Here at the Bliss Ranch we use solar panels for pumping water in several places. We are pretty green for a ranch…..
Alternative energy seems from my vantage point of having solar and wind systems for 25 years to be useful in areas where regular electric lines are not available. Using all the energy your panels produce pumping a dedicated water well is way more efficient than selling your excess energy back to the grid (net metering). I currently make about 100 bucks a month off of a 4000 watt solar array selling it back to the utility with my grid connected solar array.
Lets do the math. 35000 dollar installation 15 years ago. (lifetime of panels is around 20 years but I have some 25 year old and still working). Had one fail). I make 100 bucks a month from them…. 1200 dollars a year x 15 years = 18000 dollars. Of course I had to replace 6000 dollars of batteries at the 10 year mark so the system costs 41,000 dollars. (I did all the work myself by the way….it was cheap for 2005. ). So total cost of system to date = 41000. In 15 years it has made 18000 dollars. (or that’s 18000 I didn’t spend). Total loss to date is 22000 dollars for that experiment. Now if it cost 60K to run electricity to a house, it might be worth it.
Now prices have come down a bit on the panels to where you MIGHT MAYBE POSSIBLY could come close to breaking even if your grid connected. Might take about 20 years but the energy spent making and delivering the panels to you just blew that out of the water as far as carbon economy (lolol).
My conclusion after owning a solar array for 15 years…. money loosing proposition IF your on the grid. If your off grid, it’s better than no electricity. I have a well with 6 solar panels that pumps water for several hundred cattle in a remote pasture. It’s a mile from power. Cost would be 60K to run line electricty to it. Cost of solar well including the well, 20K. I’ve had to replace the pump a few times at a grand a piece and lost one of the older panels to weather. Net cost benefit on that well.
Location: Bliss Dinosaur Ranch, Wyoming/Montana borderlands.
Title: Solar Panels for Pumping Water.