Has anyone set up or considered solar power with PSE?
On their website, they seem to offer at least $0.12/kWh for excess production, which is interesting because that's more than they sell it for. I'm assuming they're passing along osme federal credit.
We can't do solar due to trees, but as part of PSE's "Green Power" program our rate works out to slightly over $0.12/kWh. I'm guessing the Green Power program is where at least some of the money is coming from.
I participated in http://www.solarizewa.org/ and it was *SUPER* easy and very informative. I now have a 6.4kW solar system on my roof and i generate upwards of 40 kWh on sunny days like today. I even generate 25kWh on a cloudy day, amazing.
I'm receiving a $0.10 payment per kWh generated in addition to the savings of not paying for energy. This is a Washington state incentive program for using an inverter and panels created within the United States. You can increase this credit if you use Panels manufactured in Washington to $0.35 per kWh generated. You can further increase this to $0.55 if you also use an inverter manufactured in Wa.
It's a pretty sweet deal, i'd recommend looking into it. The entire program is so painless that it's silly not to do it if you can afford the up front cash. Especially when you combine it with a Model S. Literally driving *for free*.
I really wish Solar City was around here with their per kWh program. I have the cash, but it doesn't make a whole lot of sense for me to buy a system as I really have no idea how long I might live in my current house. It could be several years, but on the other hand, if the right job opportunity (or girl, lol) comes along I might just as easily decide that I need to move.
I have a 13.2 kw solar panel array on my roof (55 panels; 33 on south facing roof, 16 on west facing roof, and 6 on east facing roof). I am currently generating up to 80 kw/day an averaging over 67 kw/day for June, which is about 300% of our current consumption, including charging our Tesla MS and Prius plug-in. I purchased Itek panels made in Bellingham WA and Blue Frog Microinverters also produced in Washington State, so all the energy I produce I sell back to the grid at $0.54/kw. I pay no electric bill and will be getting a check from Snohomish PUD for up to %5,000 which is the upper limit of their annual rebate to solar generating customers. I firmly believe that solar is the way to go if you have the proper roof exposure, and in line with Elon Musk's vision. We have an all electric home, so our carbon footprint is pretty small.
What company did you use for installation?
A&R Solar did the installation. I also got bids from Puget Sound Solar. I think both companies would work for anyone in Seattle, Edmonds, eastside areas.
I did my own solar installation in Bellingham WA that within PSE. I am thinking about adding another array if charging my car daily as driver 134 round trip. The bids I got so high compared to just working two weekends to do the complete installation with two good friends. https://enlighten.enphaseenergy.com/public/systems/PvhY78145
I live in Seattle and was able to fit a 5kW system on my roof, installed by Sunergy Systems. Given the small size of the roof that was south-facing, I went with the Sunpower X-21 modules, so I get that output with 15 panels. Though since both the modules and my inverter were not made in WA, I get the minimum production credit. However, Sunpower has some rebate programs in place for various employers which are worth looking into. Granted, a larger solar installation's production credit would more quickly eclipse that rebate.
What sq footage is used by each of your arrays?
I know prices are highly dependent on site specifics and products used but would you all be willing to share how much you paid for your systems?
I'm going to get someone out for a quote but it would be great to get some idea of what a system would cost.
Itek Panel dimensions (39.1" x 64.8", and weigh 43 lbs). On my south facing roof, I have three rows of 11 panels each with Blue Frog microinverters. On my west facing roof I have 16 panels, and 6 panels on my east facing roof.
I would recommend getting the estimate. The prices vary according to specifications and panels/inverters selected. I went with panels/inverters built in Washington State in part to support the local solar industry, and also to get the highest return on power produced ($0.54/kw). I expect to produce over 1,700kw for June, with our consumption @ ~ 540 kw for month including all electric home/Tesla charging. The Washington State panels/inverters cost a bit more than other choices, but I have been very satisfied with the system I selected. There are options for low interest loans through your electricy provider, and you also get a 30% tax credit on the system and there is no sales tax, so you get quite a bit back after installation. We expect to get a check from SNOPUD for $5,000 (upper cap) for the energy we have produced over the past year, which also goes to pay off the system. Our system will be paid off in less than seven years. We have no electric bill, and get a statement every two months informing us on the accrual of our energy credits. I am frankly surprised more people aren't doing solar, as it is very doable in the northwest, speaking from my personal experience.
Are the Washington made panels and inverters as efficient as the SunPower X-335 (Black) panels and Power-One Aurora 3.6 inverter? I know the WA products are not quite as expensive as the products listed above and you get the higher rate return ($0.54 /kWh vs $0.15 /kWh), but I've been told the SunPower/Power-one combo is much more efficient, reliable and over the years will have a lower degradation rate than the WA made units.
I certainly don't know the answers. Just trying to figure out if I want to got with solar panels (my house is more a north-south ridge with very tall trees on the south part of my property so wouldn't get much solar production during the OCT-MAR months). If it would be prudent to install some solar panels when we plan to sell and downsize in the next few years?
"...to go with solar panels..."
The Itek solar panels are warrented for 25 years. The bluefrog microinverters have a 15 year warranty. I can't speak about the net difference between Itek and the one you mentioned. There are panels with higher production, which may be more appropriate for those with limited roof exposure. I was fortunate, as I downsized and brought this house with solar in mind, and maximized my south facing roof exposure. I went with microinverters because inverters in series will be affected by shading on one panel, which will drop the output for all panels in series, whereas microinverters operate independently so all other panels will not be affected by the one shaded panel. I have been incredibly impressed with the system I have. You just have to look at the options and figure out what works for you. A&R Solar and Puget Sound Solar, the two companies I worked with in figuring this out were incredibly helpful and will answer all your questions. I was not pressured to pick any one option. Good luck with your exploration of solar energy options.
For those of you that have installed solar systems. Will you be able to charge your vehicle even if there is a power outage or does it just send the power to the grid and you get credit for the amount the you don't use? I didn't know if there is enough amperage coming from the solar array to drive this. My wife and I were discussing having two EV's instead of having two ICE's and this was one of the things that came up.
Speaking for myself, we are not off the grid, so all the electricity we generate is sold back to the electrical grid @$0.54/kwh, and we then buy back what we need @$0.08/kwh. We get this rate because we purchased solar panels and Inverters built in WA state. We pay no electric bill, and SnoPUD sends us a statement every two months with our accruing electricity credits noted. We just signed our annual statement and SnoPUD will be sending us a $4,400 check for the electicity we generated over the past 10 months, since our solar system was installed. They will reimburse up to $5,000/year, which we would have easily made had we been operational for the full 12 months. We currently charge our Tesla MS (averaging 9 kwh/day over past 6 months) and our plug-in Prius at our all electric home. Configuring the amperage to charge two EV's would not be a problem. If there is a power outage, we are in the same boat as everyone else until the power is back on line, and are not currently configured to charge diredtly to our EV.
I'm just curious to know if you have had any Blue Frog inverters go out on you. If so, how much trouble was it to replace?
@solx, In close to 3 years, I have had two inverters go out, and A&R Solar replaced at no cost, the most recent was last week. The new Bluefrog microinverters seem to output about 10-15 watts more as compared to adjacent panels. Looks like they have made some improvements to them. However, I am producing so much electricity right now, it doesn't really matter. We produced 2030 kW last month, and our all electric home and Tesla charging amounted to 245 KW total for the month. Solar has really worked for us in Edmonds, WA.
@Tesla-David...great production beat me by 23 kW (based on 31 days)! In 45 days since install, 2914 kW. Our 37 panel positioning is west southwest, so not 100% ideal. We went with 100% Sunpower, panels and inverter...hope your experience with A&R does not have to be tested here, but no guarantee is much better than the company and manufacturer behind the product and service. We are just 8 miles west northwest from Marysville.
Highly recommend the company and most should go like you did with Washington State products. 4-6 year payoff for sure.
We have a 9.9KW east-facing system in Bellevue with 36 Itek panels and 2 Eltek inverters (both WA-made). Installed Aug 1 last year (so 11 months of production). We are expecting a check for almost $4500 which is pretty good considering we missed the month of July last year, usually the best month for solar production. My only regret is not doing it sooner!
@ernie, the solar system you have is very impressive. I went with WA panels/inverters because I wanted to promote solar in WA, and so far have not had any trouble with the panels only 2 of 55 microinverters. A&R has been a wonderful vendor to work with and Bluefrog was quick to replace the two malfunctioning microinverters. I hope your system performs well and that you don't have to have any inverters replaced. A&R will be there to fix any problems when/if they arise.
I have a 6.16 KW System installed on East and South facing roof of my home. The job was done by A&R solar and I have been pretty impressed with their professionalism. I have 22 iTek modules and WA manufactured inverter. I have already produced 1000 KWhr in the one month of production (system was up and running on June 3rd 2015). I am glad that there is a silver lining to the really hot sunny days we are having in WA.
I have severe shading in the West area of my house, so my solar production stops around 2:30 PM. Even with that I am getting close to 5 yrs break even point. I wish I had done this earlier.
Good job nemanij....I wanted to go with WA manufacturers but my wife said no.