cost of Solar Power

Questions on how we spend our money and our time - consumer goods and services, home and vehicle, leisure and recreational activities
Valuethinker
Posts: 31758
Joined: Fri May 11, 2007 11:07 am

Re: cost of Solar Power

Postby Valuethinker » Tue Mar 14, 2017 6:26 am

quantAndHold wrote:
ponyboy wrote:Solar is a cool concept but its a joke. Its just too expensive. I dont care what the tax incentives are. I guess if you plan on staying in your home forever...because its going to take 20 years to break even. Imagine what the initial price of a full solar roof...now invest that in the 3 fund vanguard portfolio...whats $30k going to grow to over 20 years? Catch my drift? Solar is a waste.


Ummmm....no. Most people don't need a $30k system. Our California house has a 2.4 kW system that was just barely over $10k after incentives several years ago when solar panel prices were higher. It provides 85% of our electricity for that house, and doing the math with actual power generation and electricity prices, the payback period is 7-9 years.


My guess is you don't use air conditioning much? Say 2.4kw at 1500 kwhr pa (that's twice what I would get in London, UK). 3600 kwhr pa. The average UK home uses about 3500 kwhr pa, and that's with gas heat, less than 1500 square foot, etc. You have *very* low electricity consumption if you are burning say 4200 kwhr pa-- by North American standards.

I agree if the system is not sized to produce 100% of your annual consumption, it's usually very good for the payback period.

People *do* install PV systems in Vancover BC, and Victoria BC (which has less rain on the whole). So it does work up there. Although BC is mostly hydro electric, there's enough carbon emitting power in the reserve margin to make a difference (although I've never actually checked the stats). Also Alberta is of course almost totally fossil fueled, so exports across the border displace emissions. I suspect something similar with the US NW, to the extent it is connected to California and the Midwest.

In Kelowna (possibly the sunniest town in Canada?) it really does make sense-- gotta love the rain shadow ;-).

In Seattle, where it's far north, cloudy, and electricity is both cheap and not carbon based (90% hydroelectric), solar makes no sense. But there are large parts of the country where it does make sense.


Most of, in the case of the USA. Because it makes sense in Germany which is both further north, generally, and has lousy weather. Arguably it was highly subsidized to make sense, but, then, again, as they phase our their nuclear power their only alternatives are joys like lignite.

Although solar panels give low outputs in New England, as long as you can get the snow off the panels, they make sense against very high power and natural gas prices. They make sense in Maine, for goodness sakes!

AnonJohn
Posts: 58
Joined: Wed Oct 07, 2015 2:45 pm

Re: cost of Solar Power

Postby AnonJohn » Tue Mar 14, 2017 10:39 am

Hi - Just over the line in DC and put in a system 1.5 years ago. Paid ~$11k for 3.75 kW before 30% tax credit. This is, as projected, meeting 100% of electrical needs in a rowhouse. Gas heat, cooking, dryer, hot water, but plenty of AC.

Financially, I'm on a course to 3 year break-even. This is because DC has a very robust SREC market / incentive. Maryland's used to be good but crashed a couple years ago. See http://www.srectrade.com/srec_markets/maryland. There is a new bill that would strengthen it; can't say what that means for SREC prices beyond "directionally helpful". Legislature overcame a veto and I think it's law.

Without SRECs, my breakeven would probably be 8-10 years.

Lots of good advice in the thread (pvwatts, etc). For additional specifics: 1. I'd avoid Solar City; 2. I'd buy outright - no leases; 3. Enphase microinverters are working well for me. They would be easy to replace on a flat rowhouse roof - pitched roofs may be different on the risk / reward front. 4. A company called solar solutions did my install. 5. Look for group install discounts. 6. Keep your SRECs (don't sell upfront).

giesen5
Posts: 240
Joined: Wed Jan 27, 2016 1:44 pm
Location: Bellingham, WA

Re: cost of Solar Power

Postby giesen5 » Tue Mar 14, 2017 11:02 pm

When we got solar last year, it was about $1k per panel. I believe that number is lower now.

7.28 KW system for $25K.

Valuethinker
Posts: 31758
Joined: Fri May 11, 2007 11:07 am

Re: cost of Solar Power

Postby Valuethinker » Wed Mar 15, 2017 3:34 am

giesen5 wrote:When we got solar last year, it was about $1k per panel. I believe that number is lower now.

7.28 KW system for $25K.


Washington state? Rainy?

What's your estimated payback period?

User avatar
mrc
Posts: 803
Joined: Sun Jan 10, 2016 6:39 am
Location: right here

Re: cost of Solar Power

Postby mrc » Wed Mar 15, 2017 7:55 am

We got in Summer 2009: $58K for 6.5KW PV and a two-panel solar hot water (thermal). In central Maryland.

Federal and state rebates returned about 40% of that. SRECs *should* have reduced the cost substantially. But I was an idiot and ran my credits through the company that installed the system. They do the brokering and send me a check every quarter. Got several checks before the company went bankrupt and took my n+1 years of SRECs with them. Moreover, my state's SREC price plummeted in 2016 because of a change in state regulation, so had I retained my credits, they would be worth far less than predicted.

Electricity consumption from the power company is only 56% what it was before the system. I can't say what the thermal does to reduce the load on the water heater. I'm pretty sure my ultimate pay back time now exceeds the expected lifespan of the panels. Still it's nice to know we did something for the environment. At least I hope we did.

It's still neat to see the meter stall or even run slowly backward in the summer with the AC on.

A lot has changed with the cost and the options since we installed. Would I install solar now? Probably, especially since the costs per watt are so much less than in 2009.
A great challenge of life: Knowing enough to think you're doing it right, but not enough to know you're doing it wrong. — Neil deGrasse Tyson

Valuethinker
Posts: 31758
Joined: Fri May 11, 2007 11:07 am

Re: cost of Solar Power

Postby Valuethinker » Wed Mar 15, 2017 9:41 am

mrc wrote:We got in Summer 2009: $58K for 6.5KW PV and a two-panel solar hot water (thermal). In central Maryland.

Federal and state rebates returned about 40% of that. SRECs *should* have reduced the cost substantially. But I was an idiot and ran my credits through the company that installed the system. They do the brokering and send me a check every quarter. Got several checks before the company went bankrupt and took my n+1 years of SRECs with them. Moreover, my state's SREC price plummeted in 2016 because of a change in state regulation, so had I retained my credits, they would be worth far less than predicted.

Electricity consumption from the power company is only 56% what it was before the system. I can't say what the thermal does to reduce the load on the water heater. I'm pretty sure my ultimate pay back time now exceeds the expected lifespan of the panels.


That's probably true for electric hot water heating, however for your solar PV, we'd have to look at the numbers, but probably not-- my guess is your HW system will last c. 15 years (although the pumps may go,the panels may last longer). PV panels last 25 years, say (they last longer than that, it appears, at diminished productivity), inverters last c. 10-15 years.

This investment was not wholly risk free (as your experience points out) but it was low risk.


Still it's nice to know we did something for the environment. At least I hope we did.


I'd have to look up the generation composition of the PJM (Mid Atlantic) electricity market. To compound the problem, it's not the average consumption that matters so much, it's the marginal consumption i.e. electricity consumption at peak. Roughly speaking, the dirtiest power is baseload (if coal not nuclear + renewables) and mid merit (usually coal, east of the Rockies). Peak power *tends* to be gas fired. But gas prices have been so low, that that's not necessarily true (and it would vary by time of year and location, of course). Because coal fired stations are not "instant on" and neither are nuclear, wind, solar (small) and natural gas tend to trade off against each other on the grid.

It's still neat to see the meter stall or even run slowly backward in the summer with the AC on.


That's likely to be (fairly) dirty consumption you are deferring. Roughly speaking for every 1 from coal, 0.55 from natural gas (combined cycle), 0.8ish for natural gas (open cycle turbines only used at peak times if at all). And that ignores NOx and PM2.5 and PM10 particulates, which have serious local impacts on health (and are much much worse for coal). And mercury of course-- let's not forget good old hg.

A lot has changed with the cost and the options since we installed. Would I install solar now? Probably, especially since the costs per watt are so much less than in 2009.


The cost of PV panels has fallen so far it no longer tends to be the main driver of home system costs (on utility scale & commercial units, it is more so because they have so many more panels), it's the other costs of installation, permitting etc.

cutterinnj
Posts: 163
Joined: Wed Jun 01, 2011 10:08 pm

Re: cost of Solar Power

Postby cutterinnj » Wed Mar 15, 2017 9:48 am

You may wish to hold off.
Solar systems should be getting cheaper soon.
Also, Tesla will start producing them with more aesthetically appealing tiles rather than the black tiles you normally see which may diminish a house's value.

rg422
Posts: 22
Joined: Wed Jan 18, 2017 4:35 pm

Re: cost of Solar Power

Postby rg422 » Wed Mar 15, 2017 12:01 pm

A competent and honest solar company will provide pay back period for different PV system sizes you request.

For us, it was well worth it. Our home is 2809 sq ft, built in 2007, so fairly good insulation and fairly efficient appliances. It doesn't have the best roof layout, so required a 12.2kW system to produce 110% of our energy usage. It gets VERY hot here in Central California (100+ throughout the summer months), so our average annual electricity bill was $4000-4800 the past few years. We paid 28K (after tax incentive) for our system, therefore pay back period 7.5 years. Net metering has been great for us; our first year our annual electricity bill was actually -$145!! Our monthly revolving monthly utility bill is $1.10.

User avatar
mrc
Posts: 803
Joined: Sun Jan 10, 2016 6:39 am
Location: right here

Re: cost of Solar Power

Postby mrc » Wed Mar 15, 2017 12:15 pm

rg422 wrote:A competent and honest solar company will provide pay back period for different PV system sizes you request.

For us, it was well worth it. Our home is 2809 sq ft, built in 2007, so fairly good insulation and fairly efficient appliances. It doesn't have the best roof layout, so required a 12.2kW system to produce 110% of our energy usage. It gets VERY hot here in Central California (100+ throughout the summer months), so our average annual electricity bill was $4000-4800 the past few years. We paid 28K (after tax incentive) for our system, therefore pay back period 7.5 years. Net metering has been great for us; our first year our annual electricity bill was actually -$145!! Our monthly revolving monthly utility bill is $1.10.


That's how to do it! You got twice the size system we did, at half the cost. Probably more sun too. We still pay ~$85/month.
A great challenge of life: Knowing enough to think you're doing it right, but not enough to know you're doing it wrong. — Neil deGrasse Tyson

sciencenerd
Posts: 49
Joined: Sun May 18, 2014 12:29 am

Re: cost of Solar Power

Postby sciencenerd » Wed Mar 15, 2017 12:29 pm

We got our 11 kW system installed in NY state last year. Initial out of pocket cost was $28,000, after 30% federal tax credit and the $5,000 NY tax credit, costs go down to $14,600 after year 1. That's $1.33 per kW installed, which I think is a great price. So far, production has met expectations.

Note that we have two families living in our household, my family of 4 and the inlaws. That's why our energy usage is higher. If it was just us, we probably could get by with a 7 kW system.

Valuethinker
Posts: 31758
Joined: Fri May 11, 2007 11:07 am

Re: cost of Solar Power

Postby Valuethinker » Wed Mar 15, 2017 12:53 pm

cutterinnj wrote:You may wish to hold off.
Solar systems should be getting cheaper soon.
Also, Tesla will start producing them with more aesthetically appealing tiles rather than the black tiles you normally see which may diminish a house's value.


Solar tiles are not a new product, at least on this side of the Atlantic

http://www.solarcentury.com/uk/c21e-tiles-and-slates/

If you have a historic building, or one where the roof is part of the particular character, then I can see the merit.

On newbuild, in 10 years, I expect they will be the rule not the exception (south or west facing roofs). At least as common as heat pumps are in the south eastern states of the USA. California may simply *require* them (there's an issue: the Hawai'in electric power company is blocking new installations, because they say the distribution network cannot handle that much power coming *back* at it (i.e. more power than gross demand)). Welcome to the "(Distributed) Utility of the Future" debate.

My concern now is :

- if you ever needed to pull the solar PV off the roof (say some obscure condition by a buyer, or simply to upgrade with more efficient cells) that could cost significantly more than PV panels separately mounted

- could one damage the structural integrity of the roof installing them? Greater risk than using separately mountable arrays?

- roof angles may not be steep enough for homes further north, grids where the late afternoon power is particularly valuable, or simply where there is a lot of snow (the steeper the panel, the less this is an issue)

- one little researched benefit of solar panels is the shading effect. This could be very significant in high heat areas (desert climates especially)
http://jacobsschool.ucsd.edu/news/news_ ... fe?id=1094


http://earthsky.org/human-world/surpris ... lar-panels

I've not seen any other work done on this effect (I am not a renewable energy specialist, though)

That shading benefit won't happen with solar roof tiles, flat to the roof (in fact, the albedo could be worse than an ordinary roof, ie lower)

- similarly if there is air between the solar panels and the roof, they should be cooler, and that means they will run more efficiently

On Timing

Federal tax credits may be abolished by this Congress & Administration

Silicon prices are way, way down. It's not the majority of the cost of a new system.

The real excitement comes in more efficient conversion of sunlight. Current cells average around 20% I believe, and 40% must be doable. There may also be some clever tricks to deal with cloudy or rainy days (not sure).

So generally I would say when you are ready, do it.

User avatar
magellan
Posts: 3442
Joined: Fri Mar 09, 2007 4:12 pm

Re: cost of Solar Power

Postby magellan » Sat Mar 18, 2017 9:41 am

To me, the biggest risk of rooftop solar right now is regulatory uncertainty. No one predicted the plunge in solar PV costs and it is completely changing the regulatory environment. In many markets, solar PV is contributing to a glut of power during peak daytime hours, causing wholesale prices to crash and even become negative.

I'll make a bold prediction. Flat-rate net metering will be completely discontinued in most markets for new customers within 5 years. Whether existing installs are grandfathered is anyone's guess. This change will impact solar payback calculations much more than losing all solar subsidies.

Elimination of net metering means you won't be able to sell excess power back to the grid for a full retail price credit. It's not yet clear what will replace net metering, but all of the options are much less generous than today's net metering. This will make solar impractical in many markets unless installed prices or battery storage costs drop precipitously.

AFAIK, Nevada is the only state that dropped net metering without grandfathering existing customers. That decision may have been reversed after a public outcry. But the risk is still very real because many non-solar customers will see net metering as a hand out to the (mostly) wealthy homeowners who could afford solar.

User avatar
magellan
Posts: 3442
Joined: Fri Mar 09, 2007 4:12 pm

Re: cost of Solar Power

Postby magellan » Sat Mar 18, 2017 10:00 am

Dilbydog wrote:For example, modules on the west pitch of a roof, modules that spend half the day shaded by a tree, the neighbors home, etc. Shading of a module has a disproportional effect on production, especially with crystalline modules. For example, a module that is 10% shaded will drop 60-80% of its nameplate production.

You really can't tell whether these factors represent bad decisions or not just by looking up at the roof. For example, in markets where solar PV penetration is high and excess production is credited based on the time of production, west facing panels can actually cost out better than south facing panels, despite their lower overall production.

Also, as long as a project can cost-out based on using only the highest-value locations, the decision to expand a job to lower value locations should be made on a marginal cost basis, not an average cost basis. So for example, many installers assign fix costs like marketing, design, permitting, truck rolls, etc on a per customer basis rather than on a per kWh basis. When the math is done this way, expanding the project to locations that have much lower production can make perfect sense.

sciencenerd
Posts: 49
Joined: Sun May 18, 2014 12:29 am

Re: cost of Solar Power

Postby sciencenerd » Sat Mar 18, 2017 10:22 am

magellan wrote:To me, the biggest risk of rooftop solar right now is regulatory uncertainty. No one predicted the plunge in solar PV costs and it is completely changing the regulatory environment. In many markets, solar PV is contributing to a glut of power during peak daytime hours, causing wholesale prices to crash and even become negative.

I'll make a bold prediction. Flat-rate net metering will be completely discontinued in most markets for new customers within 5 years. Whether existing installs are grandfathered is anyone's guess. This change will impact solar payback calculations much more than losing all solar subsidies.

Elimination of net metering means you won't be able to sell excess power back to the grid for a full retail price credit. It's not yet clear what will replace net metering, but all of the options are much less generous than today's net metering. This will make solar impractical in many markets unless installed prices or battery storage costs drop precipitously.

AFAIK, Nevada is the only state that dropped net metering without grandfathering existing customers. That decision may have been reversed after a public outcry. But the risk is still very real because many non-solar customers will see net metering as a hand out to the (mostly) wealthy homeowners who could afford solar.


That's a very good point.

In NY state, the power company (NYSEG) doesn't pay you for excess kWhs. The way it works is that you can "bank" excess energy in the summer, and then use up your banked kWhs over the winter. If you produce more than the annual total consumed, the power company wins.

Second, you pay the service charge anyway, which is $15 per month in our case. This pays for the privilege to be hooked up to the grid.

In fact, in the summer, solar production is high when demand is needed (all ACs are running). That allows the companies to smooth production during the day. Of course, once solar supply exceeds total demand during peak hours, there will be a problem.

Valuethinker
Posts: 31758
Joined: Fri May 11, 2007 11:07 am

Re: cost of Solar Power

Postby Valuethinker » Sat Mar 18, 2017 1:55 pm

sciencenerd wrote:
magellan wrote:To me, the biggest risk of rooftop solar right now is regulatory uncertainty. No one predicted the plunge in solar PV costs and it is completely changing the regulatory environment. In many markets, solar PV is contributing to a glut of power during peak daytime hours, causing wholesale prices to crash and even become negative.

I'll make a bold prediction. Flat-rate net metering will be completely discontinued in most markets for new customers within 5 years. Whether existing installs are grandfathered is anyone's guess. This change will impact solar payback calculations much more than losing all solar subsidies.

Elimination of net metering means you won't be able to sell excess power back to the grid for a full retail price credit. It's not yet clear what will replace net metering, but all of the options are much less generous than today's net metering. This will make solar impractical in many markets unless installed prices or battery storage costs drop precipitously.

AFAIK, Nevada is the only state that dropped net metering without grandfathering existing customers. That decision may have been reversed after a public outcry. But the risk is still very real because many non-solar customers will see net metering as a hand out to the (mostly) wealthy homeowners who could afford solar.


That's a very good point.

In NY state, the power company (NYSEG) doesn't pay you for excess kWhs. The way it works is that you can "bank" excess energy in the summer, and then use up your banked kWhs over the winter. If you produce more than the annual total consumed, the power company wins.

Second, you pay the service charge anyway, which is $15 per month in our case. This pays for the privilege to be hooked up to the grid.

In fact, in the summer, solar production is high when demand is needed (all ACs are running). That allows the companies to smooth production during the day. Of course, once solar supply exceeds total demand during peak hours, there will be a problem.


You've both nailed some important points.

We are moving, much more rapidly than I had expected, to a world where electricity, at least in daytime, is likely to be free, or nearabouts.

Utilty customers will pay a flat service charge for being hooked up to the grid. And they will not have to pay for electricity they generate domestically.

They will, at least for the forseeable future, have to pay for electricity at times of peak demand that are not covered by distributed generation resources-- so after sunset say. However dropping costs of storage may make *that* economic, too, for the householder.

This raises huge risk of "stranded assets" as it did when electricity markets were deregulated in the 1990s. In fact, it doesn't raise a risk of it, it practically guarantees it.

How long will this all take? Not 5 years for sure. But unlikely to be 25 years, either.

User avatar
magellan
Posts: 3442
Joined: Fri Mar 09, 2007 4:12 pm

Re: cost of Solar Power

Postby magellan » Sat Mar 18, 2017 2:34 pm

Valuethinker wrote:How long will this all take? Not 5 years for sure. But unlikely to be 25 years, either.

Just to clarify, my bold prediction wasn't so bold as to claim electricity will be too cheap to meter in 5 years.

My prediction is that net-metering will likely be unavailable for new rooftop solar installations within 5 years. Under net metering, solar owners get credits for any excess kWhs their system generates that aren't needed. These credits can later be used to 'net out' night time or cloudy day consumption. Net metering for rooftop solar owners is sort of like using the grid as a giant battery, they push excess production to the grid and claim it back whenever they want it at zero cost.

That arrangement was a great way to get solar going and imo was fair to everyone since the excess solar production tended to get pushed onto the grid at a time when kWhs were most needed (and most expensive). However, now solar penetration is getting high enough in many areas that it's driving prices down during the day. That means the value of the kWhs solar owners are pushing onto the grid during the day is often far less than the value of the night time kWhs they're using in exchange for their production credits.

User avatar
just frank
Posts: 1114
Joined: Sun Nov 02, 2014 4:13 pm
Location: Philly Metro

Re: cost of Solar Power

Postby just frank » Sat Mar 18, 2017 3:29 pm

magellan wrote:
Valuethinker wrote:How long will this all take? Not 5 years for sure. But unlikely to be 25 years, either.

Just to clarify, my bold prediction wasn't so bold as to claim electricity will be too cheap to meter in 5 years.

My prediction is that net-metering will likely be unavailable for new rooftop solar installations within 5 years. Under net metering, solar owners get credits for any excess kWhs their system generates that aren't needed. These credits can later be used to 'net out' night time or cloudy day consumption. Net metering for rooftop solar owners is sort of like using the grid as a giant battery, they push excess production to the grid and claim it back whenever they want it at zero cost.

That arrangement was a great way to get solar going and imo was fair to everyone since the excess solar production tended to get pushed onto the grid at a time when kWhs were most needed (and most expensive). However, now solar penetration is getting high enough in many areas that it's driving prices down during the day. That means the value of the kWhs solar owners are pushing onto the grid during the day is often far less than the value of the night time kWhs they're using in exchange for their production credits.


This turns out to depend on where you draw the boundaries. If you are an electricity distributor, and you can buy less conventional electricity during the daytime because distributed generation is powering your grid (and you are collecting a flat retail rate for it) then you can simply continue as before. If you own the conventional generator however, you lose out in the market...running at a lower capacity factor and selling less energy with the same assets.

This is why one hears so much confusing news...distributor utilities are ok with rooftop solar (their average costs can go down due to buying less $$ 'peaker' power), while other utilities own the generator assets and the highly profitable peakers and see rooftop solar as the end of the world.

I agree with you about net metering agreements going away...just pointing out that some parties (including some large utilities) will be aok with conventional net metering for a long time...but the vested interests that own the generators will probably take political action...as they did successfully in Nevada, and unsuccessfully in Florida.

TravelGeek
Posts: 901
Joined: Sat Oct 25, 2014 3:23 pm

Re: cost of Solar Power

Postby TravelGeek » Sat Mar 18, 2017 3:38 pm

sciencenerd wrote:That's a very good point.

In NY state, the power company (NYSEG) doesn't pay you for excess kWhs. The way it works is that you can "bank" excess energy in the summer, and then use up your banked kWhs over the winter. If you produce more than the annual total consumed, the power company wins.

Second, you pay the service charge anyway, which is $15 per month in our case. This pays for the privilege to be hooked up to the grid.

In fact, in the summer, solar production is high when demand is needed (all ACs are running). That allows the companies to smooth production during the day. Of course, once solar supply exceeds total demand during peak hours, there will be a problem.


This is pretty much how net metering works for us in Oregon. We build up credits during the sunny parts of the year that we consume at night and during the winter. Whatever credit is left over in March gets transferred to the ultility's low income rate payer fund.

We have had our system for two years and never paid a dime for power (just $10/month to be hooked up to the grid); in fact we are overproducing. But that was expected and intentional as we plan to replace one of our vehicles (Prius) with an EV this year. By my calculation, it should mostly run on our current over-production.

User avatar
magellan
Posts: 3442
Joined: Fri Mar 09, 2007 4:12 pm

Re: cost of Solar Power

Postby magellan » Sat Mar 18, 2017 4:10 pm

just frank wrote:...just pointing out that some parties (including some large utilities) will be aok with conventional net metering for a long time...but the vested interests that own the generators will probably take political action...as they did successfully in Nevada, and unsuccessfully in Florida.

I think that's changing as the cost of rooftop solar keeps dropping. Most everyone in the business depends on load growth to drive revenue growth. Flat or declining loads and peak loads, thanks to things like energy efficiency, demand response, and distributed generation (including rooftop), means less infrastructure upgrades and that means less revenue and profit, even for distributors.

The good news is that after the Nevada embarrassment, which most agree was just naked political pandering, there are a lot of serious efforts underway to develop a fair compensation model for distributed energy resources (eg rooftop solar, battery storage, community solar, etc). There are very interesting net metering replacement proposals in several states including NY, MA, NH, ME, HI to name just a few.

Here's a recent article about NH: http://www.utilitydive.com/news/new-ham ... os/437905/

Time will tell where these end up, but Nevada especially was a wake up call for environmentalists and for the solar industry, demonstrating to them that they need to be active in state level net metering discussions or only the generators and utilities will have a voice.

Valuethinker
Posts: 31758
Joined: Fri May 11, 2007 11:07 am

Re: cost of Solar Power

Postby Valuethinker » Sat Mar 18, 2017 5:52 pm

magellan wrote:
Valuethinker wrote:How long will this all take? Not 5 years for sure. But unlikely to be 25 years, either.

Just to clarify, my bold prediction wasn't so bold as to claim electricity will be too cheap to meter in 5 years.

My prediction is that net-metering will likely be unavailable for new rooftop solar installations within 5 years. Under net metering, solar owners get credits for any excess kWhs their system generates that aren't needed. These credits can later be used to 'net out' night time or cloudy day consumption. Net metering for rooftop solar owners is sort of like using the grid as a giant battery, they push excess production to the grid and claim it back whenever they want it at zero cost.

That arrangement was a great way to get solar going and imo was fair to everyone since the excess solar production tended to get pushed onto the grid at a time when kWhs were most needed (and most expensive). However, now solar penetration is getting high enough in many areas that it's driving prices down during the day. That means the value of the kWhs solar owners are pushing onto the grid during the day is often far less than the value of the night time kWhs they're using in exchange for their production credits.


Sorry I did not mean to imply that you were thinking that.

I was thinking "big picture" about what is going on. What is going on is that the whole electric utility model is being upended.

Agree that net metering is probably nearing its sell-by date for the reasons you advance.

User avatar
magellan
Posts: 3442
Joined: Fri Mar 09, 2007 4:12 pm

Re: cost of Solar Power

Postby magellan » Sat Mar 18, 2017 6:32 pm

Not to take this too far off topic, but here's a link to Lazard's latest levelized cost of energy report (PDF):
https://www.lazard.com/media/438038/lev ... y-v100.pdf

The report shows the current "all-in" levelized cost for each MWh of electricity produced by each generation source, taking into account the cost of capital, cost of fuel, maintenance and operating costs, and estimated lifespan.

Scroll down to the first chart for the big picture. Costs are given as $/MWh, but you can divide by 1,000 for kWh costs. As an example, the report shows that without any subsidies, power from residential rooftop solar costs between $138 and $222 per MWh depending on conditions. That converts to 13.8 cents to 22.2 cents.

BTW, that cost may seem wildly uncompetitive compared to utility solar PV at $49 to $61 (4.9 cents to 6.1 cents), or to wind at $32 to $62, but unlike those utility scale bulk power sources, each kWh of residential rooftop solar saves its owner the full retail cost of a kWh including wholesale to retail markups, transmission charges, and distribution charges. Also, the analysis uses a fixed 7.7% blended cost of capital, which likely inflates residential solar's cost by at least 2-3 cents per kWh vs. real-life rooftop solar financing costs.

Angelus359
Posts: 632
Joined: Tue Mar 04, 2014 12:56 am

Re: cost of Solar Power

Postby Angelus359 » Sun Mar 19, 2017 1:27 am

You can get a 3k per 2kw system from streakwave if you install it yourself... There is a video on the unifi solar panels installed on a roof in 17 minutes...
IT Coordinator for public sector

ThatGuy
Posts: 771
Joined: Fri Feb 05, 2010 9:00 am

Re: cost of Solar Power

Postby ThatGuy » Sun Mar 19, 2017 8:15 am

Valuethinker wrote:
cutterinnj wrote:You may wish to hold off.
Solar systems should be getting cheaper soon.
Also, Tesla will start producing them with more aesthetically appealing tiles rather than the black tiles you normally see which may diminish a house's value.


Solar tiles are not a new product, at least on this side of the Atlantic

http://www.solarcentury.com/uk/c21e-tiles-and-slates/

If you have a historic building, or one where the roof is part of the particular character, then I can see the merit.

On newbuild, in 10 years, I expect they will be the rule not the exception (south or west facing roofs). At least as common as heat pumps are in the south eastern states of the USA. California may simply *require* them...


I would hope not. In large part because of the repair issues you identified, I would expect that a metal roof with a bracket would make more sense. Of course, California already requires that homeowners plan for solar, even if they don't install at construction via CALGreen (checklist).

Valuethinker wrote:The real excitement comes in more efficient conversion of sunlight. Current cells average around 20% I believe, and 40% must be doable. There may also be some clever tricks to deal with cloudy or rainy days (not sure).


Spacecraft already use solar cells that can exceed 40% efficiency. These are too expensive for the residential market, however.
Work is the curse of the drinking class - Oscar Wilde

MathWizard
Posts: 2495
Joined: Tue Jul 26, 2011 1:35 pm

Re: cost of Solar Power

Postby MathWizard » Sun Mar 19, 2017 1:17 pm

You are In Maryland, I would suggest looking into how much snow would be on the roof,
and hence on your solar panels, during the winter. That may greatly affect your payback time.

User avatar
mrc
Posts: 803
Joined: Sun Jan 10, 2016 6:39 am
Location: right here

Re: cost of Solar Power

Postby mrc » Sun Mar 19, 2017 3:29 pm

MathWizard wrote:You are In Maryland, I would suggest looking into how much snow would be on the roof,
and hence on your solar panels, during the winter. That may greatly affect your payback time.


This hasn't affected me much. But my house faces southwest, has black shingles, and a fairly steep pitch.
A great challenge of life: Knowing enough to think you're doing it right, but not enough to know you're doing it wrong. — Neil deGrasse Tyson

User avatar
just frank
Posts: 1114
Joined: Sun Nov 02, 2014 4:13 pm
Location: Philly Metro

Re: cost of Solar Power

Postby just frank » Sun Mar 19, 2017 4:27 pm

^ ^ ^ Agreed. I am 100 miles north of Maryland, and my roof might have snow on it 2-4 weeks a year. And Dec and January are the cloudy seasons anyway, with little solar input, so this is already effectively factored into the 1200-1300 hours of nominal output per year for the mid-Atlantic area.

Valuethinker
Posts: 31758
Joined: Fri May 11, 2007 11:07 am

Re: cost of Solar Power

Postby Valuethinker » Sun Mar 19, 2017 5:19 pm

just frank wrote:^ ^ ^ Agreed. I am 100 miles north of Maryland, and my roof might have snow on it 2-4 weeks a year. And Dec and January are the cloudy seasons anyway, with little solar input, so this is already effectively factored into the 1200-1300 hours of nominal output per year for the mid-Atlantic area.


If you have a supremely well insulated roof space, then one might have an issue, perhaps, with roof snow.

Then again maybe not, google is telling me Philadelphia is 39 degrees latitude and http://www.degreedays.net/ says 955 heating degree days in 2016 (15.5 degree C base line). How I'd map that to actual snow on roof days, I'd have to think about-- fairly sure my high school physics is not up to the challenge.

But it's a good point. Panel slope also helps.

Valuethinker
Posts: 31758
Joined: Fri May 11, 2007 11:07 am

Re: cost of Solar Power

Postby Valuethinker » Sun Mar 19, 2017 5:28 pm

magellan wrote:Not to take this too far off topic, but here's a link to Lazard's latest levelized cost of energy report (PDF):
https://www.lazard.com/media/438038/lev ... y-v100.pdf

The report shows the current "all-in" levelized cost for each MWh of electricity produced by each generation source, taking into account the cost of capital, cost of fuel, maintenance and operating costs, and estimated lifespan.

Scroll down to the first chart for the big picture. Costs are given as $/MWh, but you can divide by 1,000 for kWh costs. As an example, the report shows that without any subsidies, power from residential rooftop solar costs between $138 and $222 per MWh depending on conditions. That converts to 13.8 cents to 22.2 cents.

BTW, that cost may seem wildly uncompetitive compared to utility solar PV at $49 to $61 (4.9 cents to 6.1 cents), or to wind at $32 to $62, but unlike those utility scale bulk power sources, each kWh of residential rooftop solar saves its owner the full retail cost of a kWh including wholesale to retail markups, transmission charges, and distribution charges. Also, the analysis uses a fixed 7.7% blended cost of capital, which likely inflates residential solar's cost by at least 2-3 cents per kWh vs. real-life rooftop solar financing costs.


p 11 is just a stunner. The fall in cost of energy from the 2 main new renewable sources: wind and solar. Thank you.

The main valid critique of these numbers is that they don't account for the additional backup power than the grid will have to hold as renewables penetration rises (due to intermittency). Also things like how big and how interconnected your grid is matters. The Economist had a good piece about how much High Voltage DC line China is putting in to move renewables from the western arid regions to the heavily populated coastal ones-- more than all the existing HVDC line in the world, I believe.

And the United States has similar size and geographic diversity (although the Rockies/ Western Cordillera could pose a genuine geographic barrier, nothing else would (you would lose lines to tornadoes I guess)). So in principle it can wheel power over those kinds of distances. The DESERTEC project to build huge solar farms in North Africa and the Middle East and transmit the power to northern Europe has foundered, for the moment, on political/ security and other risks, but Morocco, at least, has the potential to be a testbed.

Energy storage is getting better. And demand shifting is a thing and it can be made commercially viable.

User avatar
just frank
Posts: 1114
Joined: Sun Nov 02, 2014 4:13 pm
Location: Philly Metro

Re: cost of Solar Power

Postby just frank » Sun Mar 19, 2017 9:09 pm

Valuethinker wrote:
just frank wrote:^ ^ ^ Agreed. I am 100 miles north of Maryland, and my roof might have snow on it 2-4 weeks a year. And Dec and January are the cloudy seasons anyway, with little solar input, so this is already effectively factored into the 1200-1300 hours of nominal output per year for the mid-Atlantic area.


If you have a supremely well insulated roof space, then one might have an issue, perhaps, with roof snow.

Then again maybe not, google is telling me Philadelphia is 39 degrees latitude and http://www.degreedays.net/ says 955 heating degree days in 2016 (15.5 degree C base line). How I'd map that to actual snow on roof days, I'd have to think about-- fairly sure my high school physics is not up to the challenge.

But it's a good point. Panel slope also helps.


The daily average high in Philadelphia is about 34°F, or 1°C in January. In Boston, its 30°F, or -1°C. Net effect, snow melts away reasonably fast down here even in January, rather than sitting around and turning to black snow and ice. On a sunny roof, even faster.

User avatar
whodidntante
Posts: 1684
Joined: Thu Jan 21, 2016 11:11 pm

Re: cost of Solar Power

Postby whodidntante » Mon Mar 20, 2017 12:11 am

Are you designing the system yourself? How much space are you able to allocate to panels, and is the space in a good location with no shadows and with direct sunlight? Do the math on the solar panels to determine how much you can reasonably expect to generate, and look at their cost. Then look at the cost of an appropriately sized inverter. Installation costs will vary by region. It is more onerous to grid connect a solar inverter in some areas.

Unless you are very knowledgeable or willing to research it to become knowledgeable, you should just ask for 2-3 quotes and go from there. It doesn't really matter what your calculations show it will cost. It's probably more than you think.

Angelus359
Posts: 632
Joined: Tue Mar 04, 2014 12:56 am

Re: cost of Solar Power

Postby Angelus359 » Mon Mar 20, 2017 12:35 pm

Has anyone tried the unifi panels?

It's weird that a wifi company got into do it yourself solar
IT Coordinator for public sector

Valuethinker
Posts: 31758
Joined: Fri May 11, 2007 11:07 am

Re: cost of Solar Power

Postby Valuethinker » Mon Mar 20, 2017 5:24 pm

Angelus359 wrote:Has anyone tried the unifi panels?

It's weird that a wifi company got into do it yourself solar



It's a measure of how the industry has commoditized (i.e. solar panels).

The systems can be designed with off the shelf software, the components sourced similarly.

My main issue would be installation, and also understanding local conditions-- rules about putting things on your roof, how feed in tariffs or net metring works etc.

RCL
Posts: 152
Joined: Sat Jul 05, 2014 2:48 am

Re: cost of Solar Power

Postby RCL » Tue Mar 21, 2017 12:57 am

I have had a 8959 KWH system on my roof here in sunny California since May of 2012. Prior to solar, my 7 year average per month of electricity was about $214/ month (In summer months, it was not unusual to have $450/month bills).

I went with a lease, but paid for the whole thing in advance, so I wouldn't have to pay the company every month. Going about it this way got me 20 years of repairs/service. The price I paid was just over $.10/kw. (at the time, that rate was lower than the lowest tier price)

Every year I produce more than I use, so Southern Cal Edison sends me a check of several hundred dollars. I have not made a payment to the electric company since I had the system installed.

So. Cal. Edison uses a multi-tiered approach for usage, and I was always in the highest tier from late spring to early fall. A lot of my usage is the pool motor that runs 8 hrs. a day, rain or shine, and air conditioners during the hot months.

I couldn't be happier with the way the solar system has worked, and the maintenance company did a good job when they replaced my inverter that went South a while back.

Valuethinker
Posts: 31758
Joined: Fri May 11, 2007 11:07 am

Re: cost of Solar Power

Postby Valuethinker » Tue Mar 21, 2017 6:30 am

RCL wrote:I have had a 8959 KWH system on my roof here in sunny California since May of 2012. Prior to solar, my 7 year average per month of electricity was about $214/ month (In summer months, it was not unusual to have $450/month bills).

I went with a lease, but paid for the whole thing in advance, so I wouldn't have to pay the company every month. Going about it this way got me 20 years of repairs/service. The price I paid was just over $.10/kw. (at the time, that rate was lower than the lowest tier price)

Every year I produce more than I use, so Southern Cal Edison sends me a check of several hundred dollars. I have not made a payment to the electric company since I had the system installed.

So. Cal. Edison uses a multi-tiered approach for usage, and I was always in the highest tier from late spring to early fall. A lot of my usage is the pool motor that runs 8 hrs. a day, rain or shine, and air conditioners during the hot months.

I couldn't be happier with the way the solar system has worked, and the maintenance company did a good job when they replaced my inverter that went South a while back.


California utilities are way out in front on demand side management, I believe.

Is there a rate (and technology) you could negotiate with your utility that lets them shut *off* the pool motor during periods of peak demand?

notoriusjt2
Posts: 46
Joined: Mon Jan 12, 2015 8:11 am

Re: cost of Solar Power

Postby notoriusjt2 » Tue Mar 21, 2017 6:55 am

a little off topic but is it possible to repair/replace a regular asphalt shingle roof after the solar panels are installed?

Valuethinker
Posts: 31758
Joined: Fri May 11, 2007 11:07 am

Re: cost of Solar Power

Postby Valuethinker » Tue Mar 21, 2017 8:57 am

notoriusjt2 wrote:a little off topic but is it possible to repair/replace a regular asphalt shingle roof after the solar panels are installed?


It should be.

However someone has to remove the roof mounting rack (which sits on top of the roof). And the struts that attack it to the roof may have damaged the tiles.

Solar roof tiles are a different item and I don't know much about them. I would tend to use them in situations where appearance was particularly important.

Valuethinker
Posts: 31758
Joined: Fri May 11, 2007 11:07 am

Re: cost of Solar Power

Postby Valuethinker » Tue Mar 21, 2017 9:05 am

RCL wrote:I have had a 8959 KWH system on my roof here in sunny California since May of 2012. Prior to solar, my 7 year average per month of electricity was about $214/ month (In summer months, it was not unusual to have $450/month bills).

I went with a lease, but paid for the whole thing in advance, so I wouldn't have to pay the company every month. Going about it this way got me 20 years of repairs/service. The price I paid was just over $.10/kw. (at the time, that rate was lower than the lowest tier price)


You do have the risk of their bankruptcy and whomsoever buys the assets not honouring the service agreements?

Every year I produce more than I use, so Southern Cal Edison sends me a check of several hundred dollars. I have not made a payment to the electric company since I had the system installed.

So. Cal. Edison uses a multi-tiered approach for usage, and I was always in the highest tier from late spring to early fall. A lot of my usage is the pool motor that runs 8 hrs. a day, rain or shine, and air conditioners during the hot months.

I couldn't be happier with the way the solar system has worked, and the maintenance company did a good job when they replaced my inverter that went South a while back.


See my comment re load shifting.

TylerDavis
Posts: 196
Joined: Wed Nov 24, 2010 3:07 pm

Re: cost of Solar Power

Postby TylerDavis » Tue Mar 21, 2017 9:08 am

At least here in New Hampshire, net metering rules are grandfathered in until 2040 for any installations that go up before any rule change, so there is little risk on that front. The equipment will be fully depreciated by then. Payback period is 8-10 years for a professional installation; 4-6 years if you go the DIY route. I'm trying to get my household consumption down before installing panels to reduce the initial outlay.

giesen5
Posts: 240
Joined: Wed Jan 27, 2016 1:44 pm
Location: Bellingham, WA

Re: cost of Solar Power

Postby giesen5 » Tue Mar 21, 2017 10:29 am

Valuethinker wrote:
giesen5 wrote:When we got solar last year, it was about $1k per panel. I believe that number is lower now.

7.28 KW system for $25K.


Washington state? Rainy?

What's your estimated payback period?


Yes, Washington state. Payback period estimated 5-6 years.

cedartee
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue Mar 21, 2017 10:39 am

Just got a quote today(Central NC)

Postby cedartee » Tue Mar 21, 2017 10:43 am

5.4 KW DC system.
$15,700
This is before any credits.

Valuethinker
Posts: 31758
Joined: Fri May 11, 2007 11:07 am

Re: cost of Solar Power

Postby Valuethinker » Tue Mar 21, 2017 10:52 am

TylerDavis wrote:At least here in New Hampshire, net metering rules are grandfathered in until 2040 for any installations that go up before any rule change, so there is little risk on that front. The equipment will be fully depreciated by then. Payback period is 8-10 years for a professional installation; 4-6 years if you go the DIY route. I'm trying to get my household consumption down before installing panels to reduce the initial outlay.


I think you understand this but in case anyone reading it does not.

Depreciation is just an accounting concept spreading the cost of something over its estimated useful life: hits profits, but not cash flow. Buy system for $10k, 20 year useful life, depreciation per annum (straight line, no residual value) is $500 p.a.

The *useful life* of a system tells you how long to replacement (equivalent to physical depreciation).

The cost to someone of a system is the up front cost + any maintenance cost + costs of replacing assets when they are worn out and no longer producing benefits. It is measured in *cash* when the payments are made.

Leasing a solar system complicates things a bit, but if the system is paid for up front in cash, then that's fairly simple. The depreciation is basically irrelevant.

Simple payback is then a Discounted Cash Flow calculation, with discount rate set = 0. Which is unrealistic (future cash flows are worth less to you than cash flows now) and will make the system economics look a bit better than they actually are. However on a Discounted Cash Flow model, you take into account all the benefits until the system is worn out so depending on your discount rate, that can be significant.

There may also be a terminal value-- I am not sure what a 25 year old solar array is worth, but it still will generate energy, so in principle it is worth something.

Valuethinker
Posts: 31758
Joined: Fri May 11, 2007 11:07 am

Re: cost of Solar Power

Postby Valuethinker » Tue Mar 21, 2017 10:54 am

giesen5 wrote:
Valuethinker wrote:
giesen5 wrote:When we got solar last year, it was about $1k per panel. I believe that number is lower now.

7.28 KW system for $25K.


Washington state? Rainy?

What's your estimated payback period?


Yes, Washington state. Payback period estimated 5-6 years.


I am surprised because (the coastal margin) of Washington State is very rainy? It has a relatively northern latitude. Power prices are quite low? (around 12 cents retail per kwhr?).

Are the net metring/ Feed In Tariff benefits quite substantial?

Of course I could be wrong about any one of those assumptions (except latitude ;-)).

RCL
Posts: 152
Joined: Sat Jul 05, 2014 2:48 am

Re: cost of Solar Power

Postby RCL » Tue Mar 21, 2017 11:59 am

Valuethinker wrote:
RCL wrote:I have had a 8959 KWH system on my roof here in sunny California since May of 2012. Prior to solar, my 7 year average per month of electricity was about $214/ month (In summer months, it was not unusual to have $450/month bills).

I went with a lease, but paid for the whole thing in advance, so I wouldn't have to pay the company every month. Going about it this way got me 20 years of repairs/service. The price I paid was just over $.10/kw. (at the time, that rate was lower than the lowest tier price)

Every year I produce more than I use, so Southern Cal Edison sends me a check of several hundred dollars. I have not made a payment to the electric company since I had the system installed.

So. Cal. Edison uses a multi-tiered approach for usage, and I was always in the highest tier from late spring to early fall. A lot of my usage is the pool motor that runs 8 hrs. a day, rain or shine, and air conditioners during the hot months.

I couldn't be happier with the way the solar system has worked, and the maintenance company did a good job when they replaced my inverter that went South a while back.


California utilities are way out in front on demand side management, I believe.

Is there a rate (and technology) you could negotiate with your utility that lets them shut *off* the pool motor during periods of peak demand?


Since my solar was installed, SCE (the power company), has gone from 5 tiers to three tiers. They spread the difference of the price per tier over the now three tiers, resulting in an increase per kwh in the lower tiers. The first tier is a baseline amount of usage, and they attempt to keep it pretty low priced.
Tier prices in 2012 were .125, .154, .241, .276, & $.31.
Currently, the price of a kwh in the lowest tier is $.157; up from $.125 in 2012. I never see anything other than tier 1 now, so I don't know the current pricing of the upper tiers.

There is an option to use "TOU" (Time Of Use), where you could pay less per kwh if you use power in a low use time period (off-peak hours)

There is also an option available which allows the power company to shut you down for a period of time if the grid is in overload condition

RCL
Posts: 152
Joined: Sat Jul 05, 2014 2:48 am

Re: cost of Solar Power

Postby RCL » Tue Mar 21, 2017 12:06 pm

Valuethinker wrote:
RCL wrote:I have had a 8959 KWH system on my roof here in sunny California since May of 2012. Prior to solar, my 7 year average per month of electricity was about $214/ month (In summer months, it was not unusual to have $450/month bills).

I went with a lease, but paid for the whole thing in advance, so I wouldn't have to pay the company every month. Going about it this way got me 20 years of repairs/service. The price I paid was just over $.10/kw. (at the time, that rate was lower than the lowest tier price)


You do have the risk of their bankruptcy and whomsoever buys the assets not honouring the service agreements?

Every year I produce more than I use, so Southern Cal Edison sends me a check of several hundred dollars. I have not made a payment to the electric company since I had the system installed.

So. Cal. Edison uses a multi-tiered approach for usage, and I was always in the highest tier from late spring to early fall. A lot of my usage is the pool motor that runs 8 hrs. a day, rain or shine, and air conditioners during the hot months.

I couldn't be happier with the way the solar system has worked, and the maintenance company did a good job when they replaced my inverter that went South a while back.


See my comment re load shifting.


I suppose there is always the possibility of bankruptcy of the maintenance company and the parent company. In fact, I think the first maintenance company has already been replaced. (not sure about this, Thanks for bringing it too my attention)

Angelus359
Posts: 632
Joined: Tue Mar 04, 2014 12:56 am

Re: cost of Solar Power

Postby Angelus359 » Tue Mar 21, 2017 12:40 pm

Valuethinker wrote:
Angelus359 wrote:Has anyone tried the unifi panels?

It's weird that a wifi company got into do it yourself solar



It's a measure of how the industry has commoditized (i.e. solar panels).

The systems can be designed with off the shelf software, the components sourced similarly.

My main issue would be installation, and also understanding local conditions-- rules about putting things on your roof, how feed in tariffs or net metring works etc.


You make some valid points.

Illinois has a legal right to solar, which is where I am. Nobody can stop you, and has net metering options

3k for a 2kw system with microinverters, by a super stable non solar company (less risk of going under) sounds pretty freaking snazzy to me.

The video of a 17 minute install was impressive too
IT Coordinator for public sector

Valuethinker
Posts: 31758
Joined: Fri May 11, 2007 11:07 am

Re: cost of Solar Power

Postby Valuethinker » Wed Mar 22, 2017 8:52 am

Angelus359 wrote:
Valuethinker wrote:
Angelus359 wrote:Has anyone tried the unifi panels?

It's weird that a wifi company got into do it yourself solar



It's a measure of how the industry has commoditized (i.e. solar panels).

The systems can be designed with off the shelf software, the components sourced similarly.

My main issue would be installation, and also understanding local conditions-- rules about putting things on your roof, how feed in tariffs or net metring works etc.


You make some valid points.

Illinois has a legal right to solar, which is where I am. Nobody can stop you, and has net metering options

3k for a 2kw system with microinverters, by a super stable non solar company (less risk of going under) sounds pretty freaking snazzy to me.

The video of a 17 minute install was impressive too


If you get say 3 quotes you'll get an idea of who knows what they are doing. For example, do they all suggest the same kind of silicon? (poly vs. mono matters depending on what light you get). Micro inverters? Site specific installation issues?

It's almost certain net metering will slowly be strangled, because of the problems it gives the grid operator and the costs loaded onto all customers.


Return to “Personal Consumer Issues”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Dovetail, Nate79, Yahoo [Bot] and 64 guests