Off-Grid Solar Basics

Go Where You Want to Go, Do What You Want to Do

No Utility Required

There are so many places to enjoy that are beyond the power lines. But that doesn’t have to mean roughing it at your weekend getaway cabin or out-of-the-way home. Off-grid power systems allow you to have all the comfort and convenience electricity offers, without being confined to the footprint of the electrical grid. So, go ahead and leave the beaten path. Many of our clients have done it, and so can you.

What is “Off-Grid Power” anyway?

Simply put, being “off-the-grid” just means you are your own power company. From remote cabins to homes down rural country roads, there are many situations where you need power and where it is impossible or cost prohibitive to bring in utility power. Off-grid power systems are able to provide electricity when and where you need it.

How it Works

An off-grid power system includes equipment to generate electricity- typically solar and/or a generator, with the right amount of energy storage to balance your goals for the upfront investment with your ongoing fuel costs. Because these systems are independent, it is critical to account for all possible electrical needs so you have the power you need, when you need it, come rain or shine.

Living Off-GridHome on lake with solar panels on roof.

To live off-grid you will likely need to adjust when and how you use electricity so you can live within the capabilities of your system’s design, and to keep your system cost and ongoing supplemental power (generator) fuel costs reasonable. This doesn’t necessarily mean doing without, but rather a shift to more conscientious use of electricity.

We recommend that before you choose an off-grid lifestyle you talk with a few folks who are already doing it. This will give you practical information that you may not come across in your other research. The home of Tim and Alana Nelson, owners of Fire Mountain Solar, was operated completely off-grid for 14 years, and our nearby office was off-grid for almost as long.

Tim and Alana are happy to share both their personal and professional off-grid experiences. We can also get you in touch with others living off-the-grid, and you may also be able to find some folks online and through local organizations that support renewable energy and green living.