Facing the Fury: Using alternate power sources after a storm hits

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It doesn't take a hurricane to cause a flood in the Valley, and it doesn't take a tropical system to knock out power.

An alternate power source might get you through the storm.

If there is one thing we have most of the year in the Rio Grande Valley, it is plenty of sunshine. So, why not put this solar energy to work to help you in case of an emergency?

One Valley resident installed a solar system after the winter storm in 2021.

“That precipitated my plans to install the Tesla battery power for my house,” said resident Arturo Olivarez. “We were out for about four days, but, don't want to do that again. We just want to have the peace of mind that should we have an extended power outage, that we do have backup to our homes.”

Olivarez says the Gateway Version 2 is what controls everything.

“It receives power again from the solar panels, receives it from the batteries, or distributes it to the batteries, distributes it to the house, or distributes it from the grid, or gets power from the grid,” Olivarez said.

You can save money on solar installations this year with a 26 percent federal tax credit. That amount will drop to 23 percent in 2023.

Going all-in solar requires a considerable amount of money invested upfront.

If you're not ready to spend that much money or you're not going to be in your house for very many years, it may not be worth it.

However, there may be a solution for you: A lithium-ion battery pack rated at 500 watts and almost 500 watt-hours.

In the future, the sun may be the answer to keeping the lights on in the RGV.

Whatever your alternate power source is, now is a great time to make sure it's working properly.


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