There are a number of power options for off-grid properties. The most commonly seen on the coast are a combination of solar power and gas generator. Occasionally there will be small water power (hydro) sources as well, depending on if there is a good flowing source of water on or near the property.
Solar power has become a more mainstream and affordable system in the past decade. With outdoor enthusiasts, hunters and campers wanting a portable power source for electronic devices the industry has made great strides in creating more user-friendly and travel-capable systems which has benefited home systems as well.
Seeing an array of solar panels on a property is normal for regions that are outside of the BC Hydro service grid. Depending on where the most direct sunlight is, the panels may be on the roof of a dwelling or secondary building, or sometimes on the ground. These panels are part of a solar photovoltaic system (PV) that generally are comprised of solar panels, inverters, breakers and mounting equipment. The inverters are required to change the electricity taken in by the solar panels to a form that can be either used in the home or stored in batteries.
Because we do not always experience high sunlight on the coast, especially in the fall and winter seasons, most people will also have a gas generator system. If the property gets a lot of sunlight during the spring and summer the gas generator might only be used in the off-season.
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