Solar Power in Austin

It’s been a long road, but we finally have been able to get solar panels installed at the Bobcat Lair house in Austin. The fact that we wanted it for two houses in two different counties was hard on poor Ralph, our sales consultant, but by gosh, he persisted and we have been able to move forward. He and Lee did a LOT of negotiating, philosophizing, and drinking whiskey (off the clock). I’ll miss Ralph. But then, the ranch isn’t done yet.

Photovoltaic Solar Panels on Newly Built Modern House (ours look like this, but I can’t see any of them, so here’s a lovely stock photo I paid for)
The top of the Bobcat Lair.

The company (Momentum) made it pretty easy for us by getting all the permits and even helping with the HOA approval. Thank you, neighbors, for not complaining (neither neighbor they had to check with can actually see ANY panels).

Diagram of the panels.

We are going to have enough power to handle the worst month we’ve ever had, so I think we’ll be set. I’m sharing photos of the top of the house and a diagram or where the panels are. We have a great location that will get lots of rays! Thanks, Sol!

How’d it go?

Other than some dog barking and drilling noises, it went just fine. The crew showed up around 9 am in a fancy truck and got to work. They were nice and polite and cleaned up after themselves. Ah. I think Anita survived okay, since I had to go into the office for meetings and she was in charge.

They managed to park. That was the first challenge!

They put in a lot of monitoring stuff on the wall, and had to go in and do something in the attic; I assume they put wiring in from the panels to the boxes, to actually get the electricity.

Solar stuff. All shiny.

By the time I got home from work, they were wrapping up. Anita and I walked all over the place, but could only see a couple of panels through the trees from the swimming pool area. I don’t think anyone in the neighborhood can see them, which should please Bronson and the HOA Board gang. I’m guessing the fancy houses off Far West on Mabry’s Ridge will be able to see the eastern panels, but they don’t look bad at all, so no worries.

That’s a panel. And workers.

What’s next?

The setup will get inspected sometime in the next few days, and once that happens, they’ll orient me and I’ll be staring at our production and consumption like all my friends with solar equipment at their houses.

I hope they put those hats on.

Now, I know that we aren’t saving a ton of money doing this, especially in Cameron, but Lee and I like the idea of not using power sources that aren’t renewable, and once we get an idea of how much we typically use, we hope to get some storage at the ranch house and take ourselves off the electrical grid there. We’ll be partially ready for any upcoming hijacking of the grid…or whatever.

Panels are staged and ready to go up. This view makes me dizzy.

If you’ve never seen this house, you can see here that it’s on quite a slope. It’s nice that no one can see into our house. Under the deck is Anita’s den and bedroom.

Work in progress.

I know there are boxes in my garage. I think most of them get to go to Goodwill. It doesn’t matter much, though, because the driveway is to steep to get a car into the left half of the garage. So, it’s great storage!

I circled it so you could see the panels. Pretty subtle, thanks to the oak trees.

Author: Sue Ann (Suna) Kendall

The person behind The Hermits' Rest blog and many others. I'm a certified Texas Master Naturalist and love the nature of Milam County. I manage technical writers in Austin, help with Hearts Homes and Hands, a personal assistance service, in Cameron, and serve on three nonprofit boards. You may know me from La Leche League, knitting, iNaturalist, or Facebook. I'm interested in ALL of you!

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