It is easier and more cost-effective to go solar than ever before! Here you will find trustworthy resources to explore solar options and payment plans that are best suited for you.

Seven Generations Ahead provides building assessments for on-site solar installations for interested parties. We also assist organizations by developing RFPs and gathering reputable project partners for many kinds of solar projects. We create support strategies to attain 100% renewable energy for institutions and organizations. Lastly, we implement solar energy education and subscription enrollment assistance for institutions and residents ready to go solar.  

Not sure where to start? Learn the basics of solar energy on this web page. Then reach out to Mark Burger, our solar consultant, about hosting one of our educational forums or to get answers to your specific questions.

 

Contents

Solar Energy Basics

The physics of solar energy

From the sun to the grid: How solar power is distributed AGL Solar Energy / CC BY (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)

Our electricity grid gets its power from a number of sources: fossil fuel or nuclear power plants, wind or solar farms, hydropower dams, etc. Once the energy output leaves the source and enters the grid, it goes to the nearest site that needs electricity. The energy output from various sites mix together in the grid.

An electric customer with an onsite solar photovoltaic (PV) system will be the first to use its output, with any additional needs for power getting pulled through the electrical box from the grid. Any extra output goes out into the grid. The extra PV system output goes out into the grid to the nearest site that requires it. This could be next door or further away. 

It is very unlikely that any energy output from a community solar installation or a wind farm will  make its way to a subscribing customer’s electrical box. However, the output of electricity from a distant site is paid for through the arrangement between the customer, the power seller and the utility. Without financing, the installation would not have happened, and its cleaner electricity would not enter the grid.

The finances of solar energy

Net metering is the method of keeping track of how much extra power your solar panels create and share with the grid. This energy is credited to your account. At night or times when there is less sun, your energy credits can be used and pays for the power that is needed from the grid.

Ideally your system can produce enough energy to directly power your entire system during sunny days as well as provide enough credits to cover your power usage from the grid when the sun is not shining.

Getting started with solar

Use Energy Sage’s solar calculator to explore options for your property and determine if your solar energy source can be on-site or off-site. 

Want to talk solar?

Reach out to Mark Burger, SGA’s solar consultant at solar@sevengenerationsahead.org