100 percent hook up

For now, though, he said it isn’t fair to pass the cost of one customer’s solar needs onto others.“We spend a fair amount of time trying to figure out how to be the utility of the future, how to be your grandchildren’s utility, rather than your grandfather’s,” Oliver said. He meticulously researched solar panels, took an online certification course, and, with an electrician, crafted detailed plans, down to the font size of lettering on the electrical service panel.But there was one thing he didn’t anticipate: a ,000 estimate from Peco to hook into the utility grid.That included changes to transformers, capacitors on poles, upgrading a buried line, and work at a nearby substation.Contrary to what some believe, Peco spokesman Doug Oliver said, the utility encourages solar.But, he believes he’s also going to pay for upgrades on Sugars Bridge and Clayton Roads that aren’t just for him, but also could be for future growth.

“On our 4,000-volt system there’s much less room for additional voltage.

That connection is crucial, because on sunny days, the system could generate excess power that would go to the grid.

Conversely, on cloudy days, Dunleavy might need power from the grid.

“And that means anticipating what your customers want. The goal is to make sure that everyone that wants access to solar gets it.” Dunleavy’s problem comes as Pennsylvania is seeking to generate 10 percent of all electricity in the state through solar by 2030.

Currently, less than 1 percent of electricity is solar-generated, far less than in many other states.

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