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What are some payback times for systems currently installed?

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Posted by Pete S on November 4, 2011, 10:37 pm
 
I put up a tiny test setup a couple of years ago and concluded that, for me,
in west central Wisconsin, I'd be dead before a system would break even.
That's for systems where the user is currently connected to the grid.
  If one is off-grid, it's a different story.

You can see what I did if you havent' seen it before at:
http://www.spaco.org/PV/PVSolar.htm

I know it was a cheap system, but give me credit for being able to
extrapolate my results to those of higher output, but more costly systems.

So, what are people who ARE on the grid and using significant solar systems
actually finding?
First the number for subsidized systems that I helped pay for through taxes
and then for non-subsidized installations.
  I have heard numbers like 25 years, and even worse for wind electric
systems where I live, and several years less for those who got the big
subsidies.

Pete Stanaitis
---------------  


Posted by Mho on November 5, 2011, 2:57 am
 
In Ontario, Canada they have introduced a subsidized rate of 80.3 cents/kWh
and it can be profitable.

Most people I have talked to with experience seem to agree it would take
about 40 cents/kWh to break even...ever.

At most rates, about 11 cents/kWh, you will not likely ever break even on
just the interest or LOI of the money spent.

Almost all people with experience agree that with current battery technology
and battery system usage you will never generate energy worth the
maintenance costs of the battery system.

OTOH:  on the first point, based on a no battery system, PV panels have
dropped from $/Watt down to $-3/Watt and may hit $/Watt next year, as the
market is disappearing for them. People have learned they will never profit
in money and cause more eco-damage manufacturing them than they will ever
save.


--------------------
"Pete S"  wrote in message

I put up a tiny test setup a couple of years ago and concluded that, for me,
in west central Wisconsin, I'd be dead before a system would break even.
That's for systems where the user is currently connected to the grid.
  If one is off-grid, it's a different story.

You can see what I did if you havent' seen it before at:
http://www.spaco.org/PV/PVSolar.htm

I know it was a cheap system, but give me credit for being able to
extrapolate my results to those of higher output, but more costly systems.

So, what are people who ARE on the grid and using significant solar systems
actually finding?
First the number for subsidized systems that I helped pay for through taxes
and then for non-subsidized installations.
  I have heard numbers like 25 years, and even worse for wind electric
systems where I live, and several years less for those who got the big
subsidies.

Pete Stanaitis
---------------


Posted by dold on November 18, 2011, 6:43 pm
 

I had an initial rebate that lowered my install costs, but no ongoing
subsidies.

My provider, PG&E, has a tiered rate, with the top scale at $.33276
starting 11-11-01.  They declare the "average" rate to be $.18299

I don't know how the "most people" that you described above came to the
$.40 number, but I accept that some such number does exist.

To optimize my investment in solar panels, the plan would be to eliminate
that "tier 5" usage, at .33, and if my trigger point were $.29, I might do
well to get down to below the tier 3 point, 200% of the allowed baseline,
12.7kWh per day.  Whatever I consume over 25kWh per day, I would like to
trim off.  I consumed 35kWh/day in 2009, the last year I made calculations.
My PV generated 18kWh/day in 2009, so I overshot the high-efficiency point.
I spent too much on my system to gain maximum return.  My PG&E bill is
always in tier 1, so I have eliminated all of tier 2-3-4-5.

Tier 1    Tier 2    Tier 3    Tier 4    Tier 5
.12233    .13907    .30180    .34180    .34180

Some of my production is only being returned at .12233, probably a loss to
me, some production is at better rates.

I have A/C that I run in the summertime.  Some folks don't have that.  I
have tiered rates in my area, and the A/C causes high charges in the
summertime, even with the solar.

It is wrong for someone in northern Wisconsin to declare solar power
unproductive for everyone because of his environment, ignoring others.  In
the TVA, when I looked last, the rate was $.04, not a market for solar.

It isn't beneficial for everyone, but it is for me.
http://cdold.home.mchsi.com/Solar-generation.htm  $,897 avoided in 2009
A 20 year loan to buy my system would be $21 per month, and the interest
would be deductible.   I think that's a profit from the start.

--
Clarence A Dold - Hidden Valley Lake, CA, USA  GPS: 38.8,-122.5

Posted by Mho on November 20, 2011, 8:41 pm
 Yes, things have changed with subsidies, TOU & multitier rates and  cheaper
panels, for sure. It would appear you have some profit left from your 20
year amortization with your higher rates.

Most consumers were in the 0.10 / kWh zone the last few years, no subsidies
(most still don't) and $-10 /Watt panels. Those systems will never pay or
break even. With PV panels coming down in price the $.40 is a little rich
and it was just a quick estimate with experienced people, online a few years
back. It would seem, even with your system anything under the $.20 - $.30
/ kWh rate would be more appropriate.

Then arrives the Insurance company scenario in the last year. After watching
FireFighters refuse to pour water on fires with PV panels on the roof the
insurance companies are starting to take notice and things are in the works.
In Ontario we don't get $.803 unless they are on your roof and not
consuming real estate space. Round two just around the corner on that one.
Who knows?

I still classify it as a cool hobby for most. If you don't understand the
difference between power and energy, stand back and watch somebody else play
with it. A guy up the street has over 200kW on his roof and they are covered
in snow between Dec and May each winter. One has to wonder what his payback
is like....LOL


-----------------
I had an initial rebate that lowered my install costs, but no ongoing
subsidies.

My provider, PG&E, has a tiered rate, with the top scale at $.33276
starting 11-11-01.  They declare the "average" rate to be $.18299

I don't know how the "most people" that you described above came to the
$.40 number, but I accept that some such number does exist.

To optimize my investment in solar panels, the plan would be to eliminate
that "tier 5" usage, at .33, and if my trigger point were $.29, I might do
well to get down to below the tier 3 point, 200% of the allowed baseline,
12.7kWh per day.  Whatever I consume over 25kWh per day, I would like to
trim off.  I consumed 35kWh/day in 2009, the last year I made calculations.
My PV generated 18kWh/day in 2009, so I overshot the high-efficiency point.
I spent too much on my system to gain maximum return.  My PG&E bill is
always in tier 1, so I have eliminated all of tier 2-3-4-5.

Tier 1 Tier 2 Tier 3 Tier 4 Tier 5
.12233 .13907 .30180 .34180 .34180

Some of my production is only being returned at .12233, probably a loss to
me, some production is at better rates.

I have A/C that I run in the summertime.  Some folks don't have that.  I
have tiered rates in my area, and the A/C causes high charges in the
summertime, even with the solar.

It is wrong for someone in northern Wisconsin to declare solar power
unproductive for everyone because of his environment, ignoring others.  In
the TVA, when I looked last, the rate was $.04, not a market for solar.

It isn't beneficial for everyone, but it is for me.
http://cdold.home.mchsi.com/Solar-generation.htm  $,897 avoided in 2009
A 20 year loan to buy my system would be $21 per month, and the interest
would be deductible.   I think that's a profit from the start.

--
Clarence A Dold - Hidden Valley Lake, CA, USA  GPS: 38.8,-122.5


Posted by argusy on November 21, 2011, 11:51 am
 On 21/11/11 7:11 AM, Mho wrote:

break

would

Even I can appreciate the humour about your neighbour - my sunny country has
cool winters, and only in one small corner do we get snow - we're lucky if it
lasts longer than 6-8 weeks.

I never thought about having a fire - that's a good point about firefighters
A stream of water with 360 volts or more on it, and a capacity to throw a few
amps through a fireman wouldn't make them too happy. So let it burn. Oh, I can
see insurance companies not paying out because you didn't inform them about a PV
installation.
With a "let it burn" policy by firefighters, you could easily end up without a
house, an no chance of getting it replaced by insurance

Whoops!! I think I'll check my policy, and have a little chat with my insurer

Graham

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