The Bahamas, being an island nation, understands the devastating effects climate change will have on its ability to continue existing. The over 700 islands that make up the nation are all low-lying, and likely to be impacted by rising sea levels. As a way to lead by example, the Bahamas is committed to sourcing a huge chunk of its energy from solar power. One of the options it is using is grid-tied solar systems.
How Grid-Tied Solar Works in the Bahamas
In the Bahamas, grid-tied solar means that you can use the grid as storage for excess power generated by your solar system. To begin using grid-tied solar, you will need to fill in an application, which will go to the national utility company, the Bahamas Power and Light (BPL). Once you have your application, you have to estimate how much power you used in the past year. It is important for ensuring that the installation firm can design a solar system that meets the requirements of the BPL. To do this, you only need one year’s worth of power bills.
Grid-tied systems are growing in popularity in the Bahamas. A major reason for this is that they cost less, and there is less need for maintenance compared to a battery system. A grid-tied system is permitted by the BPL and after applying, you can begin enjoying a feed-in tariff. For now, residents enjoy around 50% in credit for each kWh they send to the grid.
A grid-tied system comprises solar panels, mounting, inverters, and other safety equipment. The components used for a particular system will vary depending on the particular site. For instance, in cases there are shading issues, the installation firm may opt for micro-inverters. If there is no shading, the installation firm can opt to use a string inverter.
How Does a Grid-Tied System Work?
A grid-tied system does not sell power to the utility company. Instead, it trades in power credits. In short, an approved application creates something akin to a power bank account. Production of your solar system is tracked and you receive power credits, which are 50% of every kWh you produce and send to the grid. That is why a properly designed system matters. It will ensure that every bit of electricity you send to the grid is counted.
Working with a professional will ensure that your grid-tied system can begin trading in energy credits, which will lower your overall energy bill. With the Bahamas having some of the highest electricity prices in the Western Hemisphere, a small amount makes a big difference in the savings on your power bill.
Keep in mind that when the grid goes down, you will need to have a generator to power your home at night. However, the main benefit of a grid-tied system is that you can install almost double the solar capacity that you would with a battery-based system. As a result, you will have more power to sell to the grid to save on electricity costs.