We build and install small or large systems for back-up, grid assistance, or off the grid replacement. Solar, or Wind, Hydro (water), steam or other equipment for generator operation. Each system will require a storage source of one or more batteries and a power inverter to change over to your required AC voltage. Solar currently has the highest cost and longest payback time, but may become less expensive in the future. Systems are sized for the amount of energy you wish to produce, and can range from very small, for a few hundred dollars, to larger systems, from $10,000 to hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Small back up systems with water or wind can be built for a few thousand dollars to produce enough energy for lighting and some small appliances. Wind is only available at certain times. I think for this area of the country we are subject to about a 30 percent availability with wind. Remember this is still a 30% savings on electrical usage and solar is less than 25% percent, and solar is usually used with the wind unless you are in a location that has a constant wind source. Water, continuous flow from a creek, pond spillway, or spring can be use for a steady source of energy and can be stored in batteries for high demand use and converted with an inverter for longer transmission locations. A small water system of about 1,000 watts if done right and used carefully can power a small home. This is a small off-the-grid system and can be set up with the generator, water turbine, power inverter, switch and 4 storage batteries for under $14,000. Remember this is a small off the grid system. A Solar Panel System for a 1,000 watt system will run over $12,000 and produce less than an average of 20 percent of rated watts. It would take between 4,000 and 5,000 watts of solar panels to make up the 1 Kw. system. Tracking systems will do better, but the cost is usually offset by cost. Adding more panels is usually less expensive than the required maintenance and extra cost for tracking systems.