Friday, March 29

Starting the solar project

Today we decided for sure where the solar panels will go. We also decided which “south” to use, what I like to call “local south.” It isn’t magnetic south which is 14° off true in these parts, and not even true south itself. Why? Because off to the east is a rather tall mountain that keeps the sun off our place till 8 or later in the morning, depending on season. To the west is a tall tree and the garage, neither of which we want to cut down. So we’re aiming the panels south-ish, slightly to the west, toward the middle of the southern exposure.

We will be digging ten holes a foot in diameter by roughly three feet deep. Each hole will hold a piece of pipe supporting a structure on which the panels will be secured. We have reserved a hole-digging machine for Monday, and in the meantime will be pouring water into little trenches surrounding the wooden stakes that mark the spots, hoping it softens the soil a bit.
In the background is the mountain that keeps the sun off of us for several hours in the morning.

Rocks are known to be in the area. When the trenches for water and power lines were dug, some rocks that you wouldn’t want to fall on your foot came out of the ground, one as big as a baby elephant, others the size of koalas and anteaters. And of course squirrel-size, dog-size, and horse-turd-size stones were abundant. I hope that’s all we find in the ten holes! we’re digging. Wish us luck.

Cell phone photo: Karla Hurley

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