The majority of solar systems world wide are connected to the utility grid. These systems are called grid tied. The energy from the sun excites the roof mounted solar PV panels which in turn produces Direct Current (DC) electricity. This DC power is then sent into a device called an Inverter. The Inverter converts the DC electricity into high voltage Alternating Current (AC) electricity which is used by virtually all appliances and home and business devices in the world. The AC power then synchronizes to the incoming CUC grid power at your home or building. In Cayman we have two types of CUC Grid Tie Connections. The primary connection is to sell all of the power your solar system produces straight to CUC. The second is to have the power go into your home for use and the excess goes onto the grid. In both cases CUC will pay you for all of the power your system produces by crediting it against your monthly CUC bill.
There are no storage devices, like batteries, so the system will only operate when grid electricity is available. We are hopeful that CUC will allow Grid Tie with Battery Backup systems in the near future but they do not allow them now.
Grid-Tie Systems are rated in kilo-watts (KW). The solar panels you buy generate electricity in watts. For this example we'll use 250 watt solar panels. If you have 4 of these 250 watt panels and it's sunny outside they will create 1000 thousand watts or one kilowatt of electricity. If you generate one kilowatt of electricity for one hour you've created a kilowatt hour (kWh). You get paid by CUC for every kilowatt hour (kWh) of electricity you produce which is exactly how they charge you for the electricity in your home or business. Grid Tie systems are great for most people but the one important thing to know is that they stop producing power whenever there is a power outage.
Cayman does not have Net Metering at this time but the Cayman Renewable Energy Associationis working to have it implemented here. Until then, Grid Tie is the only way to have solar and still be connected to CUC.