How to Prepare for the Next Nor’easter Power Outage

Dec. 02, 2019

It takes a unique storm to have developed its own nickname — like the relentless winter storms known as Nor’easters. Even those new to the New England region are familiar with the term — Al Roker uses Nor’easter to describe just about any of the snow ridden clouds headed our way from October through May. 


These heavy storms are known for their high winds, heavy rain, and snow accumulation, which often add up to floods, beach erosion, traffic mayhem, and extended power outages (it’s already happened this year!). Preparing for the next Nor’easter means accounting for slower commutes, potential home damage, and no electricity. 


While you might go straight to purchasing a generator to deal with the aftermath of a Nor’Easter, there is more to consider when you are utilizing solar power for your home energy. Homeowners that are looking into solar power here in Massachusetts often ask us, “If I have a power outage, will my solar panels work?” or “Should I consider a solar battery instead of a generator?” Here is what you need to know from the number one Massachusetts based solar installer, Boston Solar.


Why Solar Panels Won’t Work in an Outage

Many energy-conscious homeowners are surprised to learn that installing solar panels alone will not keep the lights on during a Nor’easter outage. For traditional on-grid solar photovoltaic (PV) systems, regulations require that they are connected to a safety shutoff, which is triggered as soon as an outage is detected. 


Because this type of solar PV system is connected to the grid, a shutoff is required to protect powerline workers from accidental electrocution while they are working on any damaged power lines. Plus, when your solar panels are producing more energy than your home is using, that excess electricity is actually sent back into the grid for use in other homes, in exchange for an energy credit. This process is called “net metering” and is offered by all of the major power utility companies throughout Massachusetts.


Solar Battery Storage

Just because solar panels are usually connected to the grid doesn’t mean solar panels are completely useless in the event of a downed power line or burst transformer. When you combine a system of battery banks (also known as solar home battery storage, or backup batteries) with your solar panel array, you can save all of the excess electricity your solar panels generate throughout the daylight hours. Depending on the storage capacity of your battery storage system, you can keep your lights on during a Nor’easter as long as your solar panels can still capture energy from the sunlight during the daytime! 


Plus, there are incentives to reduce your solar battery costs, as well as low-interest HEAT loan options so you are not burdened with the entire upfront cost of installation.


Tesla Powerwall

During an emergency power outage, you need equipment you can depend on. This is the reason Boston Solar has become a certified installer of Tesla’s solar battery product, Tesla Powerwall. Tesla Powerwall consists of a 14kWh lithium-ion battery pack, liquid thermal control system, an integrated inverter and software that dispatches electricity when it’s needed the most - like during a Nor’Easter blackout. 



Another solar battery option for your home during a Nor’Easter power outage is the sonnenBatterie.  Boston Solar now offers multiple Sonnen batteries: Sonnen eco and Sonnen ecoLinx batteries.  These lithium-ion iron phosphate batteries range in capacity from 5-20kWh and are AC coupled, meaning they are compatible with any existing solar inverter. Sonnen solar batteries are one of the most reliable, safe and long-lasting lithium battery technologies on the market. 


Your Local Resource for Solar Energy and Backup Batteries

There are a lot of things to cover when it comes to the ins-and-outs of Tesla Powerwall or sonnenBatterie and we’ve got the answers for you right here. Are you wondering, “Is a Tesla Powerwall Worth It?” Even if your question is more complicated than that, like, “What does a Tesla Powerwall Cost?”, or “What are some Tesla Powerwall alternatives?”, or “Do you need to clean off snow on your solar panels?” our team of solar experts is ready to answer all of your questions before the next Nor’easter hits the shores of Massachusetts. 


Prepare your home for power outage uncertainties with a solar plus storage system from the #1 Massachusetts based residential solar and solar battery installer, Boston Solar! Call us at 617-858-1645 or schedule your free solar quote here.

How to Prepare for the Next Nor’easter Power Outage

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