Solar profile: Fred Patt

Chestertown Solar Co-op member Fred Patt had a 6.13 kW solar system installed on his home in February of this year. We spoke with him recently about his experience going solar.

Why did you decide to go solar?

I’ve been a solar energy enthusiast for a long time. Our house has passive solar features, as did our previous house. When we had this house built (starting 5 years ago) one of our long-term plans was to add a PV system.

Why did you opt to go solar with a co-op?

A co-op seemed like a good way to minimize the risk in choosing an installer, and a coworker had a good experience with a co-op.

What advice would you give to someone considering going solar?

Be sure to take the long view and look at the cost-benefit analysis very carefully.

What surprised you about the process?

There were no big surprises. I was somewhat surprised at how the electrical conduits were routed over the roof to connect the arrays of panels; I thought this would be done inside the attic. This was a plus as there are fewer penetrations in the roof. I was also surprised and pleased at the level of web-based system monitoring provided.

Now that it has been installed, how is your system performing?

It’s a bit early as we have only had the system running for 3.5 months. However, so far we are pleased with the system generation. Our May usage dropped from ~900 kWh the past few years to 180 kWh this year, and May was not a particularly sunny month.