Need advice on a solar system I'm ready to buy

System
System Posts: 2,511 admin
I live in western NY and i'm ready to buy a turn key solar panel system. But want to know if it's a good system and priced right. It's a 6,000kw annual output, that will cover 95% of my average usage. It would cover 321sq.ft. of my barn roof. the total price installed is $39,500, With NYSERDA rebates of $21,500 and a state and federal tax return of $7,000. That would leave me $11,000 out of pocket. Does this sound about right and should I believe the "estimated" annual output I was quoted?

Comments

  • BB.
    BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 33,404 admin
    Re: Need advice on a solar system I'm ready to buy

    You did not list the rating of your system (# of installed panel watts)...

    You can check your numbers here... It agrees very closely with my experience just south of San Francisco, CA...

    Just as a guess, working backwards for Rochester NY... 1kW of panels with default (optimum) south facing and 43 degree tilt would generate 1,088 kWhrs per year for a Grid Tie system...

    6,000 kWhrs / 1088 kWhrs per year per 1kW of panels => 5.52 kWatts of solar panels.

    $39,500/5,520 watts=$7.155 per watt (STC)
    $39,500/(0.86*5,520)=>$8.32 per watt (approximate PTC rating)

    If my panel rating guess are correct--the pricing does not look bad (before rebates) for a full turnkey installed system.

    The rebates you are getting sound really good... Double check that they are real... I know in past years, the federal tax credit was limited to $2,000 (and this is an income tax credit--if you have lots of deductions or are AMT limited--the you may not get the full credit the first year).

    And in California, the installer, once they get the "certificate" from the State of California will credit the state rebate to your bill--and wait (or wait and fight the state) for the California rebate.

    How do my numbers compare?

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • System2
    System2 Posts: 6,290 admin
    Re: Need advice on a solar system I'm ready to buy

    Here are the specs
    24 sunpower model-spr-210-blk-u panels, single crystal grid connect modules. sunpower spr=5000m module inverter, roof moint 34' 180 azimuth (s)
    NYSERDA 21,200 rebate paid directly to installer, The federal is 2,000 @ tax rebate time already confirmed. the $5,000 from NY is supposed to be also guaranteed but waiting for an solid answer from the state. That leaves me with $11,943 out of pocket.
    I pay $80.00 a month balanced billing now, very energy conservative. I know ny has a great rebate program with the 21,200 from NYSERDA, but it still is a ton of money.
    Is sunpower a reliable company for solar panels and inverters?
  • Solar Guppy
    Solar Guppy Solar Expert Posts: 1,989 ✭✭✭
    Re: Need advice on a solar system I'm ready to buy

    Sunpower are the most efficient panels on the Market, the inverter is a rebanded, Xantrex GT5.0, IMHO the best GT inverter on the market, so component wise, its using the best available technology

    Price wise, unless you need the slightly smaller Sun Power panels, going with a panel like the 195Watt Evergreen's would save 4-5K in material costs and be only a few square-feet more roof space. I would have your installer quote using the Evergreen solar panels and a Xantrex GT5.0 ( lower cost the a rebranded Sunpower unit )
  • System2
    System2 Posts: 6,290 admin
    Re: Need advice on a solar system I'm ready to buy

    Thanks I will have him quote the evergreen's panels and inverter. They are coming Friday with the engineer for a site visit to check out my barn to make sure it is good for an install.
  • BB.
    BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 33,404 admin
    Re: Need advice on a solar system I'm ready to buy

    $11,000/6,000kWh per year * 20 years) = $0.091 per kWhr...

    That is really a great price per kWhr for electricity (assuming no maintenance costs--may need a new inverter in the 20 years)...

    Also, you may check and see if they are going to charge you property tax on your installation. Appears that there is a 15 year exemption (except for a few areas where you may still have school taxes?)--I wonder if they let you depreciate (assume 20-25 year life?).

    If possible, you may look at your electricity usage for the future (well/appliances/electric car/etc.). I used my (pretty good) California rebates to purchase a larger system than I needed to allow for future growth (plug-in hybrid/electric around town car). I also allowed for a 20% ageing factor (per warranty specs.)--although, others (Solar Guppy?) has said that measured aging power reduction has not been seen in otherwise old but good quality panels (i.e., no cracks, leaks, etc.).

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • System2
    System2 Posts: 6,290 admin
    Re: Need advice on a solar system I'm ready to buy

    The solar co. just finished the site visit on my property. By Monday I'll have the contracts and then we are good to go. The NYSERDA $21,200 rebate take a month or so for funding. Then they will start, it should be only one day to complete. A 5 KW system with 321 sq. ft. of panels. It is all from Sunpower. The system is expandable so I can add more panels when I recover from the first bill. I asked about evergreen panels, but stuck with sunpower because of the efficency.
    I will video tape the whole install and post it on youtube. I can't wait to see the meter spin backwards...
  • System2
    System2 Posts: 6,290 admin
    Re: Need advice on a solar system I'm ready to buy

    The contracts are signed and the plans were sent to NYSERDA/New York State Energy Research and Development Authority / for approval. Now I find out that the 16.5million in funding they had is used up. The Public Service Commission is hopeful they will have more money available by mid October. Without the $21,200.00 in rebates from them the project is on hold. Looks like they will get installed just before winter when solar is at it's lowest point of the year....