We use a 13.5 kW diesel generator for our electricity needs at Camp. It's loud, fairly dirty, and sometimes inconvenient, but it gets the job done. I've always wanted, however, to reduce our dependence on it (without resorting to washing the sheets against a rock in the pond or making 10 loaves of bread dough by hand).
Last summer, we applied for two grants, one from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the other from Efficiency Maine, to install a solar power and battery system. We didn't get the USDA grant ($5,000), but we did win an Efficiency Maine grant to the tune of $15,000, and we're currently designing the system that we'll install in May.
We're working with Green Earth Energy up in Fort Kent to do the design and installation. The system will consist of 12 solar photovoltaic panels (the standard blue ones), a good-size inverter/charger, and 16 batteries that we'll keep down in the back room in the lodge. When Camp is operating full-tilt (which means doing lots of laundry, pumping lots of water, etc), we'll still need to run the generator for an hour, maybe two, per day. When we're not at full capacity, we expect to go a few days without needing the generator. That's all based on calculations, some engineering judgment, and some flat-out guesses, though, so we'll see how it all ends up working.
Once we get closer to putting in the order for the components, I'll post more about the project. When May rolls around and we start installing everything, I'll definitely post more about the project.
Until then, here's a picture of our fancy new generator: