The story touting the potential benefits of rooftop and other smaller solar power arrays was well written and informative. Now it's time to look under the rocks.
The Times reports that the tiny Mojave Desert town of Nipton, Calif., is off the grid. So exactly where does the electrical power come from when it's cloudy and when the sun goes down? Generators? Batteries? What's the (environmental) good, bad and evil of those systems? What's their life-cycle cost for housing, fuel, maintenance, repair and replacement? Is the cost of converting direct-current battery power via expensive inverters to usable alternating-current power accounted for separately?
I am all for implementing solar and wind power if it's done responsibly and the total amortized cost for an integrated system is transparent. Off-the-grid solar arrays are only one part of the system.