I never would have thought my local city government and newspaper would be a good place to learn about buying solar panels, but they are turning out to be. Yesterday, I linked to story about the pitfalls of erecting wind turbines without using a certified installer. Well, this morning, the same newspaper carried a story about my local mayor possibly getting hoodwinked in a big solar deal for the schools. It could be a bit of mayoral malfeasance, but negotiating solar contracts on a per kilowatt with escalator clauses with involvement of subcontractors (and subterfuge, too) is complicated stuff. The story is a good read and should make you question how much experience small solar installers have.
In a related matter only involving a large solar installer, National Grid, my electric company, announced plans to set up its own arrays on property it also owns. Ripping a page out of the cell tower playbook, it will also look to build and operate arrays on land deals it strikes with customers (like me - what’s their number). The electricity delivery company will spend $38 million on arrays at four sites it already owns. It claims 20 years experience with solar, putting 4.7 megawatts of solar generation on its New England-focused distribution system.