a solar EV in front of a garage with solar panels
My 2020 Chevy Bolt parked in front of the solar system that fuels it. [Photo by Christof Demont-Heinrich]

My electric car is officially solar-charged again

My 2020 Chevy Bolt is now officially solar-charged again after our new 9.2 kW system at Highline Crossing Cohousing in Littleton, Colo. finally went online on Mon., Nov. 23, 2020 — after a drawn-out 18-month installation and hook-up process. [Photo by Christof Demont-Heinrich]
editor's blog iconIt’s taken three long years, but, finally, I am solar-charging my electric car, a 2020 Chevy Bolt, again!

Our 9.2 kW solar system on our garages here at Highline Crossing Cohousing officially went online with our utility, Xcel Energy, two days ago and I am Driving On Sunshine once again!

I drove a 2014 Nissan LEAF on sunshine from 2014-2015 in my Aurora, Colo. home which was outfitted with a 5.5 kW home solar system in June of 2010.

I got divorced in summer 2015 and was forced to sell my home with solar on it in November of 2015.

The Emporia app shows that while my 2020 Chevy Bolt is plugged in that our 9.2 kW solar system is producing far more electricity than is being drawn by my Bolt. [Photo by Christof Demont-Heinrich]
I spent the next two years living in an apartment within walking distance of my job as a journalism professor at the University of Denver — and paying for Xcel Windsource electricity

In August of 2017, I bought a townhome in a cohousing community in Littleton, Colo., called Highline Crossing Cohousing. In October of 2017 I began what turned out to be a three-year-long process to get solar on our garage roofs here and on our community house. It took 16 months to get the point where the HCC community actually approved buying solar for our common roof areas. In May 2019, we signed a contract with a small solar installer called Sopris Solar.

That turned out to be a mistake ๐Ÿ™„๐Ÿ˜ž๐Ÿ™„

While Sopris had GREAT customer reviews for the first six years of its existence, a series of things went bad at the company about six weeks after we signed our contract with them and handed them a $25,000 deposit for our two-array, 19.6 kW solar system. It took more than a year for them to install the two arrays, which have a total of 63 panels.

Then, a series of issues between Sopris and Xcel Energy kept us from turning the solar on for five months. We finally overcame these issues and officially flipped the switches on our 9.2 kW array on our garages two days ago.

We are still waiting for our 10.4 kW system on our community house to go online. Hopefully, that will occur soon!

In the meantime, after a long break from direct solar-charged driving — I again paid for Xcel Windsource electricity here at Highline Crossing for the past three years — I am finally plugging a car back into the power of the sun, and it feels good ๐Ÿ™‚

Let. The. Sun. Shine. ๐ŸŒž๐ŸŒป๐ŸŒž

My 2020 Chevy Bolt parked in front of the 9.2 kW solar system that is its “gas station”. [Photo by Christof Demont-Heinrich]