# Appraisal of Renewable Energy System

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Registered Users Posts: 7
We are considering sale of our off grid homestead and need advice on setting value. A property appraiser is doing the 'conventional' stuff - land, buildings - but has no experience with renewables.

We have a 500 watt solar array:

Various solar panels, aged from 2 to 15 years.

1 year old Prosine 2.0 inverter (sine wave)

Wind:

2 year old Whisper 100 wind turbine on 3 year old 95 foot tower.

All accessories, including charge control, metering, older golf cart batteries (5 years old, presumably zero value), elderly Onan generator. System built originally in 1988, but upgraded as indicated above.

Not interested in selling components, but rather needing to provide the appraiser with a value 'in place.' Recognizing that it will only have any significant value to someone wanting to adopt this low-power off-grid life style, obviously limiting the buyers, we will be advertising as a sort of homestead/small ag package. Other buyers would most likely look at the land as having the primary value, with the small house (too small by 'modern' standards) have some additional value.

Thoughts?

Jim Sluyter, Five Springs Farm

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Re: Appraisal of Renewable Energy System

Personally, I would probably not pay more than \$0.30 on the dollar (for what it is worth).

If you can estimate the amount of useful energy output from the system and relate that to fuel savings with avoided use on the genset--you might be able to work out some value that way...

Example:

Genset consumes 1 gallon of fuel for every 4 kWhrs (probably 2-6 kWhrs per gallon--depending loads/efficiency).

4kWhrs / \$3 per gallon of fuel = \$1.33 per kWhr

Assume you have 500 watts of panels around central California, using the PV Watts site, estimate would output a maximum of (use 1kW of panels then divide by 2 -- smallest panel accepted; use 0.52 for Off-Grid system efficiency):

972 kWhrs per year / 2 = 486 kWhrs for 500 watt panel

(Note: Off-Grid sytems only generate enough power to recharge the daily usage--if usage is less than available sun--then that power is lost forever--normally system is oversized a bit to reduce genset usage and account for cloudy weather/etc.).

\$1.33/kWhr * 446 kWhrs = \$646 per year avoided fuel costs.

Assuming a 6% mortgage:

\$646 / 0,06 = \$10,773 capital cost

Assume that you and the buyer "split the value"--then \$5,000 would be the "Maximum" value that you could ask for the installation.

For a self installed system--a 500 watt solar panel system would cost ~\$5,000 new to install (or a bit more)...

Sorry--not a "real" answer--but may give you some ideas of how to "sell" the system to a buyer.

-Bill
Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
• Solar Expert Posts: 1,989 ✭✭✭
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Re: Appraisal of Renewable Energy System

Of the items listed, you might get dollar watt for the PV and a few hundred for the inverter, everything else has little value

You can do MUCH lower for a self install than 5k

figure about 1100 for brand new pair of sun 210 watt panels, inverter and battery's ( golf cart type ) and cheap pwm controller another 1k ... 2500 total tops.
• Solar Expert Posts: 5,436 ✭✭✭✭
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Re: Appraisal of Renewable Energy System

Jim,

Welcome to the site,, as I suggested on the PC site,, there are some very sharp people over here who have forgotten more about RE than most of us will know. I think that SG and Bill have it about dialed,,, As I suggested on the other side,, not too much value as it relates to the Real estate value,,, sorry to say.

Tony
• Registered Users Posts: 7
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Re: Appraisal of Renewable Energy System
Of the items listed, you might get dollar watt for the PV and a few hundred for the inverter, everything else has little value

You can do MUCH lower for a self install than 5k

figure about 1100 for brand new pair of sun 210 watt panels, inverter and battery's ( golf cart type ) and cheap pwm controller another 1k ... 2500 total tops.

My question here is where are you finding panels below \$3.00 a watt new? Our forum host, with better pricing than most that I have seen, shows PV at ~\$4.00 per watt at best. A quick review of 'sold' panels at ebay reveals panels going for \$3.00 and up per watt. Not quibbling here about value of my used system, but not seeing real prices out there to support your 'new component' estimate.

Jim
• Solar Expert Posts: 1,989 ✭✭✭
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Re: Appraisal of Renewable Energy System

Evergreens can be purchased now for 2.98 watt for grade A, private label Evergreens ( No UL Label ) can be purchased for 2.48 watt. www.sunelec.com

Also, all the new solar qualifies for the 30% federal tax credits, so that bring new panels down to about 2 bucks a watt, that's what your selling against
• Registered Users Posts: 7
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Re: Appraisal of Renewable Energy System

thanks for the link...even though I am on the other side, so to speak, of the market at the moment, it is interesting to see those remarkable prices on panels (and most - though not all) of the necessary accesories. I will keep it a secret from prospective buyers of our place...

Jim
• Registered Users Posts: 18
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Re: Appraisal of Renewable Energy System

Solar-Guppy, where can you get Evergreen panels at that low price? Thanks
• Solar Expert Posts: 10,300 ✭✭✭✭
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Re: Appraisal of Renewable Energy System

• Solar Expert Posts: 1,164 ✭✭
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Re: Appraisal of Renewable Energy System

Actually, we are selling the Kyocera KD 205 for under \$3 per watt http://store.solar-electric.com/ky205wasopaf.html Most other KD panels are 5 cents more per watt. The Evergreen grade A UL are around \$3.10 per watt.
My question here is where are you finding panels below \$3.00 a watt new? Our forum host, with better pricing than most that I have seen, shows PV at ~\$4.00 per watt at best.

Jim
• Solar Expert Posts: 334 ✭✭
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Re: Appraisal of Renewable Energy System

Hard to say for sure what a "true appraised value" might be. I might look at this slightly different than some have suggested; BB and SG have given you some good actual numbers to play with, but in terms of "value" I'd consider the whole picture. For instance, there are many, many people who might be very interested in a "solar powered" home but lack the knowledge or motivation to do it. Given that you have a home that is already "hooked up", this opens the concept up to a lot more people. In terms of value, as a seller I would think about ALL of the values that this system has had to you while living there. Consider the impacts that it has made to your lives as a "whole package" and adjust your prices accordingly, if it has worked well for you there are likely to be others who will find the same.