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  • Solar Purchase vs Lease - Newbie

    Hello all,

    I am new to this forum and in fact just joined

    I just read through the entire solar city lease thread located here. http://www.solarpaneltalk.com/showth...ood-to-be-true

    While My scenario is similar I felt a separate thread will help me get answers specific to my needs. So here it is:


    I live in Northern CA and I am considering going solar. I was looking for the same info as this thread as I am considering a Solar System installed at my home.

    One of the main reason I am also considering going solar is because I am getting en electric car which is going to increase my electricity usage and I wanted to see if I can invest in solar to offset the usage as well as take the benefits.

    I have gotten quotes from a private installer, SolarCity and Real Goods Solar and I am trying to compare them.

    Here is a quote from various providers.

    SolarCity

    System Size. 3.22KW DC System

    SolarLease

  • #2
    Buy = most savings, but higher initial outlay.
    Lease, you are sending someone elses kids to college!

    Real Goods is a large enough company, they will be around I think. The common thought is to allow for inverter replacement ($3500) about every 8-12 years.

    The big names Xantrex, Sunny Boy, SMA should be around for the long term

    What does the site survey of your roof show? If it has good exposure and large enough planes, you should not need to use microinverters, which I think will be a PITA to replace if they go bad after 3 or 4 years in the weather.

    Roof qualifed people, will not care 1,2, 3 stories, they are all supposed to install a safety rail to tie into in case they slip.

    Some roofs, with vent pipes, trees, cell tower shadows, just are not suitable for any install.
    spreadsheet based voltage drop calculator:
    http://www.solar-guppy.com/download/...calculator.zip
    http://www.solarpaneltalk.com/showth...oss-calculator

    http://www.mike-burgess.org/PVinfo_2.html

    solar: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Solar
    gen: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Lister ,
    battery lugs http://tinyurl.com/LMR-BigLug
    Setting up batteries http://tinyurl.com/LMR-NiFe

    gear :
    Powerfab top of pole PV mount | Listeroid 6/1 w/st5 gen head | XW6048 inverter/chgr | Iota 48V/15A charger | Morningstar 60A MPPT | 48V, 800A NiFe Battery (in series)| 15, Evergreen 205w "12V" PV array on pole | Midnight ePanel | Grundfos 10 SO5-9 with 3 wire Franklin Electric motor (1/2hp 240V 1ph ) on a timer for 3 hr noontime run - Runs off PV ||

    || Midnight Classic 200 | 10, Evergreen 200w in a 160VOC array ||

    || VEC1093 12V Charger | Maha C401 aa/aaa Charger | SureSine | Sunsaver MPPT 15A

    Comment


    • #3
      Real Goods Solar guy had been on the roof and took his tool and came up with the analysis that my roof get 99% sun entire year. Just few days in month of Nov some slight shade but he said it is as best as it can be. So I guess Micro Inverters might not be required I suppose.

      I too think Purchase is better than lease. Never believed in lease but with zero down if I save some $s per month it seems like a simpler and good option.

      Comment


      • #4
        1) Have a lawyer check out the contract - seems the Solar City leases are different in different areas - very different. They are squeezing for whatever they can get out of it.

        2) You are signing for 20 years. Be sure you will be happy for that time.

        3) Decide if it will be a plus or a minus for the prospective buyer. A solar system does not automatically add on to the value of your home in the eyes of everyone.

        4) All credits, incentives, RECs and that type of thing belong to Solar City for the life of the contract. There can be considerable money there in some areas. You give up all rights to claim anything except that you are buying green power I guess.

        Russ
        sigpic

        Comment


        • #5
          None of these deals are anything to write home about particularly the 0 down solar city
          Am I to read this correctly that you will pay them 22.2 cents per KWH generated?
          I would roughly calculate the average monthly production on that system at 322 KW
          So Tell me if I have the math right
          322 KWH x .222= $71.84
          Add the lease payment of $88 and the total is $159.84 so you are paying them $.495 per KWH
          What are you paying now for electricity?
          Rich
          WWW.solarsaves.net

          NABCEP certified Technical Sales Professional

          http://www.solarpaneltalk.com/showth...Battery-Design

          http://www.calculator.net/voltage-drop-calculator.html (Voltage drop Calculator among others)

          www.gaisma.com

          Comment


          • #6
            How many homes use that small amount (322 kWh) per month?

            In most cases there will still be an electric bill to pay. The cost per kWh will be a bit higher as all the fixed charges are still the same.

            Russ
            sigpic

            Comment


            • #7
              Well after looking at all the alternatives we have a winner.
              The system behind door #3 by private installer.
              I don't like the 35% discount bull give the real price don't inflate it and then drop it to make a deal seem better.
              However his install costs at $5.10 a watt before rebates and credits is the clear winner.
              You are also getting the highest rebate per PTC ratings per California as the Schuco and Canadian solar have the highest PTC rating. ( Schuco's are actually made by Canadian solar.)
              Rich
              WWW.solarsaves.net

              NABCEP certified Technical Sales Professional

              http://www.solarpaneltalk.com/showth...Battery-Design

              http://www.calculator.net/voltage-drop-calculator.html (Voltage drop Calculator among others)

              www.gaisma.com

              Comment


              • #8
                I was under the same impression that the third quote seemed the best. The only draw back I see is that he is a private guy so if tomorrow i have an issue how do I go about addressing it.

                The other just seem more expensive. Basically all they are trying to shave of my Tier 3 and Tier 4 rates at PGE which I need to do the Math to see how that makes sense.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by csriram45 View Post
                  I was under the same impression that the third quote seemed the best. The only draw back I see is that he is a private guy so if tomorrow i have an issue how do I go about addressing it.

                  The other just seem more expensive. Basically all they are trying to shave of my Tier 3 and Tier 4 rates at PGE which I need to do the Math to see how that makes sense.
                  All will evaporate in 5 years except the lease which will continue till you die and no longer care. The leases are sold to investors who will not warrant any issues but will continue to collect the rent. My 2 cents
                  Rich
                  WWW.solarsaves.net

                  NABCEP certified Technical Sales Professional

                  http://www.solarpaneltalk.com/showth...Battery-Design

                  http://www.calculator.net/voltage-drop-calculator.html (Voltage drop Calculator among others)

                  www.gaisma.com

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Another Quote

                    Gross System Cost $17,710 ($5.50/watt DC, $6.42/watt AC)
                    CA Expected Perf-Based Buydown (EPBB)
                    Step 8
                    ($966)
                    Installer Contract Cost $16,744 ($5.20/watt DC, $6.07/watt AC)
                    Federal Tax Credit/Tax Impact ($5,023)
                    Net Cost (year of installation) $11,721 ($3.64/watt DC, $4.25/watt AC)
                    System Description
                    Total System Size 3.220 kW DC Power (STC) / 2.760 kW AC Power (CEC)
                    Estimated Annual Production 4,687 kWh
                    PV Panel Description 14 x ET Solar Industry, Ltd. Model: ET-P660230B
                    Inverters Qty. 14 - Enphase Energy Model: M190-72-240-S02

                    Here is another quote I recd for install. How good is ET Solar over other panels in this quote? What do you thin about this quote?

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      14 panels and 14 separate microinverters? I thought you could only buy that brand pre-attached to panels.

                      Enphase is not an attached inverter they mount independently to the racking and sit below the module.
                      oh !
                      Last edited by Mike90250; 04-08-2011, 11:37 PM.
                      spreadsheet based voltage drop calculator:
                      http://www.solar-guppy.com/download/...calculator.zip
                      http://www.solarpaneltalk.com/showth...oss-calculator

                      http://www.mike-burgess.org/PVinfo_2.html

                      solar: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Solar
                      gen: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Lister ,
                      battery lugs http://tinyurl.com/LMR-BigLug
                      Setting up batteries http://tinyurl.com/LMR-NiFe

                      gear :
                      Powerfab top of pole PV mount | Listeroid 6/1 w/st5 gen head | XW6048 inverter/chgr | Iota 48V/15A charger | Morningstar 60A MPPT | 48V, 800A NiFe Battery (in series)| 15, Evergreen 205w "12V" PV array on pole | Midnight ePanel | Grundfos 10 SO5-9 with 3 wire Franklin Electric motor (1/2hp 240V 1ph ) on a timer for 3 hr noontime run - Runs off PV ||

                      || Midnight Classic 200 | 10, Evergreen 200w in a 160VOC array ||

                      || VEC1093 12V Charger | Maha C401 aa/aaa Charger | SureSine | Sunsaver MPPT 15A

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Enphase is not an attached inverter they mount independently to the racking and sit below the module.
                        Rich
                        WWW.solarsaves.net

                        NABCEP certified Technical Sales Professional

                        http://www.solarpaneltalk.com/showth...Battery-Design

                        http://www.calculator.net/voltage-drop-calculator.html (Voltage drop Calculator among others)

                        www.gaisma.com

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Phono 240W Panels

                          How are Phono 240w panels compared to the ET 235w and Schuco 235w. I am getting these panels for $2/watt and I an trying to decide on which of the three panels to go for.

                          Also, I can either go with Enphase microinverters or a SunnyBoy 4000. My roof does not get any shade but if I am getting 2 almost identical quotes one with microinverters and the other with SunnyBoy which one would you guys suggest?

                          Thx

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            If there are n shade issues, there is no reason to use the more expensive micro inverters.
                            spreadsheet based voltage drop calculator:
                            http://www.solar-guppy.com/download/...calculator.zip
                            http://www.solarpaneltalk.com/showth...oss-calculator

                            http://www.mike-burgess.org/PVinfo_2.html

                            solar: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Solar
                            gen: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Lister ,
                            battery lugs http://tinyurl.com/LMR-BigLug
                            Setting up batteries http://tinyurl.com/LMR-NiFe

                            gear :
                            Powerfab top of pole PV mount | Listeroid 6/1 w/st5 gen head | XW6048 inverter/chgr | Iota 48V/15A charger | Morningstar 60A MPPT | 48V, 800A NiFe Battery (in series)| 15, Evergreen 205w "12V" PV array on pole | Midnight ePanel | Grundfos 10 SO5-9 with 3 wire Franklin Electric motor (1/2hp 240V 1ph ) on a timer for 3 hr noontime run - Runs off PV ||

                            || Midnight Classic 200 | 10, Evergreen 200w in a 160VOC array ||

                            || VEC1093 12V Charger | Maha C401 aa/aaa Charger | SureSine | Sunsaver MPPT 15A

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Mike90250 View Post
                              If there are n shade issues, there is no reason to use the more expensive micro inverters.
                              The quote provided were almost same with the microinverters. I asked about how much saving I would have if I used a single inverter and it was about $500. So I guess if cost was same then better to go with microinverter?

                              Comment

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