Solar Install w/ SolarCity

Questions on how we spend our money and our time - consumer goods and services, home and vehicle, leisure and recreational activities
Post Reply
mmcmonster
Posts: 258
Joined: Sun Jan 12, 2014 1:18 pm

Solar Install w/ SolarCity

Post by mmcmonster » Sat Sep 15, 2018 4:57 pm

Just wanted to write my experience down regarding my solar installation with SolarCity (now Tesla). I started the process in 12/2017 and started generating energy in 9/2018.

The system took longer to install because they were limited by supplies of the batteries and their installation teams are running thin.

My System:
300W Panels * 62 Panels = 18.6 kW system
Estimated yearly energy production: 21,048 kWh
41.5 kWh storage with 3 PowerWalls (each has capacity of 13.5 kWh)
Total system cost $76k prior to deductions (there's a 30% federal deduction on my taxes for next year)

Over the last three years we average ~19,300 kWh @ 12.5cents/kWh ($2400)
We got the PowerWalls instead of getting a home generator and it acts as both generator and whole-house surge protection. Getting a similar propane generator would have cost us $15k (installed).

Using all the above, we figured that $76k*.7 (30% tax rebate) - $15k (generator cost) = $38.2k.

Meaning 16 years to pay off for the Solar installation ($38.2k/$2400). During which time I will (hopefully) get continuous clean power (no over or under voltages) with instantaneous battery backup during outages, which should cover me 100% in days with clear skies.

User avatar
unclescrooge
Posts: 2464
Joined: Thu Jun 07, 2012 7:00 pm

Re: Solar Install w/ SolarCity

Post by unclescrooge » Sat Sep 15, 2018 5:06 pm

Wow, that's seems really expensive, in terms of pay back time. :shock:

Also, aren't the batteries rated for 10 years of use?

JoeNJ28
Posts: 11
Joined: Sat Aug 25, 2018 9:13 am

Re: Solar Install w/ SolarCity

Post by JoeNJ28 » Sat Sep 15, 2018 5:20 pm

Thanks for the overview after we do a new roof we plan on having panels installed, so it’s always nice to see prices people are paying out there to get a ballpark of what it will cost.

Balefire
Posts: 49
Joined: Thu May 04, 2017 10:17 am

Re: Solar Install w/ SolarCity

Post by Balefire » Sat Sep 15, 2018 5:21 pm

Where do you live?
What's the approximate 1st floor SQ footage of your house?
Why is the generator deducted from the cost?


Considering putting Tesla solar panels when I build my next house so thanks for the math example

ThriftyPhD
Posts: 702
Joined: Mon Jul 31, 2017 10:43 am

Re: Solar Install w/ SolarCity

Post by ThriftyPhD » Sat Sep 15, 2018 5:28 pm

Balefire wrote:
Sat Sep 15, 2018 5:21 pm
Why is the generator deducted from the cost?
mmcmonster wrote:
Sat Sep 15, 2018 4:57 pm
We got the PowerWalls instead of getting a home generator and it acts as both generator and whole-house surge protection. Getting a similar propane generator would have cost us $15k (installed).

Big Dog
Posts: 838
Joined: Mon Sep 07, 2015 4:12 pm

Re: Solar Install w/ SolarCity

Post by Big Dog » Sat Sep 15, 2018 6:50 pm

19k kWh seems like a lot of juice. How big is your house? Electric heat/heatpump?

3504PIR
Posts: 572
Joined: Mon Jul 26, 2010 2:46 am

Re: Solar Install w/ SolarCity

Post by 3504PIR » Sat Sep 15, 2018 6:56 pm

At first glance that seems like a huge system but we really need to know how big your house is. I also think what you’ve done is awesome. I’m looking at a system about 1/3 of yours and debating 1 vs 2 power walls. Based on the size of your home, I’m curious how long 3 would give you assuming no charging occurred.

How much were each power wall?

mmcmonster
Posts: 258
Joined: Sun Jan 12, 2014 1:18 pm

Re: Solar Install w/ SolarCity

Post by mmcmonster » Sat Sep 15, 2018 7:33 pm

Some replies to the questions:

We live in the North East Pennsylvania area. About an hour north of Philadelphia, an hour west of New York City.

The panels cover the entire west side (back) of the house and a bit of the south side.

The house is probably 5500-6000 square foot, including a finished basement. Heating is Propane. The excessive electrical usage is because it includes charging for a Tesla Model S which is getting about 1900 miles/month. (Probably should have added that in with the original post!)

Because of the car, I am still dependent on the grid. (if the batteries fill to 100% it gives me 41.5 kWh. My car has an 85 kWh battery.) So I will fill my battery during the day, then excess will go into the grid. When I plug in my car after work I will drain my battery (I keep 5% of the battery as a safety margin) and then use the grid to fill the car. The battery will replenish from the solar the following day. Overnight the house runs off the grid.

The recommendation was to get three PowerWalls so that I could provide the current flow (240V/30 amps) to the car without using the grid. Didn't take into account the total amount of power I would need to completely charge the car.

The PowerWall has two modes of operation. The most common is to fill up with solar during the day and drain down to a minimum amount (I set at 5%) after the sun goes down. A second mode is to stay at 100% and only use when the grid is down. There's also a setting so that it will go into the second mode if a major weather event is in the forecast.

fareastwarriors
Posts: 910
Joined: Tue Feb 14, 2012 12:31 pm

Re: Solar Install w/ SolarCity

Post by fareastwarriors » Sat Sep 15, 2018 7:49 pm

Thanks for sharing. Could you separate the panel cost from the Powerwall cost?

3504PIR
Posts: 572
Joined: Mon Jul 26, 2010 2:46 am

Re: Solar Install w/ SolarCity

Post by 3504PIR » Sat Sep 15, 2018 8:01 pm

Awesome.

mmcmonster
Posts: 258
Joined: Sun Jan 12, 2014 1:18 pm

Re: Solar Install w/ SolarCity

Post by mmcmonster » Sat Sep 15, 2018 8:04 pm

fareastwarriors wrote:
Sat Sep 15, 2018 7:49 pm
Thanks for sharing. Could you separate the panel cost from the Powerwall cost?
They didn't give a breakdown for the PowerWalls. They did say it was roughly ~$7k each, plus installation costs.

emoore
Posts: 472
Joined: Mon Mar 04, 2013 8:16 pm

Re: Solar Install w/ SolarCity

Post by emoore » Sat Sep 15, 2018 8:33 pm

Congrats. We are probably doing the same. Will have Tesla install panels. Don’t have an EV yet but will get one soon. You should be proud and excited with the difference you are making.

runner3081
Posts: 1618
Joined: Mon Aug 22, 2016 3:22 pm

Re: Solar Install w/ SolarCity

Post by runner3081 » Sat Sep 15, 2018 8:47 pm

Interesting analysis. As others have mentioned, that is too long of a break-even to interest me.

Here in Arizona, solar sounds great, but there is quite a penalty from the electric company (fees) for going with solar. We looked into it, but our relatively low use of AC would make the payoff even longer than 16 years.

emoore
Posts: 472
Joined: Mon Mar 04, 2013 8:16 pm

Re: Solar Install w/ SolarCity

Post by emoore » Sat Sep 15, 2018 9:09 pm

runner3081 wrote:
Sat Sep 15, 2018 8:47 pm
Interesting analysis. As others have mentioned, that is too long of a break-even to interest me.

Here in Arizona, solar sounds great, but there is quite a penalty from the electric company (fees) for going with solar. We looked into it, but our relatively low use of AC would make the payoff even longer than 16 years.
Sometimes it’s not all about money. My break even is over 10 years but I’m not happy with the electric company progress to renewable energy. It’s great that I have something to say about that now.

User avatar
pondering
Posts: 1006
Joined: Fri Jan 30, 2015 11:04 pm
Location: 412-977-3526, originally 718-273-2422

Re: Solar Install w/ SolarCity

Post by pondering » Sat Sep 15, 2018 9:34 pm

Is there anything I can put on my roof that would tell me my generating capacity that doesn't cost a lot of money?
--Robert Sterbal | 412-977-3526 call/text

mmcmonster
Posts: 258
Joined: Sun Jan 12, 2014 1:18 pm

Re: Solar Install w/ SolarCity

Post by mmcmonster » Sun Sep 16, 2018 5:41 am

pondering wrote:
Sat Sep 15, 2018 9:34 pm
Is there anything I can put on my roof that would tell me my generating capacity that doesn't cost a lot of money?
The SolarCity rep came to my house and took some pictures of the roof and anything tall enough to put shade on it (we have one tree near the house). He then put all the info into an app that had a Google Map of my house on it, calculated the pitch of the roof, and the program figured out how much electricity a single panel would produce on each side of the roof throughout the year.

I have no idea how accurate it is. Ask me in a year. :D

You can find a SolarCity rep at your local Home Depot. They advertise there. It's a free consultation.

mmcmonster
Posts: 258
Joined: Sun Jan 12, 2014 1:18 pm

Re: Solar Install w/ SolarCity

Post by mmcmonster » Sun Sep 16, 2018 5:54 am

runner3081 wrote:
Sat Sep 15, 2018 8:47 pm
Interesting analysis. As others have mentioned, that is too long of a break-even to interest me.

Here in Arizona, solar sounds great, but there is quite a penalty from the electric company (fees) for going with solar. We looked into it, but our relatively low use of AC would make the payoff even longer than 16 years.
Our local electric company with credit us in the form of # of kWh we push onto the grid. They convert that number to a dollar amount once a year. They will let you choose the date of the year that they convert it to the dollar amount.

The idea is that you produce an excess of kWh in the summer, use up the excess in the winter, and re-zero your account in the Spring when you're starting to produce enough so that you are net-producer to the grid.

So if you don't produce over 100% of your usage over the course of the whole year, you never need to "sell" them energy.

User avatar
pondering
Posts: 1006
Joined: Fri Jan 30, 2015 11:04 pm
Location: 412-977-3526, originally 718-273-2422

Re: Solar Install w/ SolarCity

Post by pondering » Sun Sep 16, 2018 6:35 am

mmcmonster wrote:
Sun Sep 16, 2018 5:41 am
pondering wrote:
Sat Sep 15, 2018 9:34 pm
Is there anything I can put on my roof that would tell me my generating capacity that doesn't cost a lot of money?
The SolarCity rep came to my house and took some pictures of the roof and anything tall enough to put shade on it (we have one tree near the house). He then put all the info into an app that had a Google Map of my house on it, calculated the pitch of the roof, and the program figured out how much electricity a single panel would produce on each side of the roof throughout the year.

I have no idea how accurate it is. Ask me in a year. :D

You can find a SolarCity rep at your local Home Depot. They advertise there. It's a free consultation.
I want to collect data regarding the effect of cloud cover. We have a lot of rainy and cloudy days in western PA
--Robert Sterbal | 412-977-3526 call/text

Balefire
Posts: 49
Joined: Thu May 04, 2017 10:17 am

Re: Solar Install w/ SolarCity

Post by Balefire » Sun Sep 16, 2018 7:07 am

pondering wrote:
Sat Sep 15, 2018 9:34 pm
Is there anything I can put on my roof that would tell me my generating capacity that doesn't cost a lot of money?
https://www.google.com/get/sunroof#p=0

Valuethinker
Posts: 35958
Joined: Fri May 11, 2007 11:07 am

Re: Solar Install w/ SolarCity

Post by Valuethinker » Sun Sep 16, 2018 7:28 am

Balefire wrote:
Sat Sep 15, 2018 5:21 pm
Where do you live?
What's the approximate 1st floor SQ footage of your house?
Why is the generator deducted from the cost?


Considering putting Tesla solar panels when I build my next house so thanks for the math example
You do need to measure the solar insolation but that shouldn't be hard to do (there are also postcode based estimates, I believe).

If you build in at the design stage, this should be economic. Of course it depends the terms on which your local utility buys back power, but panel prices have come down by so much -- it's the installation that costs the money.

If you go for solar roof tiles for aesthetic reasons that could significantly increase the cost. Flat panels are probably the best, however the shading effect (and thus a lower cooling load) is maximized with panels that are angled to the roof line.

(It depends on latitude but I think that the optimal angle is 30 degrees around typical North American latitudes. I am not entirely sure, though.)

Time of day has a big impact. Maximum productivity is panels faced south (of course). However the most valuable power on an electricity grid is c 4pm - 7pm and in summer, west facing panels (and panels with sufficiently high angle) maximize power then. So, again, local factors count.

https://www.amazon.com/Solar-Power-Your ... 0470596783

probably as good a place to start as any.

User avatar
pondering
Posts: 1006
Joined: Fri Jan 30, 2015 11:04 pm
Location: 412-977-3526, originally 718-273-2422

Re: Solar Install w/ SolarCity

Post by pondering » Sun Sep 16, 2018 7:28 am

Balefire wrote:
Sun Sep 16, 2018 7:07 am
pondering wrote:
Sat Sep 15, 2018 9:34 pm
Is there anything I can put on my roof that would tell me my generating capacity that doesn't cost a lot of money?
https://www.google.com/get/sunroof#p=0
Much appreciated!
--Robert Sterbal | 412-977-3526 call/text

ddurrett896
Posts: 864
Joined: Wed Nov 05, 2014 3:23 pm

Re: Solar Install w/ SolarCity

Post by ddurrett896 » Sun Sep 16, 2018 7:56 am

mmcmonster wrote:
Sat Sep 15, 2018 4:57 pm

My System:
41.5 kWh storage with 3 PowerWalls (each has capacity of 13.5 kWh)

Over the last three years we average ~19,300 kWh @ 12.5cents/kWh ($2400)
Am I reading this right? You use on average 19,300 kWh/year and three Powerwallas store 41.5 kWH, meaning once they are full charged, you will have 2 years of whole home run time with grid power?

mmcmonster
Posts: 258
Joined: Sun Jan 12, 2014 1:18 pm

Re: Solar Install w/ SolarCity

Post by mmcmonster » Sun Sep 16, 2018 8:52 am

ddurrett896 wrote:
Sun Sep 16, 2018 7:56 am
mmcmonster wrote:
Sat Sep 15, 2018 4:57 pm

My System:
41.5 kWh storage with 3 PowerWalls (each has capacity of 13.5 kWh)

Over the last three years we average ~19,300 kWh @ 12.5cents/kWh ($2400)
Am I reading this right? You use on average 19,300 kWh/year and three Powerwallas store 41.5 kWH, meaning once they are full charged, you will have 2 years of whole home run time with grid power?
Not sure how you got that. ;-) I fully charge during the day and discharge at night. How low I discharge to essentially depends on how much I drive the electric car. But certainly I can potentially fully discharge the battery at night since it holds 41.5 kWh and my car's batteries hold 85kWh.

ddurrett896
Posts: 864
Joined: Wed Nov 05, 2014 3:23 pm

Re: Solar Install w/ SolarCity

Post by ddurrett896 » Sun Sep 16, 2018 9:49 am

mmcmonster wrote:
Sun Sep 16, 2018 8:52 am
ddurrett896 wrote:
Sun Sep 16, 2018 7:56 am
mmcmonster wrote:
Sat Sep 15, 2018 4:57 pm

My System:
41.5 kWh storage with 3 PowerWalls (each has capacity of 13.5 kWh)

Over the last three years we average ~19,300 kWh @ 12.5cents/kWh ($2400)
Am I reading this right? You use on average 19,300 kWh/year and three Powerwallas store 41.5 kWH, meaning once they are full charged, you will have 2 years of whole home run time with grid power?
Not sure how you got that. ;-) I fully charge during the day and discharge at night. How low I discharge to essentially depends on how much I drive the electric car. But certainly I can potentially fully discharge the battery at night since it holds 41.5 kWh and my car's batteries hold 85kWh.
I was trying to determine how much power your house will consume in the event of an outage, since the $15k is deduced from the total in place of a generator.

finite_difference
Posts: 1010
Joined: Thu Jul 09, 2015 7:00 pm

Re: Solar Install w/ SolarCity

Post by finite_difference » Sun Sep 16, 2018 10:29 am

ddurrett896 wrote:
Sun Sep 16, 2018 9:49 am
mmcmonster wrote:
Sun Sep 16, 2018 8:52 am
ddurrett896 wrote:
Sun Sep 16, 2018 7:56 am
mmcmonster wrote:
Sat Sep 15, 2018 4:57 pm

My System:
41.5 kWh storage with 3 PowerWalls (each has capacity of 13.5 kWh)

Over the last three years we average ~19,300 kWh @ 12.5cents/kWh ($2400)
Am I reading this right? You use on average 19,300 kWh/year and three Powerwallas store 41.5 kWH, meaning once they are full charged, you will have 2 years of whole home run time with grid power?
Not sure how you got that. ;-) I fully charge during the day and discharge at night. How low I discharge to essentially depends on how much I drive the electric car. But certainly I can potentially fully discharge the battery at night since it holds 41.5 kWh and my car's batteries hold 85kWh.
I was trying to determine how much power your house will consume in the event of an outage, since the $15k is deduced from the total in place of a generator.
Hint: 19300 kWh/year * [1 year / 365 day] ~= 53 kWh/day.

So he can power for less than one full day using the powerwalls. But if he can use the Tesla as well to provide power to the house then he has ~ 120 kWh so should be OK for a couple days. Also, presumably he can shut off a bunch of stuff and then he’ll be able to last longer.

Edit: plus he’ll have solar to help reduce the load. So unless it’s extremely cloudy / dark due to wintertime that will help quite a bit as well.
The most precious gift we can offer anyone is our attention. - Thich Nhat Hanh

mmcmonster
Posts: 258
Joined: Sun Jan 12, 2014 1:18 pm

Re: Solar Install w/ SolarCity

Post by mmcmonster » Mon Sep 17, 2018 5:14 am

finite_difference wrote:
Sun Sep 16, 2018 10:29 am
ddurrett896 wrote:
Sun Sep 16, 2018 9:49 am
mmcmonster wrote:
Sun Sep 16, 2018 8:52 am
ddurrett896 wrote:
Sun Sep 16, 2018 7:56 am
mmcmonster wrote:
Sat Sep 15, 2018 4:57 pm

My System:
41.5 kWh storage with 3 PowerWalls (each has capacity of 13.5 kWh)

Over the last three years we average ~19,300 kWh @ 12.5cents/kWh ($2400)
Am I reading this right? You use on average 19,300 kWh/year and three Powerwallas store 41.5 kWH, meaning once they are full charged, you will have 2 years of whole home run time with grid power?
Not sure how you got that. ;-) I fully charge during the day and discharge at night. How low I discharge to essentially depends on how much I drive the electric car. But certainly I can potentially fully discharge the battery at night since it holds 41.5 kWh and my car's batteries hold 85kWh.
I was trying to determine how much power your house will consume in the event of an outage, since the $15k is deduced from the total in place of a generator.
Hint: 19300 kWh/year * [1 year / 365 day] ~= 53 kWh/day.

So he can power for less than one full day using the powerwalls. But if he can use the Tesla as well to provide power to the house then he has ~ 120 kWh so should be OK for a couple days. Also, presumably he can shut off a bunch of stuff and then he’ll be able to last longer.

Edit: plus he’ll have solar to help reduce the load. So unless it’s extremely cloudy / dark due to wintertime that will help quite a bit as well.
It's 53 kWh/day including the use of the Tesla. If I have a total loss of the grid, I'll have my wife drive the Tesla to work (if she is working on a day without power :shock: ) and I'll take her gas-powered car. Since her work is 5 miles away and mine is almost 30 miles away, our electrical usage for the day will go down nicely. Hopefully the solar panels can cover the lower load indefinitely.

Also, I don't think I can use the Tesla Model S to power the house. I never heard of that actually happening.

User avatar
TomatoTomahto
Posts: 7594
Joined: Mon Apr 11, 2011 1:48 pm

Re: Solar Install w/ SolarCity

Post by TomatoTomahto » Mon Sep 17, 2018 6:14 am

Also, I don't think I can use the Tesla Model S to power the house. I never heard of that actually happening.
People have asked about that for years. Won’t work.

If you manage to not kill yourself trying to Jerry rig it, your warranty will evaporate.

User avatar
TomatoTomahto
Posts: 7594
Joined: Mon Apr 11, 2011 1:48 pm

Re: Solar Install w/ SolarCity

Post by TomatoTomahto » Mon Sep 17, 2018 6:35 am

emoore wrote:
Sat Sep 15, 2018 9:09 pm
runner3081 wrote:
Sat Sep 15, 2018 8:47 pm
Interesting analysis. As others have mentioned, that is too long of a break-even to interest me.

Here in Arizona, solar sounds great, but there is quite a penalty from the electric company (fees) for going with solar. We looked into it, but our relatively low use of AC would make the payoff even longer than 16 years.
Sometimes it’s not all about money. My break even is over 10 years but I’m not happy with the electric company progress to renewable energy. It’s great that I have something to say about that now.
Amen.

Our solar panels “planted” the equivalent of around 4500 trees, or saved the equivalent of 90 TONS of CO2.

Our geothermal (not yet installed) will have a payback period of 10 years or so, but our house will be quieter, more comfortable, and smell better without oil.

We are waiting for Tesla to release 400A gateways before installing Powerwalls (large house). Tesla only has 200A gateways now.

There is value, priceless value, in taking a guilt free shower or setting the thermostat for comfort.

mouses
Posts: 3719
Joined: Sat Oct 24, 2015 12:24 am

Re: Solar Install w/ SolarCity

Post by mouses » Mon Sep 17, 2018 6:52 am

emoore wrote:
Sat Sep 15, 2018 9:09 pm
runner3081 wrote:
Sat Sep 15, 2018 8:47 pm
Interesting analysis. As others have mentioned, that is too long of a break-even to interest me.

Here in Arizona, solar sounds great, but there is quite a penalty from the electric company (fees) for going with solar. We looked into it, but our relatively low use of AC would make the payoff even longer than 16 years.
Sometimes it’s not all about money. My break even is over 10 years but I’m not happy with the electric company progress to renewable energy. It’s great that I have something to say about that now.
I understand various utilities are hiking fees to make off the grid systems less economical. Shame on them, and kudos to the OP.

criticalmass
Posts: 623
Joined: Wed Feb 12, 2014 10:58 pm

Re: Solar Install w/ SolarCity

Post by criticalmass » Mon Sep 17, 2018 8:52 am

mouses wrote:
Mon Sep 17, 2018 6:52 am
emoore wrote:
Sat Sep 15, 2018 9:09 pm
runner3081 wrote:
Sat Sep 15, 2018 8:47 pm
Interesting analysis. As others have mentioned, that is too long of a break-even to interest me.

Here in Arizona, solar sounds great, but there is quite a penalty from the electric company (fees) for going with solar. We looked into it, but our relatively low use of AC would make the payoff even longer than 16 years.
Sometimes it’s not all about money. My break even is over 10 years but I’m not happy with the electric company progress to renewable energy. It’s great that I have something to say about that now.
I understand various utilities are hiking fees to make off the grid systems less economical. Shame on them, and kudos to the OP.
It may not be gouging as you may think. Solar power production can start & stop suddenly due to changing weather, yet most customers expect their power to be available regardless of weather. Across a wide area, that can be very rough on a grid, and can require utilities to build more peaking fossil fuel plants that can start & stop rapidly without destabilizing the grid. This is no small feat in a rapid time sequence. This peaking plant capital and operating expense is borne by all customers unless the folks who use the grid as a battery or backup pay fees.

smitcat
Posts: 1868
Joined: Mon Nov 07, 2016 10:51 am

Re: Solar Install w/ SolarCity

Post by smitcat » Mon Sep 17, 2018 9:19 am

TomatoTomahto wrote:
Mon Sep 17, 2018 6:35 am
emoore wrote:
Sat Sep 15, 2018 9:09 pm
runner3081 wrote:
Sat Sep 15, 2018 8:47 pm
Interesting analysis. As others have mentioned, that is too long of a break-even to interest me.

Here in Arizona, solar sounds great, but there is quite a penalty from the electric company (fees) for going with solar. We looked into it, but our relatively low use of AC would make the payoff even longer than 16 years.
Sometimes it’s not all about money. My break even is over 10 years but I’m not happy with the electric company progress to renewable energy. It’s great that I have something to say about that now.
Amen.

Our solar panels “planted” the equivalent of around 4500 trees, or saved the equivalent of 90 TONS of CO2.

Our geothermal (not yet installed) will have a payback period of 10 years or so, but our house will be quieter, more comfortable, and smell better without oil.

We are waiting for Tesla to release 400A gateways before installing Powerwalls (large house). Tesla only has 200A gateways now.

There is value, priceless value, in taking a guilt free shower or setting the thermostat for comfort.

Perhaps other issues to consider when making choices....
https://money.cnn.com/video/technology/ ... index.html

mmcmonster
Posts: 258
Joined: Sun Jan 12, 2014 1:18 pm

Re: Solar Install w/ SolarCity

Post by mmcmonster » Mon Sep 17, 2018 11:17 am

criticalmass wrote:
Mon Sep 17, 2018 8:52 am
mouses wrote:
Mon Sep 17, 2018 6:52 am
emoore wrote:
Sat Sep 15, 2018 9:09 pm
runner3081 wrote:
Sat Sep 15, 2018 8:47 pm
Interesting analysis. As others have mentioned, that is too long of a break-even to interest me.

Here in Arizona, solar sounds great, but there is quite a penalty from the electric company (fees) for going with solar. We looked into it, but our relatively low use of AC would make the payoff even longer than 16 years.
Sometimes it’s not all about money. My break even is over 10 years but I’m not happy with the electric company progress to renewable energy. It’s great that I have something to say about that now.
I understand various utilities are hiking fees to make off the grid systems less economical. Shame on them, and kudos to the OP.
It may not be gouging as you may think. Solar power production can start & stop suddenly due to changing weather, yet most customers expect their power to be available regardless of weather. Across a wide area, that can be very rough on a grid, and can require utilities to build more peaking fossil fuel plants that can start & stop rapidly without destabilizing the grid. This is no small feat in a rapid time sequence. This peaking plant capital and operating expense is borne by all customers unless the folks who use the grid as a battery or backup pay fees.
Sound like the power companies need to invest in battery technology. The Tesla batteries are able to take up sudden increases in load nearly instantaneously (much faster than any generator or power plant could spin up).

https://news.slashdot.org/story/18/05/1 ... 90-percent

criticalmass
Posts: 623
Joined: Wed Feb 12, 2014 10:58 pm

Re: Solar Install w/ SolarCity

Post by criticalmass » Mon Sep 17, 2018 3:23 pm

mmcmonster wrote:
Mon Sep 17, 2018 11:17 am
criticalmass wrote:
Mon Sep 17, 2018 8:52 am
mouses wrote:
Mon Sep 17, 2018 6:52 am
emoore wrote:
Sat Sep 15, 2018 9:09 pm
runner3081 wrote:
Sat Sep 15, 2018 8:47 pm
Interesting analysis. As others have mentioned, that is too long of a break-even to interest me.

Here in Arizona, solar sounds great, but there is quite a penalty from the electric company (fees) for going with solar. We looked into it, but our relatively low use of AC would make the payoff even longer than 16 years.
Sometimes it’s not all about money. My break even is over 10 years but I’m not happy with the electric company progress to renewable energy. It’s great that I have something to say about that now.
I understand various utilities are hiking fees to make off the grid systems less economical. Shame on them, and kudos to the OP.
It may not be gouging as you may think. Solar power production can start & stop suddenly due to changing weather, yet most customers expect their power to be available regardless of weather. Across a wide area, that can be very rough on a grid, and can require utilities to build more peaking fossil fuel plants that can start & stop rapidly without destabilizing the grid. This is no small feat in a rapid time sequence. This peaking plant capital and operating expense is borne by all customers unless the folks who use the grid as a battery or backup pay fees.
Sound like the power companies need to invest in battery technology. The Tesla batteries are able to take up sudden increases in load nearly instantaneously (much faster than any generator or power plant could spin up).

https://news.slashdot.org/story/18/05/1 ... 90-percent
If you can produce enough battery power economically for a utility to power the grid for a city, state, or FERC/ISO region, I am sure that many utilities would love to invest in your technology. And distribution utilities are likely to get ratepayers to pay for technology upgrades.

Do the Tesla batteries create toxic waste or use toxic materials for their construction like lithium batteries? That would be a serious barrier for utilities to consider en masse.

mmcmonster
Posts: 258
Joined: Sun Jan 12, 2014 1:18 pm

Re: Solar Install w/ SolarCity

Post by mmcmonster » Mon Sep 17, 2018 5:08 pm

criticalmass wrote:
Mon Sep 17, 2018 3:23 pm
mmcmonster wrote:
Mon Sep 17, 2018 11:17 am
Sound like the power companies need to invest in battery technology. The Tesla batteries are able to take up sudden increases in load nearly instantaneously (much faster than any generator or power plant could spin up).

https://news.slashdot.org/story/18/05/1 ... 90-percent
If you can produce enough battery power economically for a utility to power the grid for a city, state, or FERC/ISO region, I am sure that many utilities would love to invest in your technology. And distribution utilities are likely to get ratepayers to pay for technology upgrades.

Do the Tesla batteries create toxic waste or use toxic materials for their construction like lithium batteries? That would be a serious barrier for utilities to consider en masse.
What I'm saying is that getting a large enough battery on the grid, which is what one of the states in Australia did, will allow the utility to smoothen out those load spikes and dips near-instantaneously, allowing the production to rely more on renewables and less on coal or gasoline turbines.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-aust ... SKBN1DV3VR

I don't know how economical it is, but it already exists in the state of South Australia and apparently stabilized the power system there.

Keeping us on-topic: Consider investing in battery tech and companies that can do large scale deployments to improve the electrical grid.

Thesaints
Posts: 1619
Joined: Tue Jun 20, 2017 12:25 am

Re: Solar Install w/ SolarCity

Post by Thesaints » Mon Sep 17, 2018 5:13 pm

If you have lots of sunlight and a small, dispersed, population, batteries + solar certainly make sense.
In other situations they might be a terrible solution.

kacang
Posts: 41
Joined: Fri Apr 20, 2018 7:43 am
Location: CA

Re: Solar Install w/ SolarCity

Post by kacang » Mon Sep 17, 2018 6:43 pm

For those who have installed power walls, did this affect your home insurance?

mmcmonster
Posts: 258
Joined: Sun Jan 12, 2014 1:18 pm

Re: Solar Install w/ SolarCity

Post by mmcmonster » Tue Sep 18, 2018 4:04 pm

kacang wrote:
Mon Sep 17, 2018 6:43 pm
For those who have installed power walls, did this affect your home insurance?
I told my insurance agent (State Farm) about the installation. They increased my coverage by about the same as the total cost of the installation. He also came by and took pictures of the panel layout and number of panels.

The SolarCity rep suggested an umbrella polity of at least $2M (I already had that amount as my umbrella). The Solar City warranty does not cover hail (or, presumably, other weather damage).

Post Reply