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Old 01-19-2012, 08:08 AM
 
11,371 posts, read 7,343,866 times
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Hey yall, the Tuscon area has always interested me and one day I think I may move there. I want to live in a rural area outside of town and be off the grid and get my energy from solar. Is that even a possibility? Are there areas to buy land that are unincorporated?

I also worry about water. Is drilling a well and just using that going to cut it? Should I worry about the city pulling too much water from the well? Does anyone have an info about drilling a well in the area?

This is just a dream and maybe it will always be that, but I thought I would check in here to see in anyone had any ideas or info on the subject. Thanks. God bless.
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Old 01-19-2012, 11:00 AM
 
Location: outer space
484 posts, read 844,359 times
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Solar: absolutely, enough to sell back to the grid.

Well: doubt it.
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Old 01-19-2012, 11:18 AM
 
Location: Arizona
3,595 posts, read 944,654 times
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I don't see why a well wouldn't suit your needs. You can find more info about them here: ADWR - Water Management
Private wells are pretty common in rural areas around Tucson. There has been pretty good water management within the Tucson Basin and responsible steps have been taken to replenish the aquifer.
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Old 01-19-2012, 12:03 PM
 
Location: Oro Valley AZ.
1,024 posts, read 2,324,496 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tumamoc View Post
I don't see why a well wouldn't suit your needs. You can find more info about them here: ADWR - Water Management
Private wells are pretty common in rural areas around Tucson. There has been pretty good water management within the Tucson Basin and responsible steps have been taken to replenish the aquifer.
The site that tumamoc linked to is a fantastic site for well information. When you go to the site, on the drop down menu at the top click on "Data Center", from that drop down menu all the way to the right click on "Well Data Registry", that takes you to a page with three maps, click on the map that says "Well Data Registry (Wells 55)", on the next page click on "Map" That will take you to a map of Arizona, with masses of red. All that red are registered wells in AZ. It's slow process but if you start zooming in on the map you will eventually see individual red dots. Each red dot is a well, if you click on that individual red dot it will pull up all the date on the well. How deep the well is, at what level did they hit water, type of casing used, who dug the well, who owns the well etc.When you narrow down what area of AZ you wish to live in, then you can look at existing wells in the area and get an idea of how deep one might need to dig in that area.
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Old 01-19-2012, 06:10 PM
 
Location: outer space
484 posts, read 844,359 times
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my bad on the wells.
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Old 01-20-2012, 10:24 AM
 
Location: Arizona
3,595 posts, read 944,654 times
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The prospect of living on a "homestead" is a charming one. However, one consideration about living off the grid is that, with no neighbors, thieves can take their time robbing you blind when you are away. It won't take long for anything of value, including solar panels, to disappear. I might sound jaded, but it happened to us. We were hit several times when we lived on 2.5 acres on the western edge of town. I captured some of the "larceny" on video and realized it was the same guys at least twice. It is pretty spooky seeing them ram the gate, remove everything from the shed and carport, then try to pry open the security bars on the patio. Fortunately they didn't get into the house. The sheriff's department basically made me feel like it was my fault for not having a dog and a security system, rather than admit to the real issue--it was a meth-related property crime. We moved into the City once we realized it was the same perps and the cops were not going to do a darn thing about it.
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Old 01-20-2012, 12:22 PM
 
11,371 posts, read 7,343,866 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tumamoc View Post
The prospect of living on a "homestead" is a charming one. However, one consideration about living off the grid is that, with no neighbors, thieves can take their time robbing you blind when you are away. It won't take long for anything of value, including solar panels, to disappear. I might sound jaded, but it happened to us. We were hit several times when we lived on 2.5 acres on the western edge of town. I captured some of the "larceny" on video and realized it was the same guys at least twice. It is pretty spooky seeing them ram the gate, remove everything from the shed and carport, then try to pry open the security bars on the patio. Fortunately they didn't get into the house. The sheriff's department basically made me feel like it was my fault for not having a dog and a security system, rather than admit to the real issue--it was a meth-related property crime. We moved into the City once we realized it was the same perps and the cops were not going to do a darn thing about it.
That is a good point and something to think hard about.
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Old 01-21-2012, 01:21 PM
 
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In addition to what Tumomac mentioned, you'll find that a detailed cost/benefit analysis would show you that you're not likely to break even on the cost of converting to solar.
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Old 02-10-2014, 06:07 PM
 
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A well is possible, you may have to drill pretty deep. On Solar it is possible to go off the grid, not common. To be off the gird you would need a very large array of solar panels plus a large series of batteries. Solar doesn't work at night, so you need an alternative energy source, batteries. The batteries will cost more than the solar panels. Big decision.

Solar is now affordable more than ever. Yes you will reach a point where you break even, don't let others tell you different. Our solar will be installed in a month, our projected break even point is 7 years. We are tied to the grid, we develop credits in the day that we can use at night. You don't to have too many as you will get a small check from TEP once a year. They will buy your extra electricity at wholesale.

Our calculations project that in the next 20 years we will save $50,000 in electric. I like that idea. Feel free to message me if you have solar questions, I know a bit about it. No I do not sell systems, just a customer.

Cheers!
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Old 02-11-2014, 10:29 AM
509
 
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We have an off-grid solar house in a beautiful setting. That would be my criteria. If you can get the same setting on-grid do that. It really needs a very special setting to make it worthwhile.

Unless your an electrician living off the grid is a pain in the butt. Remember the house runs on BATTERIES.....all those problems with batteries in gizmo's?? Now its your entire house!!

Solar does work. It is VERY expensive. I just paid 10,000 dollars for the batteries. The panels have come down in price but everything else to make it work has gone up.

Check the relationship between the well pump and solar array. You might not have enough power to drive your well pump without a generator. We had a good supply of water fairly shallow.

Solar works...it is just very expensive, generates very little electricity and difficult to maintain. Other than that...

The view from my back door:

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