Solar grid tie installations expected to fall due to shrinking Fed Tax Credti next year/ 2020?

so panel prices are at historic lowes and the 30% tax credit only lasts until the end of this year. in 2020 it will go down to about 25%. 
Are solar installers getting a tidal wave of interest now that only 5 months are left before the tax credit is reduced?
 Or is this year, just business as usual. 
I remember several years ago Evergreen's bankrupcency sale of 75 cent solar panels and there was so much hoopla over it on this board. Now one can get solar panels for half that price and no one seems to think it's much of a deal. 
Inverters now cost less as well. 
Sure racking and other BOM stuff to round out an install still costs about the same, but overall I think now is historically the best time to get a solar system. I find it hard to believe thigns can get much cheaper.  Of course people were saying that when panels were $1.50 a watt too, lol. 


  • rollandelliottrollandelliott Solar Expert Posts: 834 ✭✭

    article above states companies are gobbling up solar panels just to get that 30% incentive. 4% is the profit margin on these solar installs. wow, talk about slim margins!
  • billybob9billybob9 Registered Users Posts: 141 ✭✭
    I'll give you the ballpark price on a DIY 4K Grid Tied system. Get the panels here (store) Inverter with no optimizers just "rapid shutdown" . Get an installer that will let you buy Rails, wire, EMT and parts yourself so no padding. Go to Permit runner for Paper work and support. Lie about knowing what your doing and pay about 7K.  
  • rollandelliottrollandelliott Solar Expert Posts: 834 ✭✭
    billybob what are you talking about???
  • billybob9billybob9 Registered Users Posts: 141 ✭✭
    Since nobody was talking to you. I thought I'd just throw that in.
  • rollandelliottrollandelliott Solar Expert Posts: 834 ✭✭
    I think most/many have off grid systems so that is the reason my grid tie questions probabaly don't get much response :)
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 32,999 admin
    I have grid tie system for my home for the last ~15 years.

    And it is more about the state public utility commision rules (and having a location with good sun/no shade) than the system costs/installation issues these days.

    Back when it cost $10 per Watt for installation 15 years ago, a large state and federal subsidy was nice... Add that the utilty had to pay retail price for the excess power generated--What was not to like.

    Now, the panels themselves cost $0.50 per Watt, the racking $1 per Watt, and the inverters are still $0.50 per Watt or less... Just labor and building permit fees (which is not getting any cheaper). Last quotes I saw a few years ago was around $5 per Watt installed.

    And we have a race between states/federal/regulatory agencies removing the GT Subsidies (paid by taxpayers and non-GT solar utility customers), and a race to dismantle centralized power generation (fossil, nuclear, and large hydro/dams) and even a new movement to outlaw natural gas in new construction (Berkeley California--Going back to all electric homes/apartments/businesses--Except those folks that can buy indulgences for NG connections from the very government that outlawed the connections in the first place "for the environment")--GT solar has little overall market penetration for real energy generation and nothing yet to make a 24x7 stable grid--Not sure what to talk about. GT Solar works, can save money, still need good sunny location for solar panels, and a reliable grid with legal utility connection/rate plan.

    Our utility PG&E (basically northern California is going through chapter 11 bankruptcy over the California Wildfires) is now warning folks that they will lose power for hours to days during windy summer weather... (much of the fire hazard is due to poor wildlands fuel management and building homes in forests and brush lands without managing fuel loading. Add a utility that probably had less than stellar equipment/system maintenance and had been forced into near bankruptcy a generation ago by the heavily regulated "deregulation" of utilities that gave us Enron and all the rest. Toss in a gas pipeline explosion a few years ago from an old/improperly constructed pipe...

    For us, better start looking at whole house gensets if you want to have stable electric power. (God knows where we will get the fuel for our gensets in another generation in California).

    -Bill "I give up" B...
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • rollandelliottrollandelliott Solar Expert Posts: 834 ✭✭

    Now, the panels themselves cost $0.50 per Watt, the racking $1 per Watt, and the inverters are still $0.50 per Watt or less...

    Quotes I got this week for unirac is more like 25 cents a watt and 5000w GT inverters are more like 25 cents a watt so about $1/watt in materials currently for roof mounted CGT. micro inverters might cost more, I prefer central inverters myself. 

  • icarusicarus Solar Expert Posts: 5,436 ✭✭✭✭
    I just oversaw a 6.2 kw grid tie system, with complicated roofing system, (off angles/flat EPDM roof etc. full optimizers etc)   All in, including permits, racking, etc for $2.72/watt.  I’m remembering when I bought my first 53 watt panels for ~$10/watt for the raw panels!  My how times have changed!  Tony
  • billybob9billybob9 Registered Users Posts: 141 ✭✭
    I called a few of these $2.72/Watt installers and the Equipment came from Mars. No brand name stuff at all. Rails were not slotted for feet and panel holders.
  • icarusicarus Solar Expert Posts: 5,436 ✭✭✭✭
    edited August 2019 #11
    Very well respected company...North American made Silfab panels, proper iron ridge anodized  racking/flashing, SMA inverters, Tigo optimizers, superb workmanship.  No complaints.  Tony
  • billybob9billybob9 Registered Users Posts: 141 ✭✭
    Wow, that is a great deal. If I had to go optimizers Tigo would be the one.  BG
  • icarusicarus Solar Expert Posts: 5,436 ✭✭✭✭
    My brother in law, is just buying a system, from the same vendor/installer, 10.23 kw for $2.28/watt

  • billybob9billybob9 Registered Users Posts: 141 ✭✭
    Vender/Installer is the key for a better price. A vender has a resale permit and can buy as a Distributer about half the price of retail. Installers that buy retail then pad the bill by half is what is jacking up the price. Lucky you found this guy.. BG
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