I had four solar electric panels I bought more than a decade ago. I wrestled with whether I should use them. I bought them when I was a strong advocate for "renewables". I actually had three high quality solar hot water panels and controls that I traded for a high quality wood cook stove.
The decision to use the photovoltaics was because I already had them. I needed to buy a deep cycle battery and some controller/diverter electronics. I think this will give the next generation to use our farm a leg up. I had solar panels at my old place that had been up 22 years when I sold the place. They appeared to be putting out the same amount of electricity as the day I installed them. The weak link is the batteries and then the electronics.
Yes, there is a sense of being a hypocrite given my feelings about "renewables" simply being an extension of the fossil fuel stream. However, given my feelings about fracking, tar sands, and deep ocean drilling, I am being hypocritical every time I drive, rototill and blow snow. And so much more. Damn.
We plan to use this set up at the hothouse/greenhouse to pump water using a 1/2 hp 12 volt motor on our pumpjack,
for 12 volt grow lights, and
when the batteries are full the load will switch to a 12 volt heater in the drying cabinet.