3600 Grid Tie, Good Price?

neelix
neelix Registered Users Posts: 12
I am new here been shopping solar electric for about 8 months. I am looking for opinions on this quote. It works out to 5.82 a watt installed using Canadian Solar 230 and Emphase Inverters. It is by far the best price I have found and with the different roof pitches and shading issues seems to be the correct choice also. Located in Central Mass.

Opinions concerns, comments welcome

Thanks

Rob

Comments

  • BB.
    BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 33,402 admin
    Re: 3600 Grid Tie, Good Price?

    Where are you at? Boston MA?

    And is that price before or (I presume) after rebates/tax credits. Will you have enough federal taxes to get the tax credits back in 1-2 years?

    How big a system (3kW, 5kW, ?kW). If you have different roof pitches and shading issues--Have they told you how much power you are going to collect per year for your installation? Remember, in the end, it is the cost of installation / 20 year kWhr production (or whatever you like to use) that sets your end $$$/kWhr pricing.

    For example, assume 5kW system in Boston, MA--using the PV watts program (and all defaults):
    "Station Identification"
    "City:","Boston"
    "State:","Massachusetts"
    "Lat (deg N):", 42.37
    "Long (deg W):", 71.03
    "Elev (m): ", 5
    "PV System Specifications"
    "DC Rating:"," 5.0 kW"
    "DC to AC Derate Factor:"," 0.770"
    "AC Rating:"," 3.8 kW"
    "Array Type: Fixed Tilt"
    "Array Tilt:"," 42.4"
    "Array Azimuth:","180.0"

    "Energy Specifications"
    "Cost of Electricity:","11.8 cents/kWh"

    "Results"
    "Month", "Solar Radiation (kWh/m^2/day)", "AC Energy (kWh)", "Energy Value ($)"
    1, 3.36, 418, 49.32
    2, 4.36, 490, 57.82
    3, 4.79, 574, 67.73
    4, 4.92, 557, 65.73
    5, 5.33, 595, 70.21
    6, 5.41, 563, 66.43
    7, 5.60, 601, 70.92
    8, 5.64, 610, 71.98
    9, 5.13, 551, 65.02
    10, 4.65, 535, 63.13
    11, 3.14, 362, 42.72
    12, 2.98, 361, 42.60
    "Year", 4.61, 6218, 733.72

    Your cost per kWhr (no maintenance, no property taxes, no cost of loan, no fancy present value/future worth stuff--just flat 20 year assumed useful life/payback period):
    • 5,000 Watts * $5.82 / *20 years * 6,218 kWhrs per year) = $0.22 per kWhr
    In the end, $$$/Watt pricing, installed, with good components is a fair measurement.
    • Is it ($5.82/0.7) aka 30% Fed tax credit = 8.31 per Watt installed price?
    Includes permits and any paper work filings to utility/etc.? Certainly sounds very reasonable for an expensive part of the company.

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • neelix
    neelix Registered Users Posts: 12
    Re: 3600 Grid Tie, Good Price?
    BB. wrote: »
    Where are you at? Boston MA?

    And is that price before or (I presume) after rebates/tax credits. Will you have enough federal taxes to get the tax credits back in 1-2 years?

    How big a system (3kW, 5kW, ?kW). If you have different roof pitches and shading issues--Have they told you how much power you are going to collect per year for your installation? Remember, in the end, it is the cost of installation / 20 year kWhr production (or whatever you like to use) that sets your end $$$/kWhr pricing.

    For example, assume 5kW system in Boston, MA--using the PV watts program (and all defaults):



    Your cost per kWhr (no maintenance, no property taxes, no cost of loan, no fancy present value/future worth stuff--just flat 20 year assumed useful life/payback period):
    • 5,000 Watts * $5.82 / *20 years * 6,218 kWhrs per year) = $0.22 per kWhr
    In the end, $$$/Watt pricing, installed, with good components is a fair measurement.
    • Is it ($5.82/0.7) aka 30% Fed tax credit = 8.31 per Watt installed price?
    Includes permits and any paper work filings to utility/etc.? Certainly sounds very reasonable for an expensive part of the company.

    -Bill

    Thanks Bill,

    5.82 before any incentives.so we get the 30 Federal Tax credits plus we have the new REC Carve out in Mass, 1000 State Credit also. It includes all permits etc. No property Tax increase for 20 years and no loan. I have no idea on what the estimate is in anual KWH. I'll check the paperwork for that. We pay 18 a kwh here in Fitchburg.

    Rob
  • BB.
    BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 33,402 admin
    Re: 3600 Grid Tie, Good Price?

    Sounds good Rob...

    I am not in the solar biz at all--so I am not a good one to talk about real pricing for your solar system--but that price before rebates/credits sounds... almost... to good to be true.

    It would not hurt to get a second quote and check on references/google online for your vendor.

    Also--in the end, you are installing this for electrical generation--so make sure that you are satisfied with the "guaranteed" output power and that you don't have any future problems with shading (neighbor with rights to add-on to their home. Trees that will grow and shade (your own trees are expensive to cut--and some cities have severe restrictions on tree cutting; or it could be your neighbor's or a a city tree; panels free of shadows (including power lines), etc.).

    Also, you should have a pretty much near new roof under your panels--you don't want to have to pull them all up in 15 years to re-do the roof. Also understand the mounting requirements such that you don't end up with ice dams and such (not that I know much about systems setup in snow regions).

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • neelix
    neelix Registered Users Posts: 12
    Re: 3600 Grid Tie, Good Price?

    I signed the paperwork last week.

    I had multiple quotes 5 different installers. This was by far the best installed price per watt BEFORE any incentives with the technology I wanted.

    I have a little more info;

    Annual Production 3882 kwh
    PTC 3.367 KW
    CEC SIZE 3.207 KW AC POWER
    10 YEAR Installation Warranty
    1 year Free Labor in case of Micro Inverter or Panel failure.
    Enphase Envoy included.

    Estimated REC 4 per year, Minimum REC price 285 annual income from sale 1140 per REC, possibly higher if NJ is a good indicator so 11400.00 over 10 years.

    I am pretty excited and can't wait!

    My last electric bill came out to 19 cents a khw. We have one of the highest rates in the nation.

    Rob
  • mike95490
    mike95490 Solar Expert Posts: 9,583 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: 3600 Grid Tie, Good Price?

    What's your renewal rate for the enphase monitoring? That is the only way you are able to detect if a panel or inverter goes bad, is to monitor and compare monthly, to previous years production. You can loose 20% power, and not "notice because of weather" so monitoring for lifetime is important.
    Powerfab top of pole PV mount | Listeroid 6/1 w/st5 gen head | XW6048 inverter/chgr | Iota 48V/15A charger | Morningstar 60A MPPT | 48V, 800A NiFe Battery (in series)| 15, Evergreen 205w "12V" PV array on pole | Midnight ePanel | Grundfos 10 SO5-9 with 3 wire Franklin Electric motor (1/2hp 240V 1ph ) on a timer for 3 hr noontime run - Runs off PV ||
    || Midnight Classic 200 | 10, Evergreen 200w in a 160VOC array ||
    || VEC1093 12V Charger | Maha C401 aa/aaa Charger | SureSine | Sunsaver MPPT 15A

    solar: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Solar
    gen: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Lister ,

  • neelix
    neelix Registered Users Posts: 12
    Re: 3600 Grid Tie, Good Price?
    mike90045 wrote: »
    What's your renewal rate for the enphase monitoring? That is the only way you are able to detect if a panel or inverter goes bad, is to monitor and compare monthly, to previous years production. You can loose 20% power, and not "notice because of weather" so monitoring for lifetime is important.

    Good question, I will have to check to see what they charge for that service. I will sign up for it.
  • BB.
    BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 33,402 admin
    Re: 3600 Grid Tie, Good Price?

    Also, if you ever decided to not use subscription monitoring--you might try and drive a deal on access to the detailed data in the local Envoy data server. Probably easier to twist their arm now and get it in the contract before you sign/pay rather than after.

    Somebody posted here that the local Envoy data (without web subscription) was not very detailed and they (if I recall correctly) removed some data from the free side with a recent software up grade. Make sure the local data has the information you need to manage your array (identify poor performing panel/Enphase units vs average performers).

    It would be interesting to hear what you find out about the local data and what Enphase says.

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • neelix
    neelix Registered Users Posts: 12
    Re: 3600 Grid Tie, Good Price?
    BB. wrote: »
    Also, if you ever decided to not use subscription monitoring--you might try and drive a deal on access to the detailed data in the local Envoy data server. Probably easier to twist their arm now and get it in the contract before you sign/pay rather than after.

    Somebody posted here that the local Envoy data (without web subscription) was not very detailed and they (if I recall correctly) removed some data from the free side with a recent software up grade. Make sure the local data has the information you need to manage your array (identify poor performing panel/Enphase units vs average performers).

    It would be interesting to hear what you find out about the local data and what Enphase says.

    -Bill

    Wow they even include 3 years of monitoring FREE. I like free. So I will have all the data that they provide.
  • BB.
    BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 33,402 admin
    Re: 3600 Grid Tie, Good Price?

    How much is yearly monitoring after the first 3 years?

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • Solar Guppy
    Solar Guppy Solar Expert Posts: 1,989 ✭✭✭
    Re: 3600 Grid Tie, Good Price?

    I bet after three years the data monitoring fees is more that 50% the khw value of the array's production, based on what some other posts had for fees ... I remember it was in the 300-400 dollar year range just for the privileged to know if your army of inverters are actually working

    This looks like the enphase business model, sell the inverter below cost and make up for in on monthly recurring monitoring charges .. sound just like the cell phone companys
  • neelix
    neelix Registered Users Posts: 12
    Re: 3600 Grid Tie, Good Price?
    I bet after three years the data monitoring fees is more that 50% the khw value of the array's production, based on what some other posts had for fees ... I remember it was in the 300-400 dollar year range just for the privileged to know if your army of inverters are actually working

    This looks like the enphase business model, sell the inverter below cost and make up for in on monthly recurring monitoring charges .. sound just like the cell phone companys

    32 a year IMO that is still high, but we have 3 years to hack it....
  • Solar Guppy
    Solar Guppy Solar Expert Posts: 1,989 ✭✭✭
    Re: 3600 Grid Tie, Good Price?
    neelix wrote: »
    32 a month IMO that is still high, but we have 3 years to hack it....

    Good luck on that, its encrypted and further its protected IP ... if you "hack it" enphase legal will be paying you a visit if they should ever find out

    I wonder how enphase thought these would make money, now I understand, sell them under cost and make 2X forever selling the data back to the people who thought they were getting a deal .. I guess enphase is smarter than I gave them credit for .. this really fits into the American market perfect ... pay for monitoring on a system that claims to have high reliability ... only in the USA
  • neelix
    neelix Registered Users Posts: 12
    Re: 3600 Grid Tie, Good Price?

    Its 32 a year in 3 years who knows maybe a third party will get involved....
  • adam1984
    adam1984 Solar Expert Posts: 72 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: 3600 Grid Tie, Good Price?

    You can get 2.1kw systems now for 2$/watt from the guys in miami, but that is not installed. For 2$/watt installed, thats 4$ a watt with a great inverter (sunny boy) and not so great (efficient) panels (thin film). Thats still a $4,000 install but still not bad. $8,000 for an installed 2.1kw system. Not sure if that install amount is accurate though.
  • neelix
    neelix Registered Users Posts: 12
    Re: 3600 Grid Tie, Good Price?
    adam1984 wrote: »
    You can get 2.1kw systems now for 2$/watt from the guys in miami, but that is not installed. For 2$/watt installed, thats 4$ a watt with a great inverter (sunny boy) and not so great (efficient) panels (thin film). Thats still a $4,000 install but still not bad. $8,000 for an installed 2.1kw system. Not sure if that install amount is accurate though.

    That is cheap,do they still have the Florida Incentives or is the money gone?

    With the Mass Incentives it drops the price to 3.82 installed. Before any tax credits and REC.
  • BB.
    BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 33,402 admin
    Re: 3600 Grid Tie, Good Price?

    From what I have read here--it seems the Florida money is always gone... You have to install the system this year and hope they fund this year's rebates next year.

    I guess, up to now--they always have.

    Solar Guppy is the guy to ask about the Florida rebates.

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • Solar Guppy
    Solar Guppy Solar Expert Posts: 1,989 ✭✭✭
    Re: 3600 Grid Tie, Good Price?

    There is no next year on the Florida Rebate program it ends this year. It was a GREAT deal, I put in a 5KW system the net was zero cost but I already had the GT5.0 which saves some $$ .. did mine ~2 years ago
  • tvoss265
    tvoss265 Registered Users Posts: 4
    MA REC price?

    Are you sure about the REC price? Googled up MA rec and it looks more like $28 a rec, not $280.
  • neelix
    neelix Registered Users Posts: 12
    Re: MA REC price?
    tvoss265 wrote: »
    Are you sure about the REC price? Googled up MA rec and it looks more like $28 a rec, not $280.


    Positive, with the potential to be much higher.

    Massachusetts SREC Market
    The Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER) recently approved an SREC market to begin in January 2010. The state will implement a solar carve out that establishes a requirement for solar in Massachusetts. In addition to that, the state will implement the MA Solar Credit Clearinghouse as a last resort, fixed-price auction in the last quarter of each year with a fixed price of $300 per SREC. This establishes a floor price for Massachusetts SRECs and allows project financers the comfort of knowing that they can expect at least $300 per SREC and as much as $600 depending on market conditions.

    Eligibility: Only Massachusetts solar photovoltaic installations under 2 MW are eligible
    Eligibility Period: No defined period of years in which a facility is eligible to generate and sell SRECs
    Energy Year: January 1 to December 31
    Tracking Platform: NE-GIS
    SREC Useful Life: 2 years - a 2010 SREC can be counted towards either the 2010 or 2011 Renewable Portfolio Standards
    Solar Requirement: Set at 30MW (0.0680% or 34,164 SRECs) in 2010. Each year the requirement will increase by 30% more than the previous year's increase. It will then be adjusted by the previous year's oversupply or shortage of SRECs. The total requirement in any given year is capped at 400MW and shall never decrease.
    SACP: Set at $600 for 2010 and can be reduced by DOER by up to 10% each year. Suppliers with existing load contracts face a discounted $400 SACP. Meanwhile, the Solar Credit Clearinghouse Fixed-Price auction at year-end will establish a floor price of $300.

    Energy Year

    RPS Solar Requirement SACP
    2010 0.0680% $600
  • tvoss265
    tvoss265 Registered Users Posts: 4
    Re: 3600 Grid Tie, Good Price?

    Wow, that is incredible. So they are paying a $300 bonus on energy that is only worth $180 (@ .18 kwh). Take the money and run!
  • neelix
    neelix Registered Users Posts: 12
    Re: 3600 Grid Tie, Good Price?

    Yes that is the minimum. If Utilities don't comply they have to pay a fine of 600 for the same amount of power. So if it follows like NJ which I hope it does the REC should trade closer to 500.00.

    The old method of promoting Solar in Mass was a huge rebate of 4.00 a watt more if you used one Mass component. They ran out of money before I could find a price I was happy with. Kind of glad it worked out this way it allowed me to get a great price and shorter pay back period. Down side is the cash flow of course...


    The install should start in 2 weeks:)