The first row of panels is laid on the east array at about 3 p.m. on day 3 of the installation. [Photo by Christof Demont-Heinrich]

6 kW more worth of home solar now populating the world

A happy me standing in front of the east-facing array of 10 Silfab solar panels which form two-thirds of my 6 kW Enphase-based solar system here at Highline Crossing Cohousing in Littleton, Colo. [Photo by Christof Demont-Heinrich]

The world now has 6 kW more worth of rooftop solar. ARE Solar completed the installation of a 16-panel, 6 kW system on my Littleton, Colo. condo rooftop two days ago.

I am super excited to be going solar for what amounts to, depending on how you look at it, the fourth time in my life.

The first time was with a 5.5 kW system in Aurora, Colo. in June 2010. In June of 2020, after 18 months of working, along with several other neighbors, to persuade my neighbors here at Highline Crossing Cohousing in Littleton, Colo. to use community “long-term reserve funds” to purchase 10.3 kW worth of solar for our HOA “Common House” and 9.3 kW worth of solar for our community garages, where three electric vehicles charge, including my own 2020 Chevy Bolt, “I” went solar for the second and third times, with two brand new systems that have produced 43 megawatts worth of electricity — and reduced CO2 production by 31.5 tons in about 18 months of being online.

Now, I have just gone solar for the fourth time. This time at 1644 W. Canal Court in Littleton. My aim is to be, when solar offset is included in the equation, 100% fossil fuel free. I do need to convert my gas hot water heater to electric at some point to do this and replace my gas stove with electric induction cook top cookers and an air fryer, which will act as my “oven” for baking.

My Enphase based system, with 16 380 watt Silfab solar panels is expected to produce about 6,700 kWh of solar a year. I am crossing my fingers on that a bit: I still need to fight another battle here at Highline Crossing to have a couple of trees trimmed back to reduce shading on my system.

My system is not officially online yet either: I still need “PTO” from Xcel Energy, my utility, meaning “Permission to Operate” and I need Xcel to install a solar meter.

That should hopefully happen in the next two to three weeks. Then, I will be off and running — for decades — with this brand new 6 kW solar system and doing as much, individually, as I can to snuff out the burning of fossil fuels, which are destroying our amazing, wonderful, fragile, and life-gifting earth biosphere, the only thing that stands between us and the cold, harsh, radiation-laden vacuum of outer space.

Griffin (left) and Sam (right) lay a panel down. [Photo by Christof Demont-Heinrich]