Several locations in Cache Valley will be part of the 29 featured statewide Saturday (Sept. 25) 10 a.m.-4 p.m. in the Utah Solar Energy Tour, sponsored by the Utah Solar Energy Association. “Cache Valley will have six locations and people can go on a self-guided tour and visit homes and businesses that have installed solar,” said Mike Taylor, who is organizing the local tour. “They can talk to the home or business owners, learn about how much it costs, how well it operates.” Taylor said there will also be a workshop Saturday at 10 a.m. at Campbell Scientific in North Logan. “It is a free workshop, it will last about an hour with a couple of speakers with knowledge of solar technologies and their cost and the incentives available.” What about the claims that solar energy is expensive? “There are a few different technologies,” said Taylor. “There is solar electric, there is solar hot water and then there solar design. The cheapest option is certainly solar design. “If you’re building a new home you want to make sure it’s designed energy efficient, and that you’re also able to heat your home passively with solar, or to keep it cool in the summer.” Taylor said in the past solar electricity has been very expensive. “We’ve had costs drop about 40 percent in the last two years,” said Taylor. “So now we’re getting to the point where we’re on the edge of it becoming cost-effective. That is exciting news.” Taylor said the idea is that the grid (the system distributing electricity) and your solar system interact instantaneously together. “If the sun goes behind the clouds, or you are using more than sun is producing, you simply draw power from the grid. If you’re generating more power during the day the power goes back into the grid. That’s known as net metering. “You’ll never know when you’re on the sun or on the grid. It happens automatically. At the end of the month your utility company looks at how much you generated and how much you used.” Taylor said tour information is available at http://utsolar.org.
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