Solar Power for House?

Ws6

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Originally Posted by AZjeff
Can't think of anyone I've talked to who got residential solar that is unhappy with it. Maybe reverse sour grapes, don't admit the mistake? Lots of nay-saying around solar power.
If I buy a product and it sucks, I dog it relentlessly. My Jeep Grand Cherokee QD2 w/ HEMI, and my Wilson Combat Supergrade 1911, and my Noveske SBR, are 3 items people know will start me on a tirade about crap quality for premium money. I guess not everyone is like that, but if I get solar and it sucks...the forum will know, rofl!
Originally Posted by PandaBear
You have some uncertainty that you have to decide on. 1) Net metering? How long would it last? What happen if you get 2c credit but you need to pay 10c to buy back? Will you go battery storage? Will you only use your solar to charge your EV during day time? The way I understand, that's just not how it works. You only get the 2c credit for overproduction, the rest is yours. 2) What if solar panel cost (install + panel) drop significantly? Will you regret you bought too early or pay too much? Well, obviously so, but they have been trending pretty linear so far. Electric cars might suddenly develop 1200mi ranges, but I don't regret my gas burner. 3) What if electric bill didn't go up as you expected? Because utility scale solar is actually cheaper than your roof top solar? I can almost guarantee t he bill won't go DOWN, and my bill will be lower by an amount larger than my payment, unless the advertisement and anecdotal stories from others with solar are wildly incorrect. 4) What about other issues? If you want to sell but nobody wants to pay extra for it? What if insurance cost suddenly go up because everyone with solar got hail damage? If noone wants to pay when I sell? Well, that would suck, but one can argue that about most home improvement projects, to be fair. If insurance goes up, yeah, that would suck. But what if something like "The Green New Deal" passes and electric suddenly shot up? I mean, we CAN "what if" it a lot...Solar has been out a while, so has hail, so... I think if you are comfortable with the risk they are fine, heck they are a more rational investment than a maxed out 50k SUV over a smaller 25k car.
It is a risk. People have presented good, and bad. keep the thoughts coming!
 
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Ws6

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Originally Posted by billt460
Originally Posted by Win
Originally Posted by Ws6
... Sustainability/liability: Panels are warrantied to produce >80% initial power by 25 years, and come with a 25 year manufacturer AND installer warranty for 25 years on parts, labor,all of it. Adding it to my home warranty should be a minimal expense ($40/year) ...
None of these people will be around in twenty five years. I doubt any of them will be around in five years. I've seen hail that will knock a hole the size of a softball in these things. I would find out what your insurance company wants to cover them, and if they cover for replacement cost or depreciated value. Anyone financing this will require enough coverage to pay off the loan. That doesn't help you much. Have a lawyer read the contract with the utility company. I'll take a wild guess it won't favor you, and you won't even be able to take them to court - it will call for mediation or arbitration or other such nonsense. And the finance contract for that matter. If the electricity generated is imputed to you as income, you may have to pay tax on it. Even though this will be sitting on land, it will probably be considered as personal property, much like a mobile home that has not been de mobiled. Personal property, in my state, anyway, is taxed at a much higher rate than real property. edit: anything sitting on the ground can be stolen. I would make sure it is insured for theft as well, and at what rate, replacement or depreciated. The ideal of donating your land, and then borrowing money, to build a co generation plant for your electric utility seems off to me. If your utility is public traded, just spend the money on their stock or some other public utility. Public utilities are guaranteed to be profitable no matter how badly run. If they can get folks to build their capacity for them, their stock might be a good deal.
This ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ I've heard when all of the government subsidies run out, less then 5% of the current solar companies will survive. If yours doesn't the warranty is as worthless as the paper it's written on.
The warranty for parts AND labor is through the solar equipment manufacturer as well as the installer. I intend to investigate their "staying power", as well. If your installer goes under, you are not hosed any more than you are if you buy a Honda and the one Honda dealer goes under, who you bought it through.
 
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Since you are proposing the project based on economic reasons rather than environmental reasons, I will comment based on purely economic factors. After taking on 25K of debt for 20 years, and building a facility which has to be maintained and is subject to needing repairs (lightning loves to strike electrical equipment and home warranties and insurance policies have deductibles), the maximum current benefit is estimated at $2 per day. This is only a 2.9% rate of return above cost of funds. Any errors in the cost estimates or errors in the assumptions for capacity factor on the solar cells or weather damages to equipment could easily drive this project into the red. I am always cautious about future energy cost projections because unforseen things have a way of happening. The most recent projection of power armageddon was averted when fracking unlocked more natural gas than we have pipes to transport it. Power costs may indeed soar one day but it will more probably be because of government taxes than supply crunch reasons. Until that happens, the project economics are what they are. Me personally, rather than take on more debt I would sink every available extra $ into the 6.5% loan which would give you a guaranteed rate of return, be tax free, and improve your personal balance sheet rather than the utilitiy's.
 

Ws6

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Originally Posted by Lou_Boyle
Since you are proposing the project based on economic reasons rather than environmental reasons, I will comment based on purely economic factors. After taking on 25K of debt for 20 years, and building a facility which has to be maintained and is subject to needing repairs (lightning loves to strike electrical equipment and home warranties and insurance policies have deductibles), the maximum current benefit is estimated at $2 per day. This is only a 2.9% rate of return above cost of funds. Any errors in the cost estimates or errors in the assumptions for capacity factor on the solar cells or weather damages to equipment could easily drive this project into the red. I am always cautious about future energy cost projections because unforseen things have a way of happening. The most recent projection of power armageddon was averted when fracking unlocked more natural gas than we have pipes to transport it. Power costs may indeed soar one day but it will more probably be because of government taxes than supply crunch reasons. Until that happens, the project economics are what they are. Me personally, rather than take on more debt I would sink every available extra $ into the 6.5% loan which would give you a guaranteed rate of return, be tax free, and improve your personal balance sheet rather than the utilitiy's.
I'm also looking at buying a PEV in 8 to 10 years when range should be 700+mi, that factors, as well.
 
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Originally Posted by Ws6
The warranty for parts AND labor is through the solar equipment manufacturer as well as the installer. I intend to investigate their "staying power", as well. If your installer goes under, you are not hosed any more than you are if you buy a Honda and the one Honda dealer goes under, who you bought it through.
Solar manufacturers are a dime a dozen now. Later will be anyone's guess. Many of these companies are nothing but parasites that will die off as soon as the host stops providing, (government). And the fact is most any company that has to rely on government mandates and subsidies in order to survive, is going to have trouble making it on their own. Solyndra ring a bell? There are dozens more like them. You have zero knowledge of what their "staying power" is, or will be in the future. The financial future of business is guaranteed to no one. Least of all solar manufacturing companies. I'm not saying solar is "bad". I just don't think it's ready for prime time in everyone's backyard at the moment. In the future perhaps. But for now I would look for other ways to improve energy costs. LED lighting, higher rated SEER A/C, better insulation, power attic fans are all well proven ways to cut electricity costs at this time. Solar is a big initial cash layout, (especially if you're financing it and paying a boatload of interest on top of everything else), that guarantees no actual proof of what it will save, or how long it will last.
 
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My brother in law worked for the World Bank, and his specialty is power generation. He says most Americans go solar nowadays to go green, and not because of the economic benefits. Food for thought.
 
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Originally Posted by berniedd
My brother in law worked for the World Bank, and his specialty is power generation. He says most Americans go solar nowadays to go green, and not because of the economic benefits. Food for thought.
I did it for both. Economically, it just makes sense. And green is good. Not all geographic areas are as good fit a for solar, but Silicon Valley certainly is.
 

Ws6

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Originally Posted by JeffKeryk
Originally Posted by berniedd
My brother in law worked for the World Bank, and his specialty is power generation. He says most Americans go solar nowadays to go green, and not because of the economic benefits. Food for thought.
I did it for both. Economically, it just makes sense. And green is good. Not all geographic areas are as good fit a for solar, but Silicon Valley certainly is.
What is your electric company charging per kWh?
 
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Originally Posted by Ws6
Originally Posted by JeffKeryk
Originally Posted by berniedd
My brother in law worked for the World Bank, and his specialty is power generation. He says most Americans go solar nowadays to go green, and not because of the economic benefits. Food for thought.
I did it for both. Economically, it just makes sense. And green is good. Not all geographic areas are as good fit a for solar, but Silicon Valley certainly is.
What is your electric company charging per kWh?
I believe it is 17 cents per kWh. There are 3 tiers: under baseline and 2 above. You pay based on progressive use. Ain't cheap.
 

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More data: -My home owner's insurance will insure it. -It should reduce my bill to the point that it pays for itself + saves me money. -I have looked up the company making the solar panels. They have been around since 1996, and are doing very well. They are based on China, with offices in multiple countries. Very profitable, and all tests done independently on their solar panels rank them in or at the top of performance/durability. The panels are 0 maintenance, and are expected to provide 80% of their initial generation for 25 years. If at any point they fail to do this, the manufacturer will replace the offending panel with a new one, including labor, coordinated through any local installer. -I have looked up the company that makes the inverters. They are similar, except German and have been around since 1981. The inverters are warrantied for 10 years. They do have a "card" in them that is a failure point. It costs $300. -The solar installer is "new", having opened a BBB profile in late 2017, however, their prices are competitive, and the have an "A" rating. Neither the inverters, nor panels, are tied to the installer for warranty purposes, and there will always be *SOMEONE* who can perform the work, so since the manufacturer is warranty'ing, sustainability is as solid as most anything, really. -https://www.wholesalesolar.com/blog/do-solar-panels-increase-home-value/ Solar is popular in my area, and it appears that this will enhance my property value long-term. Further, if I sell before the "break even" point, the 2.99% APR 20y fixed loan, is fully transferrable to the new home owner. I don't feel bad in the least, as I've taken out car loans larger than this, at higher APR, and cars cost money to operate, while this will pay for itself in operation. Not to mention the warranty disparity, lack of resale value, etc. that the cars had in comparison. -My company sells me power at just under 11 cents per kWh, and buys it from me in the form of credits, which are 12 months rolling, at just under 3 cents per kWh. This does suck, but it is taken into account by the financial model. -I have talked with people now in my area who have gone solar, and the panels are performing per expectation, and noone has signaled regret over the decision. -It will not quite eliminate the taxes I pay to the government this year, but close, with the 30% credit, and that makes me happy. I can apply that money to loans with worse APR's than 2.99%. Or invest it. Or whatever. -Long-range studies of solar panel viability show that even though the rated degradation is no more than 80% to 25 years, the panels are very useful well past that, in actual real world case studies. -If I get a PEV, this will give me "free gasoline". I spend around $200-250/mo in fuel as it is (91 octane E0, @ 26.2mpg average lifetime so far). -The PV system is not counted toward my property value taxes by my state. -Solar seems to be becoming more and more popular as technology matures, and at some point, it's going to be extremely popular, is my opinion, although I think "solar shingles" and the like are going to be the tune that changes the band, there. Being as I am rural, and have shade over my house, the ground-mount system I am considering shouldn't ever be "dated", although efficiency updates may make it seem "larger" than it needs to be. I do have a nice place in my yard for it. -Cost to install solar seems to have "leveled off" around 2013. I may not be jumping in at "ground floor", but I am not at the peak, for sure. As trade sanctions with China are subject to change, this could alter the course significantly.
 
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