Catherine – Fort Myers, Florida

February 1, 2023 Florida, Solar & Storms


At no point have we needed to conserve our electrical use.

Catherine – Fort Myers, FL

Southwest Florida 2020 Solar Co-op

System size: 9.36kW


Why did you decide to go solar?

We have had our rooftop solar for about two and a half years and are delighted with it. We got it for a mix of reasons: reducing our carbon footprint, assuring whole house electricity when the electric company has outages and hopefully saving money in the long run. Our installer did an excellent job of quickly designing and installing a system adequate for our current needs (including an electric vehicle) with a little extra production each month for future growth in usage. We got a battery wall to carry on through outages. Our installer has been a great source of education and information, promptly responding to emailed questions. We would do this again in a heartbeat.

How did your solar hold up in a hurricane?

Our system was set up with solar and a two-battery Tesla power wall in hopes we would stay habitable after a hurricane took out electric lines.

At some time during the storm we lost FPL power and the switch to battery was seamless enough that even digital clocks did not need to be reset.  Every morning after that the batteries refilled before noon even as folks showered, fixed breakfast and made coffee etc.

This was an unusual storm as it was cool enough that no AC was needed and the days were cloudless after the storm to maximize solar production.

Our household doubled in size after the storm as both my sons lost their water systems to the storm and had no power, even with rooftop solar, because they did not get battery backups.  We have been running the washing machine more frequently but doing line drying.  We have been mostly doing stove top cooking rather than baking.  The dishwasher gets run daily.  It is pretty much like just having houseguests who also help out.  We had an old refrigerator in the garage one of the kids did not need, so we plugged it in for them to bring over their refrigerator contents to keep cold.

On the 6th day after the storm our FPL power came back, but at no point have we needed to conserve our electrical use.