• Graham Harris

Going, going...SOLAR!

This month I got to realize a long-held personal ambition – going solar! Having my own renewable energy system has been something I’ve wanted to do since I started my Masters degree, so it’s rather exciting to have finally made the step.


Virtuoso Energy installed an 8.04kW solar photovoltaic system, which is split between the roof of my home and the roof of my garage, and it was energized this week. The photo shows the part of the system that is on my garage, which faces (more or less) south.

Over the course of a year, my PV system should meet the electricity needs of my home – meaning emissions free lighting and power – AND those of my electric Chevy Spark, so most of my travel will be emissions free!


This is a massive step on my personal journey to net zero emissions. In earlier blog posts I’ve talked about the impact of adding additional roof insulation to my home (~15% reduction in my annual gas consumption) and of switching from a internal combustion engine (ICE) to a battery electric vehicle (BEV) for most of my driving (~30% reduction in GHG emissions at the time, since rising to around 40% as the AB grid has got greener). However, I’m anticipating my PV system will wipe out about 1/3rd of my household’s total carbon footprint. Next I have to figure out a low-carbon heating system (but that’s a subject for another time).


I’m really excited about this – and look forward to sharing data on the performance of the system in a blog post next summer!

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