Rooftop Solar vs. Solar Farms
There are many things to
know when it comes to the similarities and differences of rooftop solar setups and solar farms. Both are great ways to
use renewable energy, but each comes with their own advantages and
disadvantages, unique to the customer who chooses to utilize solar energy.
Rooftop Solar and Solar Farms
Rooftop solar setups are photovoltaic panels that are installed
on the roofs of homes. Excess energy is sent to a utility grid for other
customers to use. The energy is measured with two meters. One meter measures
the energy generated by the panels, and the other measures the energy that is
being used. Homeowners are paid for the energy they generate, and deducted for
the energy that they consume.
Solar farms consist of
towers rigged with solar panels. The towers are in sync with the sun, which
increases energy production, and power gets put into a utility grid. Customers
buy solar panels from the farm and get paid for production, and deducted for
The biggest difference
bereeen the two involves the potential energy that could be
produced. Limiting roof factors could make the solar farm more advantageous to
some customers. Below is a list of additional things to consider.
Maintenance, Aesthetics, and Land Management
Very little maintenance is
required on solar panels, though if damage is incurred on a rooftop panel, the
homeowner is responsible. Solar farms minimize that inconvenience.
As for looks, solar panels
are an obvious addition to a rooftop. Solar farms, on the other hand, allow
homeowners to reap the benefits of solar energy without the green look.
Land management creates a
philosophical dilemma for some, as the solar farm land could be allocated for
agriculture or development. Rooftop solar panels, however, use space that is
Cost and Energy Independence
The setup costs of a rooftop
solar array versus owning panels on a solar farm are relatively similar. In the
long run though, it has been observed that solar farms are more cost effective.
According to a Brattle Group study, it was nearly
half the cost for a solar farm to generate the same amount of energy of a
Energy independence is only
possible if customers choose rooftop setups. While solar farms are green and
sustainable, customers are still dependent on an energy company.
Rooftop panels are great for
people who are looking to be green, gain independence from energy companies,
and save on energy bills. On the other hand, solar farms involve dependence on
energy companies, but could be an even better way to further save on energy bills, while
still allowing customers to be sustainable. Personal preference is key.