You can generate some of your own electricity with energy that is from clean, renewable sources. This is good for the environment, and can save you money on your electric bill!
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Alameda Municipal Power's solar and renewables program supports all small-scale renewable electricity generation systems. While solar photovoltaic (PV) systems are the most common in Alameda, wind turbines and other renewable generation are eligible for the same programs as solar. Please call Alameda Municipal Power at 510-748-3900 if you are interested in installing another type of renewable electricity generation system and need more information.
Yes. A battery storage system must be paired with a renewable energy system, like a solar power system, in order to qualify for interconnection to the electric grid. The battery storage system must not send energy back to Alameda Municipal Power’s distribution grid.
In order to have an effective solar generation system, your roof must receive enough sunlight. Your property should have clear, unobstructed access to the sun for most of the day and throughout the year. Because shading will reduce the amount of electricity your system will produce, photovoltaic panels should be installed in a location that is not shaded by trees, chimneys or nearby structures.
In California the sun is in the southern half of the sky. The best orientation for a photovoltaic system therefore is on a south- or southwest-facing roof. Flat roofs can also work because the photovoltaic array can be mounted on frames tilting south or southwest. Photovoltaic array can also be mounted on the ground.
Renewable generation is variable because of the resources it relies on. In California, a photovoltaic system will produce the most electricity in spring through fall when sunlight hours are the longest and the sun is positioned higher in the sky. It will produce less in the winter months or when the sun is obstructed by poor weather.
It will stop generating all together at night. Because of this, you need backup generation to provide power when your system is under-generating, or to absorb power when your system is over-generating. If sized correctly, your system can generate all the energy your property needs over the course of a year.
In order to get the maximum benefit for your installation, your system should be sized to generate approximately the same amount of energy that your property uses in a year. Compensation for excess energy you generate that you do not use in a year will not justify the cost of installing a larger system that generates more energy than you need.
The amount of space needed is based on the size, or generating capacity, of the solar energy system. Residential solar energy systems can vary in size from 50 square feet to 1,000 square feet. A rule of thumb is that a square foot of photovoltaic module area produces 10 watts of power in bright sunlight. For example, a 2,000 watt system would require about 200 square feet of roof area.
The cost varies depending on many factors, including the solar energy system’s size, equipment options and labor costs. Typically, the installed costs are determined based on the size of the system’s output. The cost per watt is often used for comparing systems of different sizes.