How did solar panels fare in Abilene during winter storm, power outages?

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ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – Following the February freeze, much attention has been drawn to green energy, which has already arrived in the Key City.

Ken Curry is one of many in Abilene who have been utilizing solar energy in their home. When there isn’t an energy crisis, the panels provide electricity to the household and any surplus is diverted back to the grid to be used elsewhere.

The homeowner gets paid for this excess energy.

But being tied to the grid means that when blackouts roll, you’re affected just the same as any traditional energy home, because if your home is still on and running, the powerline workers would be at risk.

“It’s really frustrating to have an energy source but not be able to use it,” Curry says. “You can’t actually go out there and just throw a switch because you have to protect these people who are out there working on those lines.”

For the panels to provide during blackouts, you would need a solar battery, which would charge off of the panels and, in the event of a blackout, your power would not be interrupted.

“The panels themselves just provide you the energy, you’re still tied to the grid. The battery backup is exactly what it is, it’s a battery that you store energy, and if you experience an outage, it starts tapping into that,” said SunPro solar installer Shane Davis.

Some in Abilene have both the panels and the battery backup, and according to Davis, they did not experience any outage.

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