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  • New to solar

    Hi my name is Sean,
    We just had a Vivint Solar system installed with two batteries that should produce 15% more power than we currently use. My question was we are currently receiving power thru Sonoma Clean Power but the Vivint guy who set up our system suggested we switch back to PG&E I’ve tried to do research but info is hard to come by. I think SCP rates are slightly lower and the double PG&E rates when settling up at the end of the year. The only down side I could see is SCP each month charges you if you use energy off the grid beyond what your panels produce but PG&E just settles up at the end of the year. Since we should be producing more power than we use that shouldn’t be an issue right? Any info or good source for research would be appreciated!

  • #2
    Info about my system:
    PHOTOVOLTAIC SYSTEM SPECIFICATIONS:
    SYSTEM SIZE-10.880KW DC|7.600KW AC
    MODULE TYPE&AMOUNT-(34)Jinko Solar JKM320M-60HBL WITH 34 SolarEdge P320 OPTIMIZERS
    MODULE DIMENSIONS-(L/W/H)66.3"/39.45"/1.38"
    INVERTER-(2)SolarEdge Technologies SE7600A-USS2RNCY2
    BATTERY-(2) LG CHEM RESU10H WITH 5.000 KW DCI 9.80 kWh PV STORAGE CAPACITY
    INTERCONNECTION METHOD(GRID-TIED)-LOAD BREAKER

    Comment


    • #3
      Sean,

      Did your power company replace your meter with a netmeter? A netmeter records excess power you generate (like mid-day when you're not using as much power as you generate) separately from power you consume from the grid (like at night when you use power). These are recorded on an instant basis, not subtracted from each other.

      You can tell the netmeter by looking at it. It will have a display that shows the two different accumulations.

      With a netmeter, you have three charges on your bill:
      1) Rate for excess you produce and send to the grid for your neighbors
      2) Rate for power you consume from the grid
      3) Rate to rent the meter, wires, etc.
      Different power companies will have different rates for those. Ask both companies. That will help you find out which is the better deal.

      In my area, the main power company was a bit more expensive for normal customers, but a better deal for netmeter customers because they gave me a significantly higher reimbursement for energy I produced.

      If you don't have a netmeter, something's fishy.
      7kW Roof PV, APsystems QS1 micros, Nissan Leaf EV

      Comment


      • #4
        I guess my question is will your battery system provide you all of the kWh you need each day even if the solar panels are not producing?

        My guess is that if you get a few days of clouds you will end up purchasing power from your POCO even if you do over produce yearly. Also during the winter your panels will be producing a lot less during the day time which may lead to purchasing power. Is that going to be ok with either POCO or will you be charged by SCP?

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by bob-n View Post
          Sean,

          Did your power company replace your meter with a netmeter? A netmeter records excess power you generate (like mid-day when you're not using as much power as you generate) separately from power you consume from the grid (like at night when you use power). These are recorded on an instant basis, not subtracted from each other.

          You can tell the netmeter by looking at it. It will have a display that shows the two different accumulations.

          With a netmeter, you have three charges on your bill:
          1) Rate for excess you produce and send to the grid for your neighbors
          2) Rate for power you consume from the grid
          3) Rate to rent the meter, wires, etc.
          Different power companies will have different rates for those. Ask both companies. That will help you find out which is the better deal.

          In my area, the main power company was a bit more expensive for normal customers, but a better deal for netmeter customers because they gave me a significantly higher reimbursement for energy I produced.

          If you don't have a netmeter, something's fishy.
          We are on a net meter yes

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by SunEagle View Post
            I guess my question is will your battery system provide you all of the kWh you need each day even if the solar panels are not producing?

            My guess is that if you get a few days of clouds you will end up purchasing power from your POCO even if you do over produce yearly. Also during the winter your panels will be producing a lot less during the day time which may lead to purchasing power. Is that going to be ok with either POCO or will you be charged by SCP?
            I believe with two batteries we will be able to go a week or more on battery power at least that was the plan with CA rolling blackouts and cutting power for fires. depending on our power use.

            Comment


            • #7
              Ok I guess I didn’t understand something so our system was designed to produce 15% more energy than we use and we used bill’s when we were using a lot of power, since then we installed nest thermostats an are using a lot less power. So I’m almost certain in most cases we will produce more power than we use.
              But unless the power is shut off we aren’t apparently going to running off the batteries. I was told by the designers that they can’t do that. Charge up the batteries then run off batteries instead of the grid.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Veger70 View Post

                I believe with two batteries we will be able to go a week or more on battery power at least that was the plan with CA rolling blackouts and cutting power for fires. depending on our power use.
                Ok. I guess I am surprised that 2 batteries, each rated only 9.8kWh, will get anyone through an entire day let alone week or more.

                Most people with a large home will burn close to 50kWh a day.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Veger70 View Post
                  Ok I guess I didn’t understand something so our system was designed to produce 15% more energy than we use and we used bill’s when we were using a lot of power, since then we installed nest thermostats an are using a lot less power. So I’m almost certain in most cases we will produce more power than we use.
                  But unless the power is shut off we aren’t apparently going to running off the batteries. I was told by the designers that they can’t do that. Charge up the batteries then run off batteries instead of the grid.
                  But if the grid is down and you have cloudy days what is going to recharge the batteries?

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Veger70 View Post
                    Hi my name is Sean,
                    We just had a Vivint Solar system installed with two batteries that should produce 15% more power than we currently use. My question was we are currently receiving power thru Sonoma Clean Power but the Vivint guy who set up our system suggested we switch back to PG&E I’ve tried to do research but info is hard to come by. I think SCP rates are slightly lower and the double PG&E rates when settling up at the end of the year. The only down side I could see is SCP each month charges you if you use energy off the grid beyond what your panels produce but PG&E just settles up at the end of the year. Since we should be producing more power than we use that shouldn’t be an issue right? Any info or good source for research would be appreciated!
                    I am on Sonoma Clean Power and get a $0.01 incentive for the energy I generate. I also got a free EV charging station and a credit of $5 per month for their Grid Savvy program. I don't get charged each month by SCP. It is all on one bill prepared by PGE. I can provide more details since I have attended some of the SCP meetings before C19.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Veger70 View Post

                      I believe with two batteries we will be able to go a week or more on battery power at least that was the plan with CA rolling blackouts and cutting power for fires. depending on our power use.
                      Yes it depends on your usage. Most of the planned power outages we have had in Sonoma County are during clear weather and your solar should be able to provide your power during the day and then, depending on your usage you should be able to get through the evening on batteries.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        ok I guess i may have misunderstood what the designer said but we are hopping that during summer rolling blackouts and fire shutoffs we would be able to run off the batteries.
                        Maybe I need to start from the beginning Vivint offered to install our solar system at no cost, we agreed to pay Vivint 21cents per kWh for 20 years limited to 3cents/per year rate hike. We either pay SCP POCO only if we don’t produce enough power. At least that’s my understanding.
                        We kind of jumped in without much research because PG&E has been such a **** show up here and we saw this as a way to lock-in rates for 20 years and solve our power problems during the summer at no cost.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Veger70 View Post
                          ok I guess i may have misunderstood what the designer said but we are hopping that during summer rolling blackouts and fire shutoffs we would be able to run off the batteries.
                          Maybe I need to start from the beginning Vivint offered to install our solar system at no cost, we agreed to pay Vivint 21cents per kWh for 20 years limited to 3cents/per year rate hike. We either pay SCP POCO only if we don’t produce enough power. At least that’s my understanding.
                          We kind of jumped in without much research because PG&E has been such a **** show up here and we saw this as a way to lock-in rates for 20 years and solve our power problems during the summer at no cost.
                          If you don't own the system then your options are limited in terms of user settings. Can you tell which mode it is in? I am not sure what the purpose of batteries were if they can't be used for load shaving or backup? I may be missing something, I will reread the thread to see if it is more clear.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Ampster View Post

                            I am on Sonoma Clean Power and get a $0.01 incentive for the energy I generate. I also got a free EV charging station and a credit of $5 per month for their Grid Savvy program. I don't get charged each month by SCP. It is all on one bill prepared by PGE. I can provide more details since I have attended some of the SCP meetings before C19.
                            I would be interested in how you got a free EV charging station we have Prius Prime

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Veger70 View Post

                              I would be interested in how you got a free EV charging station we have Prius Prime
                              Here is a link.
                              https://app.olivineinc.com/i/011/Son...CustomerEnroll

                              The price has gone up since I got mine for just shipping, handling and tax. For a $650 charging station it is still a good deal. It may be more than you need for the Prius. However the $5 per month gives it a 4 year payback and and more capacity for a future EV. Howerver it would most likely require a bigger receptacle and new circuit to be installed.

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