If Solar Makes Sense in Snowy Boston, It Can Work Anywhere!

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Steve Rorem, a homeowner in Gardner, Massachusetts — 40 miles inland from snowy Boston in the Northeastern United States — was fed up with his high heating and electricity bills and looked to a rooftop system using LG’s NeON Solar panels to save the day.

The heat pump providing heating and cooling for his home was a power hog, but after running through the numbers, Steve was able to offset 76% of his electricity usage with a set of 35 panels. This installation is a perfect case study for how rooftop solar panels can make sense even in snowy, cold, northern cities that don’t enjoy as much sun as areas known for their sunshine like Hawaii or California.

Image credit: sonnen

Rorem estimates that adding solar panels to his home will slash the cost of heating and electricity for his home from more than $3,300 USD per year to down around $800. While the process and planning of the project were fun with the prospect of saving money hanging out as an exciting opportunity, they did run into several challenges to bringing the project from paper to reality, due to the location of the install.

First, while solar panels can turn any light into electricity regardless of the temperature outside, they also have to be able to physically stand up to the weather. That is both for the cold temperatures and for the massive amounts of snow that can pile up over the course of a series of nor’easters, like the four that have slammed the east coast of the United States this month.

Finding panels with high enough output relative to the heavy energy demands of the home due to the heat pump was a challenge as well. Taking all of the factors into consideration, the team at Boston Solar landed on the LG NeON 350 watt panels that will maximize the output from the total system while also holding up to the brutal winter storms that are so common in the northeastern United States.

With solar panels and solar systems normally associated with locations sporting sunshine and sandy beaches, this installation is a great case study for those in less optimal locations. It stands out as an example of solar companies leveraging more advanced solar products to give owners the maximum return on investment in less idea locales. Who would have thought there would be solar companies converting customers in Boston? It wouldn’t have been first on my list but I’m glad it’s happening.

The project was documented in the short video below that really puts the location of the installation in perspective.

Images and video credit: LG Solar

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Kyle Field

I'm a tech geek passionately in search of actionable ways to reduce the negative impact my life has on the planet, save money and reduce stress. Live intentionally, make conscious decisions, love more, act responsibly, play. The more you know, the less you need. As an activist investor, Kyle owns long term holdings in Tesla, Lightning eMotors, Arcimoto, and SolarEdge.

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