PLEASE post your thoughts on this.....

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cybordolphin
cybordolphin Registered Users Posts: 12
I am really frustrated at the idea of $1 per watt coming to town. Only to then have the inventors sell out to ONE residential distributor. Who has decided to charge over 700% markup!

Does anyone else find this frustrating?

Please read the below article. I happen to agree with it. But more importantly read the comments at the bottom.

What are your thoughts.

Should SolarCity be able to purchase a system for $4000.00 and then turn around and collect a rebate from our government calling it a $30,000.00 system (collect over $9,000.00 in rebates for a $4,000.00 system), AND then turn around and STILL charge the customer a 15 year lease!!??

Aside from being dissapointed that I can not purchase a $1 per watt system after all (ok... more like $2 with other parts), should this be allowed? What about when a corporation like this milks all of the rebate money and leaves NOTHING for legitimate homeowners (the rebates are on a first come first serve until the money runs out).

After SolarCity rakes in the rebates AND then still continues to charge the customer for their systems..... they are making pure profit with zero cost!!!

See article here and read comments at the bottom:
http://sanjosegreenhome.com/2010/01/27/secrets-of-residential-solar-lease-sweet-deal-or-disastrous-rip-off/comment-page-2/#comment-3265


I found out that FIRST SOLAR in Arizona sells the $1 per watt technology ONLY to SolarCity here in the US for residential applications. Check out the below article and then visit FIRST SOLAR and see who they have distributing their panels. Then visit SolarCity and see their $30,000.00 CASH price for a misely 4kw system. And if you want to LEASE.... they really ream you. AND SOLARCITY collects your rebate from the government NOT you if you buy from them on a lease agreement!
http://www.gizmag.com/solar-panel-1-...-parity/11143/


I just don't think the government expected this to happen nor do I think they should allow it. A company should not be able to collect a homeowners rebate(s). I think this leads to corruption and abuse as in the case with SolarCity. This is only my opinion, but man.... it sure seems wrong.

Can you imagine if every American could get to the $1 per watt panels? I think the entire country could go to Solar then. AND that is what I think the government was shooting for.... no?

Heck I could put up a 9.4 array or 15kw system to completely run ALL of my electric, for like $10,000.00 after rebates! I was hoping to be able to take advantage of this new technology at $1 per watt, and build anywhere I wanted to OFF GRID. But alas the big corporations step in and nix that.

Comments

  • cybordolphin
    cybordolphin Registered Users Posts: 12
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    Re: PLEASE post your thoughts on this.....

    There are only 2 companies here in the U.S. who have the $1 per watt technology... from what I can find. AVA INC and FIRST SOLAR INC.

    This company who sold out to SolarCity (FIRST SOLAR INC). And the other AVA who sold out to..... none other than our government for $400,000,000.00. Check them out also. You have to ask yourself.... why would the inventor companies do this instead of coming to the public with the $1 watt panels?

    On AVA Solar INC's (they created a company now called Abound Solar - see link to their website below) website, they will not sell to residential at all. In fact if you send them an inquiry to sell as a commercial company.... they state on the form that you MUST allow them to "share" your information OR "THIS COULD SEVERELY LIMIT ABOUND'S ABILITY TO ENGAGE WITH YOU". ????? Sounds like big brother does not want to allow anyone to infringe on their selling the products themselves. Very weird. Read the INQUIRY form at their website. Very odd.
    http://www.abound.com/Content.asp?cid=18

    This whole thing just stinks.
  • Photowhit
    Photowhit Solar Expert Posts: 6,005 ✭✭✭✭✭
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    Re: PLEASE post your thoughts on this.....

    You don't appear to know anything about solar, there have been several places selling panels at or very near the $1 a watt threshold, if you can manage a seach of this site you'll find several threads, Search Uni-Solar and Kaneka...

    Of course thats just the beginings of a system, you still have mounting and electrical componets, these are less efficient so there's more mounts, wire and hardware... Oh did I mention labor? thats typically 1/2 of the cost of an array.

    I think about about $1.20 is about as cheap as you can buy panels currently, if that 20% extra above the cost of the $1 a watt cost is going to spoil your dream, well you aren't much of a dreamer.

    Of course you still don't understand solar "...to completely run ALL of my electric..." you'll still need to be grid tied or buy a huge bank of batteries...

    Open a book, read the forum, get real...
    Home system 4000 watt (Evergreen) array standing, with 2 Midnite Classic Lites,  Midnite E-panel, Magnum MS4024, Prosine 1800(now backup) and Exeltech 1100(former backup...lol), 660 ah 24v Forklift battery(now 10 years old). Off grid for 20 years (if I include 8 months on a bicycle).
    - Assorted other systems, pieces and to many panels in the closet to not do more projects.
  • dwh
    dwh Solar Expert Posts: 1,341 ✭✭✭
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    Re: PLEASE post your thoughts on this.....

    A) The quoted "$1/watt" that I've seen in press releases and articles is the "cost to manufacture" - not the end user retail price.

    B) If *I* were a manufacturer, I would certainly prefer a situation where I get a bunch of LARGE purchase orders, as opposed to a situation where I have to deal with millions of SMALL purchase orders.

    C) As to the rebates, I don't believe in rebates at all - to me, the very word rebate means scam. The only reason rebates have become popular is because whoever is giving the rebates KNOWS that NOT EVERYONE will collect them. It's like "pre-pay" cards at a fast food joint - they do it knowing that there will be some that never get used (or only partially used), and that it adds up to a LOT of money (free money) over time.

    D) Ugh. More Google Ads. Is no one so altruistic that they can use the free blog service wihtout trying to make money off it? What's the carbon footprint of a Google Ad? Can't be much, but I bet it adds up to a huge number if you do the math. Green Hype + Google Ads = 0 net benefit.
  • drees
    drees Solar Expert Posts: 482 ✭✭✭
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    Re: PLEASE post your thoughts on this.....

    While it is frustrating - that is business. If you were First Solar and had a huge manufacturing advantage over the rest of the competition, you'd use it to profit as well.

    I highly doubt that SolarCity is able to get the panels for $1/watt from First Solar - while they are likely to be able to get a good price, it's highly unlikely that First Solar would give up the profits and hand them to SolarCity.
  • cybordolphin
    cybordolphin Registered Users Posts: 12
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    Re: PLEASE post your thoughts on this.....

    The $1 per watt technology should be made available to the public for around $2-$3 per watt installed no?

    The manufacture cost of $1 per watt should be a little less than half of the total installation cost.
    http://www.popularmechanics.com/science/energy/solar-wind/4306443

    And yes. You can use Solar for your entire electricity needs. The days of battery banks will soon be over, as the technology is coming. And it is coming SOON.
    http://web.mit.edu/newsoffice/2008/oxygen-0731.html

    Point me where I can purchase a panel for $1 per watt.... please. And still fit on my roof. Seriously.

    I am surprised at the support being given to the ONE and only company allowed to sell the new thin panel design by what appears to be those in the industry?

    Is it not true.... This company being the only company allowed to retail this new technology.... could put every other solar panel company out of business right now.

    Simply. For instance if their lease program were to be shut down (their huge cash cow that is allowing them to jack the price up), make no mistake the company would then slash the price of their panels to at least half of what all other solar panel companies are selling their panels for. The profit is certainly there for them to do this.

    What solar customer would not want the newest technology at half the price? The other solar companies would lose their business quite rapidly.

    Instead this company will sneak all of your business anyway with the current "ZERO DOWN nothing out of pocket" theme, and if they lose the game on the lease program... they can just turn around and slash the price of the product to win your customers that way. Either way... they've got you.

    On the other hand. If this company being the ONLY one allowed to resell the new technology WERE to lose their lease program..... AND then DID charge half the price of any other solar system. It just might raise attention to what might appear to be a monopoly. This could lead to scrutiny of the business practices being conducted in this situation. Likely this would force the technology to be available to all solar companies (not a bad thing). And then normal competition would ensue. Leaving the prices to go where they should be on the product, and keeping all other solar companies in business (as it should be). Then everyone would win. The consumer could get the technology at the planned lower prices, the other solar companies would not be put out of business, and the US could lead the planet in solar energy rollout implementation. Not a bad thing at all.

    If I owned a solar company (in just about any capacity), I would be angry about all of this. And in fact I would be afraid..... very afraid. This company holds all the marbles right now. And could pull the plug on all of you in short order.

    If the rebate program goes away, the lease program for this company would colapse, and they would then be forced to lower the price of the product where it should be for the consumer. But don't worry too much about that, even though their product would cost us half of what yours does now..... as all solar companies would then likely be entitled to market the same technology.
  • cybordolphin
    cybordolphin Registered Users Posts: 12
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    Re: PLEASE post your thoughts on this.....

    Photowhit....

    I have done much reading. Thus my post. What is going on is wrong. The technology should not have been released to only ONE solar retailer. So that the ONE solar retailer could then mark the prices up far beyond reasonable. Yes... there is actually an expressed "reasonable" price markup for solar (you can read that if you look it up). This ONE retailer to pay around $1 per watt, and collect a customers rebate from our government based on $7-$9 per watt (or more), I feel is wrong. Further it is keeping solar from being affordable for the masses. Well unless you bow to the 15 year lease program (wow.... how can anyone say that is a good thing).

    The total cost...... that is part of my point. The new technology IS more efficient and less expensive to install. That was the premise behind all the hype once the Grid Parity was reached.

    The $1 per watt technology should be able to be installed for around $2-$3 per watt total..... no?
  • cybordolphin
    cybordolphin Registered Users Posts: 12
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    Re: PLEASE post your thoughts on this.....

    DWH.... the rebate I mention is from the governemt. 30% no cap right now. Call it a scam if you like. I think it is kinda great actually. I call it a great tool to get the majority of the population heading to solar. That is if it is being used by the majority population instead of one company raking the rebate in.... and charging the end user consumer a hugely marked up price.
  • cybordolphin
    cybordolphin Registered Users Posts: 12
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    Re: PLEASE post your thoughts on this.....

    First Solar admits their manufacturing costs have dropped from $3 per watt to below $1 per watt (and dropping).
    http://www.consumerenergyreport.com/2009/02/25/first-solar-inc-cuts-manufacturing-costs-to-below-1-per-watt/


    Point being the cost of putting solar up on my roof has not dropped over the past 10 years. I think you see the manipulation is not allowing that. When in fact the cost could be at least 1/2 less expensive than ever. Then throw in the rebates given today.... its a no brainer. No one should be without solar. It COULD now be way cheaper than Edison.

    Yes... China has the best price on panels without regard for quality. Japan has the best price on panels WITH/while regarding quality. And my entire posts describes why that is so.

    But it is clear. The consumer should be able to purchase this new technology for around $1-$2 per watt. We are being charged $7-$9 per watt instead.

    Here is another article with regard to cost of manufacturing. The cost to manufacture a panel should account to a little less than half of the total cost of installation. This is not being allowed to happen for the reasons outlined above.
    http://www.popularmechanics.com/science/energy/solar-wind/4306443

    WE HAVE REACHED GRID PARITY..... well if you take the greed/corruption out of the mix, and allow me to install the new technology myself, or have it installed by an installer that is not out to screw anyone.


    Here's more on the actual cost to manufacture. Note* NanoSolars claiming .33 per watt! However sustainable their materials might be. All the more reason I would love to be able to purchase the products NOW before the rest of the population pounces and makes the products unsustainable (due to lack of material to meet demand). You could theoretically purchase some of the best panels EVER to be made available in our lifetime, since the materials being used right NOW, may not be able to continue to be used, once the demand hits. The panels now enjoy a level of efficiency, not likely to be found once the overall population jumps into Solar. This due to having to change the materials to sacrifice sustainability for efficiency. In a sense you could be purchasing panels using far superior material now than you might be able to in the future.

    http://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/what-is-solyndras-cost-per-watt/
  • Solar Guppy
    Solar Guppy Solar Expert Posts: 1,989 ✭✭✭
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    Re: PLEASE post your thoughts on this.....

    More time with Google and less time in posting will help in your quest. Remember, you need more than just panels; inverters, racking, wire, conduit, professional design services for the structure, ect ... the installed price raps this all in when you see the higher per watt price

    http://sunelec.com/ .98 cents a watt today for UniSolar and 2 bucks a watt for Si panels plenty of places

    If you want a system cheap, get the materials yourself, get the permit and hirer your own labor ... lots of people do this.

    As for turn key pricing, its just like any other trade ... look at AC installers, they routinely get 3-4X the material costs for a system install and that's a mature industry
  • cybordolphin
    cybordolphin Registered Users Posts: 12
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    Re: PLEASE post your thoughts on this.....

    Drees.... First Solar is making a profit. But not creating the grossly over priced situation for the end consumer.

    It is the ONLY retailer allowed to sell the product that is raking in the rebates, putting folks on a lease program, and charging $7-$9 per watt for a technology that promised to be far cheaper than older technology.

    If the rebates went away. The retailer would very likely end their zero down, no cost plan being offered. With the rebate program, the retailer is allowed to overinflate the price of the system. Then collect the rebate for the customer based on the overinflated price. This is a huge money making machine for them.
  • cybordolphin
    cybordolphin Registered Users Posts: 12
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    Re: PLEASE post your thoughts on this.....

    Thanks Solar Guppy. I will look into the links you posted.

    Are you saying that if the cost of manufacturing has dropped from $3 plus per watt, down to under $1 per watt, that the consumer should still be paying the same today for a solar roof than they would have 10 yrs ago? I believe the cost to put solar on a roof today should be at least 1/2 less than 10 years ago, based on drop in manufaturing costs. And indeed it would be.... if the technology was given to the general population (If you and I COULD go buy the sub $1 per watt NEW technology panels).

    If we have reached Grid Parity, due to reduction in cost to manufature solar. There is no reason the majority population should not be on Solar. The only thing keeping that from happening is greed.

    I am still pretty set on the new thin panel technology for its efficiency, etc..

    $1 per watt for a 120 watt panel..... hmmmmm.... not sure about that. I'll have to calculate how much of my yard I will need......
  • Photowhit
    Photowhit Solar Expert Posts: 6,005 ✭✭✭✭✭
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    Re: PLEASE post your thoughts on this.....

    Lets see,... NO would be one answer.

    Storing solar energy as hydrogen is a great idea, problem is how do you store hydrogen? It's not easy, hydrogen as a gas is not very energy dense as a gas and it is a tiny atom flowing throw most storage over time.

    BTW - I think they give away fuel cells down the road...
    Home system 4000 watt (Evergreen) array standing, with 2 Midnite Classic Lites,  Midnite E-panel, Magnum MS4024, Prosine 1800(now backup) and Exeltech 1100(former backup...lol), 660 ah 24v Forklift battery(now 10 years old). Off grid for 20 years (if I include 8 months on a bicycle).
    - Assorted other systems, pieces and to many panels in the closet to not do more projects.
  • BB.
    BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 33,522 admin
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    Re: PLEASE post your thoughts on this.....

    5+ years ago, $8-$10 per watt installed before rebates... Today, people are getting under $6 per watt installed for GT solar (again before rebates).

    Also, given that thin film panels are about 1/2 as efficient--you need roughly 2x the shipping/mounting hardware/labor to install vs the "more expensive" crystalline solar panels.

    Add that, a few years ago, some California Cities where charging >$1,000 for building permits/fees for grid tied solar systems (and $200+ per year for the solar installer's business license)...

    Everyone has their hands out...

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • drees
    drees Solar Expert Posts: 482 ✭✭✭
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    Re: PLEASE post your thoughts on this.....

    cybordolphin, I think you are incorrect in many assumptions.

    As BB has stated, installed PV prices are close to half what they were 10 years ago - many are installing for less than $6/watt where it used to cost $10/watt.

    Also, if you are one company producing panels for under $1/watt when everyone else is producing them for $2/watt and you don't have enough manufacturing to keep up with demand, you are going to sell your panels for the highest price you can while keeping your manufacturing lines 100% busy so you can build more manufacturing capacity as soon as possible.

    And as others have stated, it's not hard to find thin-film panels for a bit more than $1/watt and silicon panels for under $2/watt.

    I don't think the conspiracy you think exists is there.

    PV is steadily dropping in installed costs as the industry matures and everyone expects it to keep on doing so for as long as you can see.
  • cybordolphin
    cybordolphin Registered Users Posts: 12
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    Re: PLEASE post your thoughts on this.....

    All good. But from the research I am doing..... the under $1 per watt product should yeild a total installed cost of $3 per watt total. This is half of the current prices being charged. And if the end user were able to get this price AND take advantage of the current rebates..... it would make sense to just about everyone, to go with solar NOW, without the need for some 15 year lease game.

    The company First Solar is now able to produce what used to cost them $3 per watt for under $1 per watt. The problem is the end user is not realizing the savings (yet). And they should and could be if they had more options in obtaining the new technology. The problem is the new $1 per watt technology that I am talking about, is ONLY BEING SOLD to the public via ONE retail company. First Solar is only allowing SolarCity (SolarCity is obtaining through Abound Inc.-put in place by First Solar) to sell their new cheaper to manufacture technology. And SolarCity is charging the consumer the same prices as the older more expensive technology...... not allowing the consumer to realize the savings.

    As for the efficiency.... I have some good reading for you. But beware.... you are likely to find most of it boring math. But pay attention to efficiency studies, etc.. Keep in mind that since the report.... First Solar has indeed exceeded expectations. Then read the information surrounding First Solar and their product. Then look into what happened to their product. Who has the only right to sell to the public, and what has happened to the price as a result. Look at what SolarCity has done to the price for the end user.... and how SolarCity is marketing what should be REALLY affordable solar.
    See through the NO DOWN no upfront cost and save jargon.... look at the price they are actually charging for what should be the a product making solar affordable to everyone.

    Regarding efficiency:
    http://www.ecs.umass.edu/mie/faculty/baker/Estimating_theCost_Solar-Energy.pdf

    This guys article is spot on as well:
    http://sanjosegreenhome.com/2010/01/27/secrets-of-residential-solar-lease-sweet-deal-or-disastrous-rip-off/comment-page-2/#comment-3265
  • stephendv
    stephendv Solar Expert Posts: 1,571 ✭✭
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    Re: PLEASE post your thoughts on this.....

    Like almost everything the price of panels is dependent on the volume. When First Solar panels were first made available in Europe the minimum order was 30kW (and it might still be that way).
    There are a lot of costs involved between the panels leaving the factory to getting it on a roof. And while, the production cost of the panel itself may have declined, the other costs could have stayed the same. The cost of employees, mounting structure, inverters, administration, marketing, accounting all play a much larger role when dealing with end consumers than just shifting boxes of panels out the factory.
  • drees
    drees Solar Expert Posts: 482 ✭✭✭
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    Re: PLEASE post your thoughts on this.....
    All good. But from the research I am doing..... the under $1 per watt product should yeild a total installed cost of $3 per watt total. This is half of the current prices being charged.
    I think you're still missing the big picture which people have tried to tell you multiple times now.

    A manufacturing cost of $1/watt does not mean they can sell them at $1/watt and still make money.

    Labor is generally $1-$2 watt
    Racking is $0.50-$1 watt
    Inverter is $0.50-$1 watt

    So maybe if you are lucky and do your homework with the $1.20 thin-film panels work you can get installed for $3.20/watt. But more realistically the cheapest you are going to get is about $2/watt and probably somewhere between $2-$3/watt.

    Realistically, $5/watt is about the minimum the industry can support right now with everyone still making some money.
  • dwh
    dwh Solar Expert Posts: 1,341 ✭✭✭
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    Re: PLEASE post your thoughts on this.....
    But beware.... you are likely to find most of it boring math.

    BWAHAHAHAHAHA! Dude! You almost made me spew coffee out of my nose! Seriously.


    Look. It's considered good manners when participating in an Internet discussion forum, to do this thing called "lurking". It means that you first take some time to read what's being posted, see who the posters are, and generally get the lay of the land before you leap in. This greatly reduces the chance of contracting foot in mouth disease.

    Since you didn't bother to do a bit of lurking, I'll clue you in. This is a place where you will find a BUNCH of engineers (no, I'm not one). The guys and gals around here are MATH FREAKS - and they are TOTALLY INTO solar. That's what was so utterly hilarious about that comment of yours.

    For example, someone who responded to you on this thread - Solar Guppy. He's a design and test engineer. Does contract work for companies like Xantrex. He's not a sweetheart - in fact sometimes he's an irascible old fart. But he KNOWS what he's taking about so when he takes the time to respond to your post, you really should give a little thought to what he says.

    You seem pretty worked up about that whole "$1/watt" thing. SG pointed out to you that panels are already available to the public for that price and it seemed to have gone in one ear and out the other. Okay, maybe they aren't as efficient, but if you hang around here a while and get a grip on the MATH you will soon see that a couple of percentage points one way or the other doesn't really have much of an impact. You can get that sort of variation from a few clouds passing by or one day being a bit hotter than another. Generally, you can easily compensate for a bit lower efficiency by adding a few more PV modules.

    I have read your posts. I even read your blog. I understand that you're not happy that all the output from one manufacturer is monopolized by one distributor/installer/leasing company. I get it.

    But I don't see it as a big deal. Personally, I think that the net effect may well be that a lot of people who are on the fence about installing solar will get off the fence if they can do it easily. In the long run they are going to save some on their electric bills, and if they can do it without having to THINK, then that makes it easier for them. Okay, so the leasing company makes money too. They also collect the solar rebates (yech!) as well.

    Net result?
    * More solar installed overall.
    * Homeowner saves money in the long run.
    * Leasing company makes money so is still around years down the road.
    * Manufacturer makes money and so is also still around down the road.

    I put all of these down in the WIN column.


    What I put down in the LOSE column is that 1/3 of the U.S. are renters, and they are footing 1/3 of the bill for these rebates - but they aren't even eligible to collect them! That, IMHO, is a bloody ripoff.
  • drees
    drees Solar Expert Posts: 482 ✭✭✭
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    Re: PLEASE post your thoughts on this.....
    dwh wrote: »
    What I put down in the LOSE column is that 1/3 of the U.S. are renters, and they are footing 1/3 of the bill for these rebates - but they aren't even eligible to collect them! That, IMHO, is a bloody ripoff.
    I wonder if solar co-ops will allow renters to take advantage of those rebates...
  • cybordolphin
    cybordolphin Registered Users Posts: 12
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    Re: PLEASE post your thoughts on this.....

    Dwh..... point taken.

    But I do not believe that there is any other technology out there that promises so much in the way of grid parity. I also do not believe the other $1 per watt panels out there compare for many reasons (the ones we can actually get).

    That being said. I have to disagree with you on this being a win for everyone. I think the end user is being sold short. And being sold into a 15 year lease is a sham when they really do not have to be.

    This new technology solar can be on the roofs of everyone right now at $3 per watt, and still leave plenty of profit for engineer installer friends.

    I like engineers. Since I was a kid and they remarked how my hand made gliders MUST HAVE HELIUM in the wings (I was able to keep my gliders in the air for 3+ hours usually until the batteries ran dead and I made a less than glamorous landing). I like them because they can usually see through BULL. After reading the below article that talks about part of the problem, I do not know anyone personally who feels any different about this than I do (engineers included).

    http://sanjosegreenhome.com/2010/01/27/secrets-of-residential-solar-lease-sweet-deal-or-disastrous-rip-off/comment-page-2/#comment-3265

    I think we agree... since First Solar has found a way to manufacture their product for 70% less than just a few years ago. And IF the consumer were to realize that reduction in manufacturing costs. There would be a lot more homes with Solar. Mine for one.
    I like the idea of purchasing a 15kw system for $10,000.00 paid off in 5 years at the same cost per month as my current electric bill (after my rebates). Than paying 4x that amount and someone else getting my rebates, AND being put on a 15 year lease. For the same system.

    And if the technology was made available to all solar installers (everyone)... not just ONE company. I could do just that. And the solar installers would make the same profit they currently make (maybe more).

    Now..... would one or more of the engineers like to compare the First Solar's product with the other panels touted at $1 per watt? I'd like to hear the real differences. I personally think they are substantial... but I would like to hear.
  • cybordolphin
    cybordolphin Registered Users Posts: 12
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    Re: PLEASE post your thoughts on this.....

    StephenDV..... there is no MINIMUM order with First Solar. You cannot buy their technology. No one can except the ONE company as mentioned. And THAT company is jacking the price up to old technology prices AND collecting rebates based on those inflated prices. AND then turning around and charging the consumer FULL pop (based on older more expensive technology).

    Lets not support that. There is a much better way to get solar out there to the public.
  • drees
    drees Solar Expert Posts: 482 ✭✭✭
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    Re: PLEASE post your thoughts on this.....

    cybordolphin, you're still missing the point.

    Sure, First Solar's panels must be great since they are able to manufacture them for less than $1/watt. Supposedly, so is Nanosolar.

    For First Solar - you can't buy their panels for small (small being < 30kW) commercial or residential setups unless you go through SolarCity. No doubt they are doing this to minimize their overhead. For large commercial scale installs, they have a dozen or so companies to refer to you. Again, no doubt this is to allow them minimize their overhead costs.

    The situtation with Nanosolar is similar - except that last I heard they were so backlogged with orders you'd have to wait at least a year to get any product for them for your large install.

    These guys are moving huge volumes - First Solar alone has nearly 6+ GW of installs in development just over the next couple years and are working on bringing on a new manufacturing plant in France along with doubling the size of an existing plant in Germany.

    Because of their low prices and massive volumes, they are not interested in dealing with small projects. They are too expensive and time consuming. Big projects let's them best leverage their lower prices and typically don't have issues with their lower module efficiencies (I believe their modules are around 10% efficient).

    Now if the large-scale commercial and utility market dries up, you can be sure they'll start expanding the small commercial/residential markets. But with so many small-scale installs space limited, their product isn't always a good fit.

    Just look at how well SunPower has done charging a premium for their 20% efficient modules.

    We will get to the point where $3/watt installed is possible on the residential scale - but I think we are at least 5 years away from when that will be possible - I would love to be wrong!
  • cybordolphin
    cybordolphin Registered Users Posts: 12
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    Re: PLEASE post your thoughts on this.....

    drees..... thanks for the post.

    I really am not missing the point.

    The fact is that Nanosolar and others are selling $8.0 plus billion to "solar energy plants"(have the contracts). So instead of having PG&E or Edison to answer to for our electrical needs.... we will in the near future be answering to NextLight, and AES Solar for our electrical needs.

    I just don't like it.

    Flash* We are already at $2 per watt installed. I am simply trying to raise your energy so that you will not sit there while it is being manipulated away from us.

    I am amazed at how many people will be willing to take it in the shorts, rather than work to make things right. As long as people are willing to pay $7-$9 per watt installed (SolarCity prices), we will never see the $2 per watt installed prices. AND DON'T WORRY ABOUT YOUR PROFITS ALL YOU INSTALLERS. THAT STILL LEAVES ROOM FOR YOUR PROFIT.

    It is apparent that you and I will not experience the grid parity prices, as that'll put the big electric companies out of business, and likely they are scrambling to own the new "solar energy plants", to assure their futures.

    I think we should have the option (of having a $2 per watt system installed), rather than have to stay on an energy companies grid (and that is exactly where we are heading).

    None of the new thin film technologies are being offered to anyone except solar energy plants..... well unless you want to get reamed by the only company currently selling the technology to residence (pay $7 + per watt installed). We are getting screwed.

    And can someone tell me why NanoSolar is sending the panels over to Germany for assembly? Does that not bother you guys at all? Just one more thing that bothers the hell out of me. Especially when our country is in the condition it is in with unemployment.

    Hey.... the technology is here for us to pay $2 per watt installed. Just as promised by the thin film companies NanoSolar, AVA, First Solar (Abound Inc), Solyndra.... YOU AND I ARE JUST NOT BEING ALLOWED TO BUY. And although they have thrown us ONE retailer.... we are getting reamed at $7 PLUS per watt installed.

    Oh.... and by the way. NanoSolar is now at .33 per watt (manufactured cost). Yep.... it has dropped that much. AND THEY ARE NOW "SELLING" FOR $1 PER WATT - likely less now as that was a year ago.

    This is nothing personal against ANY of you here on the board. In fact it has nothing really to do with you. I must say I am surprised that more of you are not really bothered by all of what is happening with the Solar industry around you. I came here to see what those in the know might be feeling about what is going on. Yes I am surprised. Very.
  • stephendv
    stephendv Solar Expert Posts: 1,571 ✭✭
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    Re: PLEASE post your thoughts on this.....

    cybordolphin, I'm based in Spain, there is no solarcity here, but there is lots and lots of firstsolar which you can buy through many different distributors.
    I assume the price must be higher over here than in the US, but even so, First Solar is not really all that attractive from a price point of view. Here's a price list from a German distributor:

    - FirstSolar - 1.68 Euro/W
    - Trina (Poly) - 1.74 Euro/W
    - Kaneka (aSi) - 1.15 Euro/W
    - Sharp (poly) - 1.90 Euro/W

    Yingli poly panels are also about 1.50 Euro/W. So you can see it's difficult to justify the FirstSolar panels when you can buy quality poly panels for less.
  • Dave Angelini
    Dave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 6,829 ✭✭✭✭✭✭
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    Re: PLEASE post your thoughts on this.....

    And then there is the issue of longevity. The last time I looked it was not very good on either side of the pond!
    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Nevada mountain area
       htps://offgridsolar1.com/
    E-mail offgridsolar@sti.net

  • BB.
    BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 33,522 admin
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    Re: PLEASE post your thoughts on this.....
    And then there is the issue of longevity. The last time I looked it was not very good on either side of the pond!

    Are you talking about thin film in general, or something about specific vendors?

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • Dave Angelini
    Dave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 6,829 ✭✭✭✭✭✭
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    Re: PLEASE post your thoughts on this.....

    Bill,
    The San Jose company Nanosolar. It was in the Merky news last year!
    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Nevada mountain area
       htps://offgridsolar1.com/
    E-mail offgridsolar@sti.net