[amsat-bb] Re: Solar Power (I was wrong)

Mike and Paula Herr herr at ridgenet.net
Fri Oct 2 09:56:39 PDT 2009

I've had a solar grid inter tie set up here in California for a number 
of years, so I have had a tad bit of experience. The cost can be 
somewhat deceptive. I have heard prices of $20,000 to $30,000 banded 
around. At installation there is a healthy rebate from the California 
Public Utility commission, many other states have similar set ups. Then 
there are tax credits for Federal. California recently dropped their 
state credits. Plus, usually even a small installation, while not 
bringing you down to zero cost electrically, does bring your peak into 
the lower tiers of cost.
Out of pocket mine cost me about $6,000. And it is working great. No, I 
do not have to clean them off every month. My monthly electrical bill is 
about $25. I am now in the process of adding a wind turbine to the mix.
So look at the entire mix, ie cost, rebates and credits, and effects on 
the bill.
Just my 2 cents

> Since Satellite design is heavy into Solar power, and I talk
> about that a lot, you may have heard me compare my Solar car to
> Solar panels on the roof of your house as not economical, I WAS
> WRONG.  I was overlooking many recent changes in the
> environment:
> 1) Solar panels (PV) are 1% of what they cost in 1970
> 2) PV dropped 40% this year due to 2007 Energy Boom and 2009
> economic bust
> 4) $5,000 to $20,000 tax and cash back incentives for YOU
> 5) Grid-tie systems operate at 95% efficiency compared to 70% of

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