If you dream of cutting ties with your utility company once and for all, you’re not alone. More and more Californians are moving away from the grid to avoid rising electricity rates and unstable reliability. Installing off-grid solar panels makes it possible to generate your own electricity without any dependence on the main electric grid.
Going off-grid with solar in California is a process, but it’s worth it for the reduced costs, increased independence, and lower impact on the environment. In this guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about off-grid solar power systems so you can decide whether off-grid solar or a solar microgrid makes sense for you.
Why Should You Go Off the Grid?
First things first—why would you want to get off the grid? Being connected to the main electricity grid is convenient, but it comes with a lot of drawbacks. Here are some of the most common reasons why people install off-grid solar systems:
- Financial benefits: Installing off-grid solar for your home or grow farm means never paying an electric bill again. Off-grid solar installations also qualify for the 30% federal solar tax credit.
- No existing hookups: Rural homes and cannabis farms don’t always have existing grid access. Installing off-grid solar panels is often easier and more affordable than paying to bring the grid out to you.
- Self-sufficiency: When you’re off-grid, you’re able to meet all your power needs yourself and won’t have to depend on the state for electricity access.
- Backup power: Off-grid solar panels don’t go down when the grid is offline, so you won’t have to worry about grid-related power outages with off-grid solar.
- Environmental benefits: When you go off the grid with solar, all of your power will come from a clean, renewable source, which is better for the environment.
How Does Off-Grid Solar Work?
Off-grid solar panels produce power the same way regular rooftop solar panels do—they absorb sunlight and convert it into electricity. The difference is that off-grid solar panels are not connected to the electricity grid. Because of this, they must produce all the power that a home or business needs and are typically much larger than grid-tied systems. Off-grid solar systems must also include large battery storage banks so they can provide power at night and on overcast days when there is not enough sunlight for PV panels to produce electricity.
Components of an Off-Grid Solar System
Off-grid solar energy systems vary in size and design depending on how much power they need to produce and what they’re being used for. An off-grid solar system for a small cabin will be much smaller than off-grid solar for a grow farm, for example. But regardless of size, all off-grid solar systems include the same components:
- Solar panels capture sunlight and convert it into direct current (DC) electricity.
- Solar inverters convert DC electricity into alternating current (AC) electricity, which most appliances are wired for.
- Solar racking lets us mount your off-grid solar panels just about anywhere—on a house, building, shed, or ground mounts.
- Solar batteries store excess solar power for nighttime use. How many batteries you need for off-grid solar depends on the amount of power you use.
- Solar charge controllers regulate the voltage and current your solar battery receives to prevent overcharging and damage.
Permitting Requirements for Off-Grid Solar Installations
It’s completely legal to go off the grid in California, but you do need a permit for off-grid solar. Six Rivers Solar specializes in off-grid solar installation in the Emerald Triangle. We know the ins and outs of off-grid solar permitting requirements and will take care of the entire process for you.
Professional Off-Grid Solar Installation on the North Coast
Six Rivers Solar is the North Coast’s leading solar energy company. We specialize in fully off-grid solar installations and can design a custom off-grid solar system for your home or business. We install complete off-grid solar system packages with batteries, including:
- Off-grid solar for homes
- Off-grid solar for farms and growers
- Off-grid solar for businesses
We are a 100% locally owned and operated solar company based in Eureka, California. Our team knows the area well and can be trusted with your off-grid solar installation. We work quickly, stay out of your way, and can schedule around your growing schedule. We also offer excellent financing options.