Despite the popular perception that installing solar panels takes a home "off the grid," most of those systems are actually part of it, sending excess power to the utility grid during the day and pulling electricity back to run the house at night. So when the storm took down power lines and substations across the Northeast, safety systems cut the power in solar homes just like everywhere else.
Yet there are ways to tap solar energy when the grid goes down, whether by adding batteries to a home system or using the kinds of independent solar generators that have been cropping up in areas hard-hit by the storm.
Joy Hughes, Founder, Solar Gardens Institute http://www.solargardens.org
CEO, Solar Panel Hosting LLC http://www.solarpanelhosting.com