5 KW Grid-Tie PV Solar System in Mid-Michigan

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  • nvysealnvyseal Solar Expert Posts: 108 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: 5 KW Grid-Tie PV Solar System in Mid-Michigan

    You are generating power and supplying it to your power company. In turn, they are RE-selling it to their customers or even back to you. "RESALE" is the magic word

    Take for instance Edison generating power from Hoover dam, they dont have to pay taxes on the power they are generating, the END user pays the taxes.

    But if your talking about income tax, i could be seeing it taxed as "income" because you are making a profit.

    my 2 cents
  • ag4wakeag4wake Registered Users Posts: 18
    Re: 5 KW Grid-Tie PV Solar System in Mid-Michigan

    Maybe then it applies differently to the original $2.40 per watt payment on installation of the system and the continuing payment over time based on the kwh provided.

    I could see that I may not have to pay taxes on the initial payment, but I might on the continual payments each year.
  • ag4wakeag4wake Registered Users Posts: 18
    Re: 5 KW Grid-Tie PV Solar System in Mid-Michigan

    Scott, have you gotten your first DTE bill under the SolarCurrents program? I was wondering how they showed you the creditted amount and such on your bill. Care to share?

    Alan
  • SpartanScottSpartanScott Solar Expert Posts: 41
    Re: 5 KW Grid-Tie PV Solar System in Mid-Michigan
    ag4wake wrote: »
    Scott, have you gotten your first DTE bill under the SolarCurrents program? I was wondering how they showed you the creditted amount and such on your bill. Care to share?

    Alan

    Yes I did get an April bill which is split between 20 days of regular pre-solar service and 10 days of SolarCurrents Net-Metering service. Picture attached is of the 10 day billing period. What is missing from my bill is the $0.11/kWh Solar. I called DTE and they acknowledge the error and have my billing on hold until the billing department gets final paperwork from the SolarCurrents dept. So my revised bill for the 10 day period should have a $3 charge minus a $30.80 credit for solar RECs.

    To summarize the bill for the 10 days, there was 54 kWh inflow to my house, 257 kWh outflow to the grid, and 280 kWh generated by solar. Outflow minus Inflow means 203 kWh is in my "Excess Generation Bank" for my FREE use in the future. Bank Estimated Value shown of $20.95 is just for information and is not a credit to the account. If I need to use energy from this 'Bank' it will pull directly from the kWh count, not this "estimated value".

    I will also post the full April bill once they revise it for me.
    -Scott
  • ag4wakeag4wake Registered Users Posts: 18
    Re: 5 KW Grid-Tie PV Solar System in Mid-Michigan

    Very nice. That's interesting about the Excess Bank Generation. If they keep that Bank in the amount of kWhs sent, then it's the ideal situation. I thought they would calculate the bank of the kWhs sent multiplied by the contract price. From the bill it would seem they were going to do it that way, but your explanation has me hopeful.

    At the end of the year, the Gen solar number 280kWh is what the yearly Rec payment is made from correct?

    Alan
  • gwizgwiz Registered Users Posts: 7
    Re: 5 KW Grid-Tie PV Solar System in Mid-Michigan

    Scott can you put an average kw produced per day or more long term totals to your energy logger for going forward. It looks very interesting for the future. My only issue is I have Consumers Energy with no such installation discounts.

    thanks.
  • SpartanScottSpartanScott Solar Expert Posts: 41
    Re: 5 KW Grid-Tie PV Solar System in Mid-Michigan
    ag4wake wrote: »
    At the end of the year, the Gen solar number 280kWh is what the yearly Rec payment is made from correct?

    That is correct, although DTE has not yet decided if the payment will be made at the end of the calendar year, or the SolarCurrents contract anniversary.
    gwiz wrote: »
    Scott can you put an average kw produced per day or more long term totals to your energy logger for going forward. It looks very interesting for the future. My only issue is I have Consumers Energy with no such installation discounts.

    Yes I will post more long term totals and averages to my web site. Being in the Consumers area, you can still install now, get the 30% Fed credit, and sell your RECs for ~$200/REC. Consumers has a trial Solar program now, but I know they have funding and will turn it into a full fledge program soon.
  • SpartanScottSpartanScott Solar Expert Posts: 41
    Re: 5 KW Grid-Tie PV Solar System in Mid-Michigan

    May 2010 Solar Production Summary
    5376 Watt System, 6kW SMA Grid-tie Inverter, 153 deg Azimuth, 33.7 deg angle from horizontal.

    In the 31 day month of May I generated 766.75 kWh of Solar Power. The best day was May 10th with 38.75 kWh generated and a max temp of 61 degrees. My daily average was 24.73 kWh/day, which is 11% better than the PV Watts 77% default estimate of 22.32 kWh/day. This was expected since the trees to my West never shaded the panels in May due to the sun's high summer altitude. Max inverter output was 6120 Watts at 1:20pm, 70F outdoor temp, edge of cloud event. Attached image is a plot of May's daily solar production, as well as the outdoor temperatures.

    My website is now updated to show long term generation numbers, as well as kWh/day averages. Since Solar commissioning on April 20th, I have generated 1165 kWh, and my home has used 490 kWh. I have used 42% of my solar generation.

    Looking ahead at June, my PV Watts 77% target is 22.9 kWh/day. I am currently at 18.1 kWh/day due to a string of rain and thunderstorms this past week.
  • System2System2 Posts: 6,290 admin
    Re: 5 KW Grid-Tie PV Solar System in Mid-Michigan

    Wow! What an informative post!!! I had no idea the credits were out there to pay for it. I'm in the Alternative Energy Tech. Master's program at Wayne State and we were discussing just last night (with a guy from Ovonics) the price of solar installation per Watt, payback periods etc. I somehow stumbled here and was thrilled to read these posts!!!:D

    My question to Scott is - would you recommend your installer having gone through this now? Will you share his name either here or privately? I'm very interested in having something similar done in Clinton, MI. I'm wondering if there is still time this year. It is rather a wild-west out there and if you know of someone you trust, I would be (as I'm sure he would be) most grateful for the lead!) My old house there has been vacant for years though...so there is NO history of power being consumed there for quite some time...I wonder if DTE will be able to overcome this hurdle...?
    Thanks and hope to hear from you!
    Amy
  • gwizgwiz Registered Users Posts: 7
    Re: 5 KW Grid-Tie PV Solar System in Mid-Michigan

    Keep us updated when you get a chance Scott. Thanks.
  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,300 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: 5 KW Grid-Tie PV Solar System in Mid-Michigan

    sorry guys as his last visit to the forum was aug 17th. you may want to try to contact him through his contact info in his public profile by clicking on his username.
  • SpartanScottSpartanScott Solar Expert Posts: 41
    Re: 5 KW Grid-Tie PV Solar System in Mid-Michigan

    Yes it has been a long time since I've showed my face here...I'm slacking. I will pull my solar production stats and post an update for the last couple of months.

    Since June I have quit my full time job as an engineer. I am now top management for the company that installed my solar system. To be specific I am now the Sales Manager along with the lead engineer and designer for the company. It has been a great switch for me and I am enjoying every day of it.

    Amy, I will contact you regarding your questions. No it is not too early to install this year. Since the home has been vacant DTE will either pull history from a couple years back or let us do an energy load calculation based on how many people will be living there. Also, some more good news for DTE customers; they have extended their solar program of $2.40/watt rebate + $0.11/kWh REC payment for the 2011 year.
  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,300 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: 5 KW Grid-Tie PV Solar System in Mid-Michigan

    welcome back and congratulations.
  • dreesdrees Solar Expert Posts: 481 ✭✭✭
    Re: 5 KW Grid-Tie PV Solar System in Mid-Michigan

    Congrats on the new job, Scott! Seems to be right up your alley. :D
  • gwizgwiz Registered Users Posts: 7
    Re: 5 KW Grid-Tie PV Solar System in Mid-Michigan

    Congrats on the new job. Hope it works out long term. Now if Consumers power only offered a similar program to DTE I would jump at a system.
  • System2System2 Posts: 6,290 admin
    Re: 5 KW Grid-Tie PV Solar System in Mid-Michigan
    amyko wrote: »
    My question to Scott is - would you recommend your installer having gone through this now? Will you share his name either here or privately? Amy

    I too am new here ...what great information!!! Thanks Scott...

    Amy, Scott refers to MMSolar several pages back. Here's the link: http://midmichigansolar.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=30:april-5-2010-howell-mi-&catid=9:going-solar-with-mid-michigan-solar&Itemid=27
  • SpartanScottSpartanScott Solar Expert Posts: 41
    Re: 5 KW Grid-Tie PV Solar System in Mid-Michigan

    2010 April-October Production Numbers
    5.376kW PV System; SMA SB 6000 Grid-tie Inverter; 153 deg Azimuth, 33.7 deg tilt.

    Month......EST Solar kWh.......Actual Solar kWh.....Variance
    APR.....................230..............................296......................129% (11 day month)
    MAY.....................692..............................767......................111%
    JUN......................687.............................689.......................100%
    JUL......................674..............................796.......................118%
    AUG.....................639..............................741......................116%
    SEP.....................562..............................565.......................101%
    OCT.....................449..............................643......................143%
    TOTALS.........3933.................... 4498..................114.4%

    My home energy use for the April through October period was 2922kWh. The solar system generated 154% of my use. 1576kWh has been banked in my DTE Energy account for free future use. This should be enough to get me through the low production winter season. Shading has had little (<1%) effect on my system, and October was an amazingly sunny month.

    It should be noted that there were approx 2 days in June where I lost power which dragged my generation numbers down for that month.

    Thanks for reading! -Scott
  • gwizgwiz Registered Users Posts: 7
    Re: 5 KW Grid-Tie PV Solar System in Mid-Michigan

    Thanks for the update.
  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,300 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: 5 KW Grid-Tie PV Solar System in Mid-Michigan

    scott,
    it will be interesting to see how next year fairs out in comparison and here's hoping that these numbers will be equally good or better.:D
  • System2System2 Posts: 6,290 admin
    Re: 5 KW Grid-Tie PV Solar System in Mid-Michigan

    I'm new here!:D I posted since I got interested with the topic...

    Sir Scott, if it's alright, can I ask for a copy of the line diagram from PV arrays to utility grid of the actual project?

    Thanks in advance!
  • SpartanScottSpartanScott Solar Expert Posts: 41
    Re: 5 KW Grid-Tie PV Solar System in Mid-Michigan
    yepyep wrote: »
    Sir Scott, if it's alright, can I ask for a copy of the line diagram from PV arrays to utility grid of the actual project?

    Sure. I don't have the exact one of my project, but this one attached is what it would look like.
  • SpartanScottSpartanScott Solar Expert Posts: 41
    Re: 5 KW Grid-Tie PV Solar System in Mid-Michigan

    November 2010 - January 2011 Production Numbers:

    November.....Solar Estimated= 272 kWh....Actual= 406 kWh....149%
    December.....Solar Estimated= 235 kWh....Actual= 127 kWh....54%
    January.........Solar Estimated= 329 kWh....Actual= 134 kWh....41%

    Totals since Installation:
    Solar Generation = ....... 5165 kWh (4769 Estimated) ..... 17.2 kWh/day avg
    Home Consumption = ... 4521 kWh ............................... 15.1 kWh/day avg

    My panels were covered in snow the majority of the months of Dec & Jan which lost me 50% of the generation I should have gotten. I never shook the house or used a roof rake to attempt to remove the snow. With my 35 degree tilt, the snow does build up and slide off eventually. The tilt is also good to help the sun melt off the snow faster. Next winter I will have a 30 or 40 foot extendable pole to remove the snow quicker.

    Attached picture is the day after we got the 11 inch snow in early February. As you can see most of the snow slid off during the storm, and the rest is being melted away by the sun.

    Thanks!
    -Scott
  • System2System2 Posts: 6,290 admin
    Re: 5 KW Grid-Tie PV Solar System in Mid-Michigan
    Sure. I don't have the exact one of my project, but this one attached is what it would look like.

    Sir, were you not required of a MOV after the arrays and a lockable disconnect before the utility meter?
  • bobdogbobdog Solar Expert Posts: 191 ✭✭
    Re: 5 KW Grid-Tie PV Solar System in Mid-Michigan

    Scott, now that it has been over a year, is there any updates you can put forward? Would love to see how your system worked over the course of the last year.

    Tim
  • gwizgwiz Registered Users Posts: 7
    Re: 5 KW Grid-Tie PV Solar System in Mid-Michigan

    Yes looking for an update. A comparison between what you calculated and what you really got. What would you do different?

    How is business?

    Thanks:D

    Greg
  • SpartanScottSpartanScott Solar Expert Posts: 41
    Re: 5 KW Grid-Tie PV Solar System in Mid-Michigan

    October 2011 Production Update
    5.376kW PV System; SMA SB 6000 Grid-tie Inverter; 153 deg Azimuth, 33.7 deg tilt.

    My home has now been solar powered for 558 days. Here are the lifetime numbers:
    10,741 kWh Solar Generation (19.25/day) = +6.5% above estimated
    8,746 kWh Home Use (15.68/day) = 81.4% of solar generation

    Looking at the first Year of Operation (April 20 2010 to April 19 2011):
    6,483 kWh Actual Solar Generation (17.76/day) = +5.8% above estimated
    6,127 kWh Estimated Solar Generation (16.79/day)
    5,813 kWh Actual Home Use (15.93/day) = 89.7% of solar generation

    I only had about two full days without power this summer due to heat/storms. My home energy use was down some this summer because my plug-in kit for my PHEV Prius was out of commission for a couple of months. I got it fixed under warranty and am now back to plugging in the car almost daily for 6 kWh per charge. I do a substantial amount of electric space heating which saves on heating cost and uses some of the excess solar energy. I am happy with my home use being 80-100% of the solar generation. A chart is attached showing monthly generation numbers for the past full 17 months.
    -Scott
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