Regarding Mike J. O’Brien’s letter about how well our School District’s solar array is working, I want to share my own experience as the owner of a solar array.
I’m not speaking on behalf of the School District, and in general I agree with Mr. O’Brien that the citizens of Warwick should be able to learn details of how the solar array is working out. But there many factors that affect the output of solar arrays, such as the length of day, temperature, cloud cover, and snow cover. This means the month-to-month output of a solar array can be very misleading about the long-term production.
For example, over the last two months, we’ve had so much rain and cloudy weather that my solar array produced 33 percent less electricity than the average for those months in the previous three years. When I look across the four-year total production of the system, it has been a great investment. But if I just looked at the last couple months, I’d frankly be a bit gloomy.
Buying a solar array or participating in a community solar garden is an excellent long-term investment. You pay a fixed amount now, then use the electricity for the 20 or 25 years or more that the system works. Power production won’t be great every month, but it’s wonderful that our School District had the foresight to make this investment.
If you have questions about solar, please contact Sustainable Warwick at firstname.lastname@example.org. Their members helped me when I was looking to go solar, and they could help you too.