Anyone depending on sun & wind to power their home dreads the month of November. It's usually the darkest and wind-stillest month of the year. Drizzle and wet snow will come straight down; compare that to the blizzards we can expect very soon, and I suppose we should be grateful for it...
A typical November day: no sun, no wind...
For solar and wind-powered folks like us things are a bit different. We almost welcome those howling storms that make the snow fly horizontally. It means lots of energy is being produced and stored in the battery banks. Same for those bright January and February days, when you can't go out without your sunglasses and sunscreen on: lots of sunlight bouncing off all that snow produces lots of solar energy. Call us crazy, but we can't wait till it gets cold & windy!
Until then, we'll just have to sit this dull November out. Looking at our charts I see we produced a measly 12.5 KW/hrs of solar energy and 9.5 KW/hrs wind energy over the past 7 days; that's a total of 22Kw/hrs. We typically produce that in 2 good days.
Still, the lights stay on at the Nolalu Eco Centre, together with the stereo, the fridge, our computers and even the big-screen video projector for those must-have movie nights.
Of course we're a bit more careful when using power, but what really saves our free-range bacon: it's days like these that we happily dip into the credit we've built up with the Power Utility. Each summer and fall we produce hundreds of excess Kilowatt-hours that all get pumped back into the power grid, producing a big fat credit at Hydro One. Think of it as a Power Piggy Bank that we're now taking some change out of.
Of course we should still be careful how much power we're using, as even big fat credits will come to an end. But at least we don't have to worry too much about those long dark days. And thank goodness, we can still have our movie nights!