Posted by:

jetaray

System Provides 116% of annual usage.

EnergySage Customer
Quick Facts
Average Annual Savings

$1,715

Energy Needs Met

100%

or more of electricity

Energy Needs Met

100%

or more of air conditioning

Net Investment

$24,217

Return on Investment

11.2%

What You Need to Know

Description:

12,400 Watt (11.8 kW AC) Solar Electric Grid Tied System consisting of 40 - 310 watt Bloomberg Tier 1 Csun solar modules, 20 - 500 watt dual APS Microinverters YC500I and Malina Solar. Structures Ground Mounted Racking set to tilt the modules at 43 degrees and is estimated to generate 14,900 kWh/yr on average. This is a turn-key system which includes all materials, installation, zoning permit, utility tie-in, and all associated paper work. Tied-in solar PV to main electric pole. Solar Rewards Incentive lasts 10 years. Customer to keep the $0.08/kWh S.R. incentive for each kWh the Solar PV system produces over the first 10 years. Customer to receive and claim all SRECs after 10 years. Service Equipment, Wire, misc. materials Csun Tier 1 Silver on White Solar Module 10/25 Year Warranty/Guarantee Csun-300 Ground Mounted Racking 500 watt/240V APS 500i Microinverter with Connectors, Terminators, Cabling, etc. 25 year warranty Installation by Master Electrician, NABCEP Certified Installer, and Team.

Other Benefits:

Distance from array location to grid connection was longer than expected. Designer made sure proper size wires used to minimize losses. If I remember correctly designer wanted no more than a 2% loss. Also second conduit buried to allow increasing size or installing second system in same area.

Maintenance Requirements:

None, sufficient rainfall during year to clean panels. Winter maintenance is minimal, heavy snow (6" plus) melts and slides off within three days. The 2018/2019 winter resulted in heavy snowfall in my area. A snowbank in front of my solar system prevented snow from sliding off several panels and reducing my production for about 2 weeks.

Efficiency or Sustainability Improvements:

Installed more efficient air conditioners in home, new electric stove/oven, 90% lights now have LED bulbs, and new cloths washing machine.

My Motivation:

Long term investment, this is for the home I retire in, look forward to not having an electric bill when older. Also have plans to build micro-hydro system in creek next to home. (retirement project) In all honesty, I did not do this just to say I am doing my share to save the environment. Yes added benefit, but if it was not a financially sound investment I would have waited. If system works as designed will get 8% return on investment, after payoff period of 7.5 years.

Advice:

I felt more confident using a installer NABCEP certified. My installer contracted out individual services, Master Electrician and rack installers. Advise you ask questions about people doing electrical work. Designer of system was present for rack and panel installation, but not electrical, hence mistakes were made as people are still learning.

Experience with Installer:

Installation of ground screws, racking, and solar panels went with out any issues. The electrician contracted for my project missed simple things caught by electrical inspector. One big mistake was the wiring for new bi-directional meter. Electrician hooked up wires on wrong side of meter, if not fixed the bi-directional meter would not register my excess power flowing to grid. For reasons I do not know this was not corrected until the day Xcel Energy arrived to activate system. This did not go over well with electrical company and myself. What should have been a 20 minute job to activate system turned into 1.5 hours as we waited for electrician to return and fix his mistake. Eventually all discrepancies corrected and system works as predicted.

Additional Notes:

System installed in open area south of my barn, soil mostly a clay. I like the fact there was no need to dig holes, use concrete, or level area. The screw method appeared perfect for my location. The support poles, racking mounts and actual panel installation took about one day. The electrical work of the project took about 4 days. Most time digging trench, installing conduit for wires to pole and pulling wires into conduit. Hooking up disconnect switch, installing production meter box, and running wires up electrical pole for connection. From my point of view the complete system would have been completed in 4 days if no mistakes had been made on electrical side, less actual electrical inspection. The electrical inspector for some reason wanted a barrier around the array, even though it was in a cow pasture protected by a weed burner electrical fence. He was afraid kids would gain access, didn't want to argue, so put up chain link fence around sides, back, and chicken wire so no one could crawl under the front. It is highly unlikely they would have made it past the electrified fence. The most time consuming part of installation is getting permits, inspections completed, and electrical company approvals for installation. The system is located in a cattle pasture and animals have caused no damage to system.

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