Solar panels didn't help Sandy-stricken homeowners

11/20/2012 | New York Times (tiered subscription model), The

Many homes with solar panels went dark after superstorm Sandy along with nonsolar neighbors because grid failures left the rooftop solar kits with nowhere to send their energy. That could lead to a rethink -- including homes adding batteries to allow direct solar power and utilities trying to establish more resilient and decentralized power distribution. "The grid won't evolve into something more distributed and fault-tolerant overnight. ... But the components are starting to come together," says Ben Tarbell of solar installer SolarCity.

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