Net Zero Energy Homes
As energy costs for homeowners and business owners continue to increase over the coming years, and the cost of renewably-generated – “green” – energy technologies continue to decrease, it is not difficult to see that there is an opportunity on the horizon for all of us to seize our own means of Energy Independence.
Up until very recently, the concept of energy independence was deemed to be an impossibility by most people. However, our current methods of generating massive amounts of power and then sending it thousands of kilometres over a highly complex transmission and distribution system, are rapidly becoming something of a by-gone era. We can all look forward to a day, quite soon, when it will be possible to cut the cord and survive on our own. Bluewater Energy is very excited to be leading the way in the renewable energy industry with respect to Net-Zero energy homes that will achieve this aim.
Bluewater Energy has partnered with some of the finest builders of top quality homes in Guelph, Elora, and Wellington County, to develop solar energy projects for new homes that will produce as much, or more power, than they consume in a year. These projects are at the forefront of technological advancement in terms of solar power generation, battery storage, and power electronics that monitor and control electricity flow.
The concept is relatively straight forward – when the sun is shining, the solar modules on the roof of the home generate electricity, which is harvested and stored in a battery bank. When the home is using electricity, the power electronics equipment uses the power stored in the battery bank to meet the demand. This is where things get interesting.
When the solar modules are producing more electricity than the home requires, for instance, the battery bank is full, then the excess is sent to the grid for a credit against the utility bill. When the home requires more power than is available from the solar installation, electricity is pulled from the grid to off-set the demand until either the demand decreases, or the amount of solar energy increases. In this way, the energy requirements of the home are primarily met by the solar installation, and the grid acts as back-up power, while excess energy is never waisted as it is sent back to the grid for use somewhere else nearby.
Over the past three years, solar module pricing has decreased many times over, to a point where having a solar project installed is now within reach of most home and small business owners. The other piece is energy storage technology. We have entered into an unprecedented era of focus and effort on battery storage systems, and due to the advancements already achieved by companies such as Tesla Motors, as well as the amount of funding that is being allocated in countries such as the USA, we are seeing incredible technological progress, accompanied by rapidly falling prices.
I believe we are witnessing an evolution, and a strong push for energy independence, that has already resulted in the possibility of affordable Net-Zero homes, and which will become the standard of new construction in the near future. Bluewater Energy applauds the foresight, leadership, and efforts of those future-oriented builders we have had the pleasure of partnering with thus far, and we look forward to continuing to lead the way within the renewable energy industry.