmth from the panels will melt it at faster rates. Oftentimes, the snow on the ground can actually reflect more light into your panels. This is particularly true of our ground mounts, where we use bifacial solar modules that generate power from both sides!
We can’t speak for other companies, but ours provides an estimate of your solar generation throughout the year. So if a snowstorm blocks your panels for a few sunny days- it’s likely been accounted for in your production estimate. The summer months often overproduce, meaning if there is a chance of snow in your forecast, you probably have remaining solar credits to make up for it. If you prefer to see a consistent amount of production though, there is the option to clean them off.
3. Panels Require More Maintenance During the Winter Months
As we mentioned above, it doesn’t hurt to clean off your solar panels when a heavy snowstorm rolls through. This doesn’t mean that it is a necessity. You can count on the summer months and sunny winter days to provide you with plenty of energy to get you through the winter. For those who love to ensure the highest rates of productivity for their panels, there are some easy options for cleaning off the panels. They make tools like a “SnowJoe”, that is meant for scraping the snow off your panels. If you have ground mounts, then cleaning off your solar should be easy. For the roof, on the other hand, you may need an extension pole. If you have solar panels on your roof- NEVER- get on top to try to clean them off. This is extremely dangerous and unnecessary. If you can scrape off the bottom of the array, the sunlight will heat the panels and cause the rest of the snow to melt. The power of the sun will do most of the work for you!
So is solar power worth it in places like Vermont that have harsh winter months? As a local solar company based in an area that deals with this kind of climate, we can say the answer is yes. Our customers receive lower electricity costs all year round. Solar companies that are reliable give you peace of mind in knowing that they take all seasons into account for your installation. This means you won’t have to worry over the colder months.
If you have any questions, feel free to contact us at 802.775.7900, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.