Simultaneous to starting Branching Out Wood, I also started a solar company, Branching Out Solar. You can read more about that clean energy endeavor in this earlier blog post; but alas, after a year of earnest efforts, it failed to gain traction and I shut that down in mid-2018.
However, the closing of Branching Out Solar did not slow my investment in, or focus on, clean energy and environmental issues in general. So I wanted to circle back on my commitment (described in my FAQ) to direct 10% of my revenue to net new clean energy projects, and share a few stats about some solar projects I’ve funded in the intervening two years since I launched Branching Out Wood.
5.4kw solar system in San Francisco, completed November 2017 - generated 6.95MWh since commissioning
16.2kw in Phoenix, AZ, completed August 2018 - generated 16.83MWh since commissioning
10.5kw in Phoenix, AZ, completed February 2019 - generated 3.05MWh since commissioning
And now that these are all up and running, the estimated annual generation for these three systems (plus the one on my own home in South San Francisco) is 53.5MWh per year. That’s a tad over 5 average homes based on the US average household energy consumption.
And I’m not done yet, as I’m beginning to explore an opportunity to directly fund a residential solar project in Texas as well.
So I hope it also serves as some encouragement to help you take the plunge on a solar project: all of these projects were spurred on by my personal values, but were nonetheless economically viable in their own right. That’s right: even in Arizona, and potentially Texas, neither of which score particularly high for friendliness to residential solar (see state-by-state rankings & details here), these projects made sense.
If you own your home, solar is an option for you, and is especially attractive through 2019 while the full 30% federal tax credit is still available. Even if you rent, perhaps your landlord will consider an investment.
Curious about my experiences in different states? Want to learn more, or have a few thoughts on how to make solar work for yourself? Join the conversation below!