Questions about Solar Installation (Orlando, FL - 11.6 kw)

kilimarkilimar Registered Users Posts: 1
I trying to decide on solar and I have questions about costs and equipment.  And while being technically mind, I know nothing useful about solar with regards to practical application.  Below is the scenario.

The price to install a 40 panel system system totaling 11.6 kw DC is $26,026.   This 11.6 kw system installed on the southwest roof assuming very minimal shade will generate approximately on average 1300-1400 kWH per month depending on the time of year (summer or winter), which will offset approximately 80% (normally $200/month avg.) of the energy bill based on the past 12 months of energy usage data. 
The system consists of the following components:

* REC solar TwinPeak 2 290 Watt panels (
* Power Optimizer P-300 DC ( at each panel.
* SolarEdge 10000 inverter (

Rendering showing the maximum amount of panels that will fit on the roof based on Helioscope software. 
(ignore the 4 panels on the side).

+ ~$67/panel SolarWorld's Panels SW300 (
+ ~$67/panel Mission Solar Energy Panels 300W 60-cell Mono (

The increased price to install SolarWorld or Mission Solar panels would cost $28,694 (= 26,026 + (40 * $66.7))

The whole complete solar package is eligible for a 30% Federal tax credit. 

The payment terms are as follows:
25% deposit
50% payment due upon ordering equipment before installation
15% upon inspection with building department
10% Duke Energy interconnection

These are my questions:
  1. Price, how is it? Expensive? Cheap? Middle of the road? 
  2. How are the panels compared to?  REC vs SolarWorld vs Mission Energy.  Are they three junk?  Information regarding the specific modules listed would be great.
  3. How are the SolarEdge Power Optimizers?
  4. How is the SolarEdge inverter rated?
  5. Anyone have Duke Energy  I know Duke has Net Metering in Florida and it is 12-months rolling - Is Duke is it a continuous rolling credit or is it a 12-month reset at an some anniversary date or calendar date?
  6. Anyone have Amica Insurance -- Does their typical home insurance include solar?  Or is a Special provision needed/required?
  7. While this system does not provide 100% of the energy needed, but if it did and I never owe Duke any money, with Net Metering does Duke still charge the 'Customer Charge' ($8.76) or 'Asset Securitization Charge' ($4.00) per month? 

Let me know if any additional information is needed.


  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 28,173 admin
    I am not an installer--But I will give you my very non-professional 2 cents worth of information:
    • In general, that seems to be within the current (lower cost) system pricing. Look at $/Watt pricing: $26,026/11,600Watts = $2.24 per Watt installed cost.
    • I agree it is good to get feedback on panel quality--But it is hard to obtain. Plus it takes 5-10 years or so to find out if panels are "good or bad". At the current pricing for panels and that many mfg have disappeared from the market--I would not be surprised if you had to pay for your own warranty repairs (if needed).
    • I do not really have a useful opinion for SolarEdge Power Optimizers. I am not a big fan of more equipment on the roof--But they are used a lot. And no experience with SolarEdge inverters.
    • I am in California--Watch the rate plans--They are changing (generally less favorable for the solar customers over time--Typically a "10 year" grandfathering clause--Then you are forced into the next "new rate plan").
    • Our insurance (AAA home owners) did not change because of GT Solar).
    • Per month charges are going up over time. Ours went from $5.00 to $10.00 per month minimum monthly charge recently, as well as a big change in our rate plan/time of use charges... Still OK for GT Solar at this this time but not as good as it was the first 10 years. In some locations, Monthly connection charges can be upwards of $48 to even $96 per month. Again, over time I expect connection charges to rise and per kWH reimbursements to fall. Effectively, reducing GT Solar Customer subsidies. (utilities and non-solar customers do not like GT Solar and the GT Solar "returns" will drop over time).
    What about the ~4 panels on the south east roof? In general, placing a mix of panel planes (SE and SW mix of panels) is not a good idea for "central inverter" installations. Ideally, you want all of the panes per Central Inverter to be on the same plane. In theory, the SolarEdge Optimizers are supposed to address shading and mixed plane issues (I think)--But it is something I would shy away from.

    You will need to check with your local building department regarding racking of solar panels on your roof... There are new fire department requirements coming in that may require roof space for walking paths at edge and top of roof for fire fighting (cutting roof panel to vent smoke and fire).

    Also, for central inverter systems, they may require a master disconnect on the roof.

    Keep landscaping below edge of roof--Any shade/shadows cast on solar electric panels can reduce overall system output power by a lot (i.e., don't let a tree grow too tall in the front/side yard).

    Ask the install how they will flash the rack mounts. Check with your roof (if you know who did your roof), if that is acceptable to them.

    While GT solar can reduce your power costs--I highly suggest that you do not drain your savings to pay for installation. I humbly suggest that you do not look at GT Solar as an "investment". It can save you money--But it can have other issues too (maintenance costs in the future, wind/hail/weather damage, equipment failure that needs repairs, etc.). And if you eventually sell the home, in many cases, it will not really add to the value of the home. And in some cases, it may cost you value (some buyers are afraid of all of that electrical stuff on the roof).

    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
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