On a cloudy afternoon in December, a man is sitting in a sunny backyard in northern Minnesota, just feet from the edge of a ridge.
He’s got a little solar panel and a big, open window to watch the sun rise and set.
His wife, an engineer at a company that designs and installs solar panels for homes, is watching him from the porch.
The couple have built a solar farm on the hillside, the same way their neighbors have.
They put a solar panel up on the porch and, when the sun goes down, turn the panel off and go back to work.
The solar panels provide electricity for about $1 a day, and it’s free to the people of the neighborhood.
The solar panel is made of a combination of glass, plastic and aluminum.
They’re a piece of equipment that can power your house or an office, or power your cellphone, the solar panel says.
“It’s a piece that you can turn on and turn off,” says Tom McAllister, who oversees solar installations for Solar Power Northwest, an organization that supports the solar industry.
“And the energy that’s produced is stored in the panels and it can be used later.”
McAllister has been installing solar panels in homes and businesses for more than 25 years, and he says that it’s a growing industry in the U.S. The industry is estimated to have grown by about 15 percent in 2016, and solar is expected to grow another 15 percent this year.
McAllisters biggest clients are large corporations such as Google, which owns Google Home and makes the company’s smart speaker, as well as big banks like Wells Fargo.
He has installed solar panels on hundreds of homes and companies.
But he’s also had to install solar panels at places like the University of Minnesota.
Solar panels aren’t the only option for homeowners.
In some areas, homeowners can choose to install their own solar panels.
But installing solar in your own backyard is a challenge.
“The biggest thing that you need to be aware of is that the cost is going to be a lot lower than what you’re getting for free,” says David Durbin, president of the nonprofit Solar Choice Foundation.
The foundation works to build and support solar programs in the solar energy industry.
Durbin says homeowners can install solar power for free if they’re willing to do some of the following things:1.
Find out where their homes are located.
“In the northern part of the state, they have very little access to the sun.
And so they have to look for a solar site.
So, we have to work with solar companies and we have a lot of experience installing solar on a large scale in that area.”2.
Make sure the solar panels are connected to the electricity grid.
“If you’re on the roof, and you have a battery on it, you can actually use the solar power to make your own electricity,” Durbins says.3.
Pay a few dollars to install the solar.
“You can get solar power installed for a couple hundred dollars if you’re a homeowner, but then you can charge it to your cell phone, which is a good thing,” Durtins says, because it gives you flexibility in your schedule and the amount of electricity you use.
“Durbins advises that homeowners should also consider purchasing a backup power system if they plan to install more than one solar panel.”
Consider a power meter. “
There are some very nice things you can do that you just can’t do with a solar array, like installing more than four solar panels or more than two solar panels.”4.
Consider a power meter.
“The energy storage systems that you’re using can save a lot money.
You can get battery backup power that’s going to keep your batteries going through the night.
And it can also help you maintain a grid-connected power grid that can keep you connected and running,” Durchins says in a phone interview.5.
Make it easy to install.
“If you have some sort of a plan for solar panels, make it very easy for people to do it,” McAllisters says.
And, McAlliers says, you should be able to find a solar installer that has all of your equipment in their shop.
“There are a lot people that are going to put it on a solar system that have no knowledge about solar power.
So make it easy for them to do that.
If you have to install it, put it up in a garage or on a roof,” Mcallisters says in an interview.”
So, it’s going get out there, but there are a few things you have need to know.”