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  1. #331
    Elite Member Redneck in training's Avatar
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    Default Re: Grid-tied solar

    Quote Originally Posted by dmccarty View Post
    The latest issue of Journal of Light Construction had an article about installing solar power panels. The contractor was in Mass and said that the installation cost was $4.30 per watt. The price seems to be dropping steadily.

    Later,
    Dan
    I got a quote in Iowa for 3.90/W turn key before tax rebate. I did it DIY last year for 2.25/W. Or 1.46/W after tax rebate. Our system is ground mounted and uses microinverters. If you can mount it on a roof and use single large inverter you can save at least 10 to 15% of the cost before tax rebate.

  2. #332
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    Default Re: Grid-tied solar

    I was told, if you put solar on your home and replace the roof with a metal roof at the same time, then the roof would also be eligable for the rebate?


    Dave

  3. #333
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    Default Re: Grid-tied solar

    Quote Originally Posted by Redneck in training View Post
    I got a quote in Iowa for 3.90/W turn key before tax rebate. I did it DIY last year for 2.25/W. Or 1.46/W after tax rebate. Our system is ground mounted and uses microinverters. If you can mount it on a roof and use single large inverter you can save at least 10 to 15% of the cost before tax rebate.
    The article I mentioned use microinverters. I designed our roof to be at the optimum roof angle for solar gain. Kinda got lucky in that angle matched some other design criteria!

    The last time I look at the NC rules, for us to get the NC subsidy, the system has to be installed by a "professional", it cannot be done by a DIY selfer. We can get at least 5,000 watts on the roof and maybe 10,000 watts. 10K watts would cover close to 100% of our power usage over the year.

    Later,
    Dan

  4. #334
    Elite Member Redneck in training's Avatar
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    Default Re: Grid-tied solar

    Quote Originally Posted by dmccarty View Post
    The article I mentioned use microinverters. I designed our roof to be at the optimum roof angle for solar gain. Kinda got lucky in that angle matched some other design criteria!

    The last time I look at the NC rules, for us to get the NC subsidy, the system has to be installed by a "professional", it cannot be done by a DIY selfer. We can get at least 5,000 watts on the roof and maybe 10,000 watts. 10K watts would cover close to 100% of our power usage over the year.

    Later,
    Dan
    Dan,
    You can get yourself certified. Or you can do most of the mechanical stuff by yourself, install all the hardware and then let them to connect it all together. There is no wiring (or very little) involved with the microinverters. You get a special cable and plug it all in. I
    If you decide to do it have interconnection agreement signed before you purchase the hardware and base your ROI on that. I asked for interconnection agreement. The Coop sent me paper that described net metering with banking. But I had to leave for business trip and didn't sign it. When I built my system they back pedaled and said that they changed the policy. So I am selling my power during the day for 3.5 c and buying it back at night for 11.5. I was hoping to have zero electric bill but it dropped only to about half in the winter and will drop even more in the spring and summer. It will take much longer to pay for itself now. I plan to go to board of directors meeting plead my case. If you are on state regulated utility the state sets the policies.

  5. #335
    Super Member dave1949's Avatar
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    Default Re: Grid-tied solar

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr Dave View Post
    I was told, if you put solar on your home and replace the roof with a metal roof at the same time, then the roof would also be eligable for the rebate?
    Dave
    IRS Form 5695 is where the various energy credits are allowed. Some metal roofs may qualify for an energy efficiency credit, but I don't know about combining it with a solar credit. Probably best to look at that form and read the instructions for it on-line at the irs.gov site.
    "Those were the days my friend, we thought they'd never end ..."
    When there is a huge solar energy spill, it is called a "nice day"!

  6. #336
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    Default Re: Grid-tied solar

    Quote Originally Posted by Redneck in training View Post
    Dan,
    You can get yourself certified. Or you can do most of the mechanical stuff by yourself, install all the hardware and then let them to connect it all together. There is no wiring (or very little) involved with the microinverters. You get a special cable and plug it all in. I
    ...
    I am not sure I can in NC. I remember reading years ago about the requirements and there was no way I could meet them. I just went and did some reading but I can't find the requirements. Maybe the law/rules have changed or it is buried in the tax code. In any case, I certainly would have to have an electrician make the connections to the grid, but that would not cost much. The article in JLC certainly seemed easy. I did not like some of the things they were doing on the roof and I would have done it differently. The PV install looked pretty danged easy.

    Interestingly, I got an email this morning about a PV class at our community college for home owners that went over all of this stuff. Too bad I have a conflict or I might have taken the class.

    NC appears to now have net metering with retail rates at least that is how I interpreted what I read. Before I thought excess power was bought at wholesale rate. There are also subsidies from the power company that works out to $1.02 per watt which is not bad. NC pays 35% and the Fed another 30%. Looks like out out of pocket would be greatly reduced at $4 a watt but we still have to have the money upfront and we don't. The NC subsidy can take five years to be fully paid off. At the moment I have a tax situation that makes me wonder if I would ever get the NC subsidy...

    Anyway, at the rate the PV costs are falling I think it is better to wait. Seems like last year when I was looking at PV costs it was around $7 per watt.

    Later,
    Dan

  7. #337
    Elite Member Redneck in training's Avatar
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    Default Re: Grid-tied solar

    Quote Originally Posted by dmccarty View Post
    I am not sure I can in NC. I remember reading years ago about the requirements and there was no way I could meet them. I just went and did some reading but I can't find the requirements. Maybe the law/rules have changed or it is buried in the tax code. In any case, I certainly would have to have an electrician make the connections to the grid, but that would not cost much. The article in JLC certainly seemed easy. I did not like some of the things they were doing on the roof and I would have done it differently. The PV install looked pretty danged easy.

    Interestingly, I got an email this morning about a PV class at our community college for home owners that went over all of this stuff. Too bad I have a conflict or I might have taken the class.

    NC appears to now have net metering with retail rates at least that is how I interpreted what I read. Before I thought excess power was bought at wholesale rate. There are also subsidies from the power company that works out to $1.02 per watt which is not bad. NC pays 35% and the Fed another 30%. Looks like out out of pocket would be greatly reduced at $4 a watt but we still have to have the money upfront and we don't. The NC subsidy can take five years to be fully paid off. At the moment I have a tax situation that makes me wonder if I would ever get the NC subsidy...

    Anyway, at the rate the PV costs are falling I think it is better to wait. Seems like last year when I was looking at PV costs it was around $7 per watt.

    Later,
    Dan
    Dan,
    PV panels were about 3.50/W in 2011 and dropped to below 1/W in 2012. If the cost stays that low is a question though. Several large purchasers of the PV panels such as Germany, Spain, Italy and I think also Australia cancelled the subsidy in 2012. In the same time China put on line the largest silicon wafer plant on the world. So there was a glut of the PV panels on the world market. Well that is the story I heard.
    We financed the system by a home equity loan. I figured that at current interest rates it made a sense because the interest (in addition to being low) is also tax deductible.
    If you have new metering that DIY system will pay for itself in about 6-7 years.
    I got my stuff at Civic Solar.
    CivicSolar | Solar Panels - Photovoltaic Cells - Solar Power - Inverter - Charge Controller - Battery
    I paid $225 for 250 W Canadian Solar panels, 135 for 215 W Enphase microinverter, 23 per a section of Enphase cable and estimated another 180 for associated hardware such as solar rails, wood, concrete, bolts, breaker boxes, disconnect and 500 ft of cable to transformer etc. That is about 2.25/W or $562/panel installed on ground before tax rebate.

  8. #338
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    Default Re: Grid-tied solar

    Quote Originally Posted by Redneck in training View Post
    Dan,
    PV panels were about 3.50/W in 2011 and dropped to below 1/W in 2012. If the cost stays that low is a question though. Several large purchasers of the PV panels such as Germany, Spain, Italy and I think also Australia cancelled the subsidy in 2012. In the same time China put on line the largest silicon wafer plant on the world. So there was a glut of the PV panels on the world market. Well that is the story I heard.
    We financed the system by a home equity loan. I figured that at current interest rates it made a sense because the interest (in addition to being low) is also tax deductible.
    If you have new metering that DIY system will pay for itself in about 6-7 years.
    I got my stuff at Civic Solar.
    CivicSolar | Solar Panels - Photovoltaic Cells - Solar Power - Inverter - Charge Controller - Battery
    I paid $225 for 250 W Canadian Solar panels, 135 for 215 W Enphase microinverter, 23 per a section of Enphase cable and estimated another 180 for associated hardware such as solar rails, wood, concrete, bolts, breaker boxes, disconnect and 500 ft of cable to transformer etc. That is about 2.25/W or $562/panel installed on ground before tax rebate.
    I had not read that the PV cost had finally dropped to $1/watt. I have read that the price drop is because of over supply from China and lack of demand. Demand has dropped because the subsidies have dropped.

    We don't have any way to pay for PV at the moment. I do think the time is likely the best time to install. The price has dropped and I don't know how much farther it can drop if the price is at $1/watt. The price is likely near the bottom which makes it a good time to buy before the US subsidies end.

    Your prices are danged interesting. If, and I think it is a big if, I could get a system installed at $2.25 a watt that would be real interesting. I think our roof can handle 10,000 watts. Why 10K watts, well the number makes the math easier and that would provide close to 100% of our power. Maybe a bit of surplus.

    10K watts x $2.25 = $22,500.
    NC and Fed subsidy is 65% which leaves $7,875.

    The local power company has or had a subsidy that works out to a $1 a watt which in this case would be $10,000!

    The key is can I get an installed systems for $2.25 a watt?
    Does the power company still have that $1 per watt program?

    Oh, where do I get $22K?

    Our current tax situation is such that we might not be able to get the full subsidy from the state so that numbers do not look as good as one would think.

    Later,
    Dan

  9. #339
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    Default Re: Grid-tied solar

    I think it's time for Dan to pull out some of that crusty old money and grab some solar.
    Which is bigger?: a) $100 per month since the Big Bang or b) the US National Debt.

  10. #340
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    Default Re: Grid-tied solar

    Quote Originally Posted by EE_Bota View Post
    I think it's time for Dan to pull out some of that crusty old money and grab some solar.
    I will take new, neat money, old crusty money, or anything in between! I checked under my pillow and there was nothing to be found.

    I mentioned a solar class at the local CC earlier in the thread. I sent them a note about the course, which starts Saturday, to see if they have an opening. The course description is not as descriptive as I would like but if they have an opening I will take the class. It is only two hours for three Saturdays. I thought I had a conflict but the conflict is on a Sunday.

    Ya'll can send me crusty dollars as long as they are legal tender in the US!

    Later,
    Dan

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