Batteries provide more security to home & farm
Christine and Don Johnson have had solar on their home since 2010 when Christine served as LightWave Solar’s Director of Finance. Though she moved on from LightWave in 2013 to start CJ-CPA PC, Christine has remained a passionate solar proponent.
“Solar is a solution to some of our societal issues like the climate crisis,” Christine says. “Don and I try to be more sustainable and somewhat self-sufficient by growing a garden, raising animals, keeping bees and generally consuming less,” she explains.
Solar plus storage now powers the majority of Don and Christine’s homestead, aka Happy Turkey Farm, in Eagleville, TN. They had been selling their solar to the grid as part of TVA’s solar program. When their contract for premium solar payments ended this year, the Johnsons added batteries. The 6kW solar system with 2 Tesla Powerwalls covers about 80% of their home and farm electricity needs.
“We wanted the security of having power if something happened to the grid,” she says. “2020 got us more nervous with the pandemic, severe weather, and cyber threats,” she explains.
In an outage, the system automatically keeps powering their home’s 200-amp service panel. Tesla sends a notification of the outage, and Christine and Don start managing their energy use. With each sunrise, more fuel becomes available. One of the great things about the system is that it’s always on, operating quietly every day, so the system will work when they need it most. Unlike a backup generator, solar plus storage requires no regular maintenance like monthly engine startups, oil changes, filter replacements or fuel deliveries.
In June the Johnsons hosted a solar and storage system tour for people interested in seeing the equipment and learning more. LightWave simulated a grid outage, and it was if nothing happened! The house carried on like usual without even a flicker to the lights.
“If the grid goes down, we won’t worry about losing the food in our deep freezer or refrigerator which was one of our biggest concerns,” she says.
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