Solar Home Keeps Lights On During Hurricane Sandy
Despite the storm devastation around him, “Mr. Sustainable,” Dante DiPirro of Hopewell, New Jersey, never lost power during Hurricane Sandy. Dante designed and built a sustainable, off-grid home that gets 100% of its electricity from the sun. The power is stored in batteries, so that even if a hurricane or other catastrophe has shut down the electric power grid, he still has power.
During Hurricane Sandy, when the grid was down for ten days in his town, Dante invited his neighbors over to warm up, refrigerate food and most importantly get drinking water-all of which he can do off-grid. He did the same for his neighbors during the October 2011 “Halloween” snow storm, which also knocked out the town’s power for over a week, and during other recent storms.
More and more Americans are asking how they can live more sustainably. One of the reasons Dante designed and built this home, was to demonstrate that it is doable and affordable.
He hopes that when people now start planning for the next emergency, that they consider a sustainable solution like solar electricity for their home or business. He says even if you still connect to the grid, there are ways to design the system so that you can have power when the grid goes down.
Don’t just rush out and buy a gas generator, which may still leave you out hunting for fuel when gas stations have run out or do not have electricity to pump the gas, like happened during Hurricane Sandy. Consider installing a solar system that can keep you with power during emergencies and give you clean, free electricity the rest of the year. You’ll feel good knowing that you produce clean, free electricity from the sun, and you’ll feel even better when the grid goes down and you still have power!
Dante’s home has been off-grid since 2006. He’s aware of only one other off-grid solar home, outside of the western United States.
Dante has worked on over 25 megawatts of solar projects. As “Mr. Sustainable,” Dante blogs about, and dedicates himself to sustainable energy, building and living.