Looking to install 11kw AC system in NY

rrs26jarrs26ja Registered Users Posts: 5
Hello All,

Thank you to those who started this forum. I am in the negotiation phase of a solar PV system for my home in NY. I have received two proposals from two different solar installers.

The first installer is Alteris Renewables:

Their first quote is for 48 Suntech STP 200-18/Ub-1 PV Modules 1 Fronius IG Pus 10.0-1UNI Interter mounted Portrait. This system will produce 11.773 kW AC or 108% of my current electric usage. Total Price $34,632 After rebates $19,242

Their second quote is for 42 Sunpower 230-WHT PV Modules with 2 SPR-6000m Inverters mounted landscape. This will produce 11.847 kW AC or 108.8% of my current electric usage. Total Price $47,799 After rebates $28,459

The second installer is Hudson Valley Clean Energy (local company)

9,180 kW using 51 Schuco 180w Panels 2 Sunpower SMA 40000US inverters 2 SMA 3000US . This will produce 11.190 kW per year or 103% of my current usage.
The cost is $53,806 after rebates $26,539

Their 2nd quote is got 44 Sunpower 210W panels. 1 Sunpower SPR 4000M and 1 Sunpower SPR 5000M inverters. This will produce 103% of my current usage.
The cost is $59,339 after rebates the cost will be $30,552.

My questions are as follows:

1. Are the Sunpower panels really that much better for the cost than Suntech or Schuco?
2. Do these costs seem reasonable?
3. What questions or other equipment should I ask or get them to put in the quote.
4. Has anyone had experience with either one of these installers?

Any help you all can provided is appreciated.

Comments

  • newenergynewenergy Solar Expert Posts: 291 ✭✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Looking to install 11kw AC system in NY

    I'm a little confused about a few things.

    In the first case, do you mean the total cost to you is $34.6k after rebates OF $19.2k? Even that way would be a good price, $34.6k for that big a system (before rebates or credits) is kind of unbelievably low.

    On the 11.847kw, do you mean kwh/year?

    As far as your questions go:

    1. No. In my opinion, Sunpower panels are not at all better than Suntech or Schuco. They are higher output per area. That is why they are more expensive. That's great if you don't have enough roof space and want the power, but if you have enough roof space, imo, there's nothing superior about the Sunpower panels.

    2. I'm not sure about the costs. Just multiply the number of panels by the watts of each panel and then $6/watt is a good price before rebates. Understand that the installer is not giving you the rebate, so if they estimate different rebate numbers don't be hung up on that. The federal credit will be 30% of the total cost. I'm not sure how your utility/state rebate is figured, but in mine it's based on projected system output - in your case it will probably be pretty much proportional to the system size.

    3. That depends how much you trust your installer. You really want all mounting equipment to be designed for the purpose and generally to be all aluminum and stainless steel (though there are some good steel racking systems that are very well treated for corrosion). Also, there could be other problems with the design - too much shading - wrong conductor/wire sizing - badly designed strings - etc.

    4. Not me.
  • rrs26jarrs26ja Registered Users Posts: 5
    Re: Looking to install 11kw AC system in NY

    Thanks for your quick reply.

    The system is 11.847 kW per year

    The first cost I gave you was before the rebates, the 2nd cost was after 30% Fed and a $5,000 NYS tax rebate

    The one thing I liked about Sunpower was they offered a 12 month same as cash. This would allow me to get the 30% Fed tax credit as well as the $5,000 NYS tax credit. That way I only have to outlay $19,242

    However, The Suntech system is $11,000 cheaper than the Sunpower

    The Suntech system is 9,600 watts 48 panels @ 200 watts/panel

    The cost of this system before rebates = $34,632/9600 = $3.60/watt

    The Sunpower system is 42 panels that are 203 watt/panel
    The cost for this system = $47,799/9660 = $4.95/watt

    Both of these seem very low compared the the $6.00/watt you stated.


    The other installers price seems more in line of what you quoted.

    44 Sunpower panels @ 210 watts/ panel = 9,240 kwp

    $59.539/9,240 = $6.44 per watt
  • SolarLurkerSolarLurker Solar Expert Posts: 122 ✭✭
    Re: Looking to install 11kw AC system in NY

    Where in NY are you located? Unless I am missing something all of those numbers seem good.
  • rrs26jarrs26ja Registered Users Posts: 5
    Re: Looking to install 11kw AC system in NY

    I am in the Hudson Valley area. Pleasant Valley to be exact.
  • newenergynewenergy Solar Expert Posts: 291 ✭✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Looking to install 11kw AC system in NY
    rrs26ja wrote: »
    Thanks for your quick reply.

    The system is 11.847 kW per year

    KW is a unit of power, which is instantaneous. KWh (kilowatt hour) is a unit of energy and is power over time. So that's how many kWhs. A given system is rated in KW, but could make different KWh depending on location, weather, shading, etc. So, of course the 11.847 KWh is just a prediction based on average conditions.


    The first cost I gave you was before the rebates, the 2nd cost was after 30% Fed and a $5,000 NYS tax rebate

    The one thing I liked about Sunpower was they offered a 12 month same as cash. This would allow me to get the 30% Fed tax credit as well as the $5,000 NYS tax credit. That way I only have to outlay $19,242

    However, The Suntech system is $11,000 cheaper than the Sunpower

    The Suntech system is 9,600 watts 48 panels @ 200 watts/panel

    The cost of this system before rebates = $34,632/9600 = $3.60/watt

    The Sunpower system is 42 panels that are 203 watt/panel
    The cost for this system = $47,799/9660 = $4.95/watt

    Both of these seem very low compared the the $6.00/watt you stated.


    The other installers price seems more in line of what you quoted.

    44 Sunpower panels @ 210 watts/ panel = 9,240 kwp

    $59.539/9,240 = $6.44 per watt

    The $3.60 for Suntech and $4.95 for Sunpower (complete installed systems) are both so low I'd be wary. Bait and switch, bad workmanship, no insurance or workmen's comp, illegal labor, or if all of that checks out I'd be concerned that the installer isn't making enough profit to run a viable business.

    $6.44 is a very good price for Sunpower, but it's not ridiculously low.
  • ambyamby Registered Users Posts: 13
    Re: Looking to install 11kw AC system in NY

    less than $4/watt is not practical.
    Suntech panels are running around $2.60 to $2.80/W
    add another .5/W for inverter and around $1/W for rest of system
    that comes to $4/W of just the material. Then there are various permits and other fees. Around $3K for roofer and electrician and project manager charges

    I will be very skeptic for anything below $5 (more like $5.25 as lowest limit)
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