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  • Sunpower versus SunEdison

    New to the forums. Thanks for all the info and insight. I live in sunny AZ with little to no shading. I am currently waiting on a couple more Sunpower estimates. I am looking at systems from 11 - 12 kw. The SP bid I already have is coming in at 3.90/w. It includes 2 SMA SunnyBoy string inverters. The SunEdison bids I have are close to equal power wise, both coming in at 3/w one with enphase string inverters and I am not sure of the inverters for the other. One is quoting me for 48 250 w panels while the other is for 45 270 w panels. The prices are pre tax incentives. I think I may be able to get a little lower for the SP system. Would I be better off trying to do this or going with the SunEdison system? TIA

  • #2
    Reputable installers

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    • #3
      Equal size systems in the same orientation and location and same service will produce about equal annual output for as long as you are likely to own either system. Sunpower's like a Mercedes - good product but expensive as a grocery hauler. PV is approaching commodity status. S.P. comes with ~ 20% price premium. For that you get bragging rights and a claim of better warranty which, for many reasons at this time seems unnecessary, and an as of now unverifiable claim (except by accelerated testing) of lower annual degradation - which, even if true, may justify a SLIGHT premium - maybe 5% or so, but not much more and certainly not 20 + %.

      There is other, good, non S.P. equipment to be had. I'd get more quotes and be more concerned about finding a reputable installer, and also keeping an eye on the AZ POCO shenanigans. Other AZ posters are much more informed than I about that situation.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by J.P.M. View Post
        Equal size systems in the same orientation and location and same service will produce about equal annual output for as long as you are likely to own either system. Sunpower's like a Mercedes - good product but expensive as a grocery hauler. PV is approaching commodity status. S.P. comes with ~ 20% price premium. For that you get bragging rights and a claim of better warranty which, for many reasons at this time seems unnecessary, and an as of now unverifiable claim (except by accelerated testing) of lower annual degradation - which, even if true, may justify a SLIGHT premium - maybe 5% or so, but not much more and certainly not 20 + %.

        There is other, good, non S.P. equipment to be had. I'd get more quotes and be more concerned about finding a reputable installer, and also keeping an eye on the AZ POCO shenanigans. Other AZ posters are much more informed than I about that situation.
        Thanks J.P.M.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Beerock View Post
          Thanks J.P.M.
          You're welcome. Knowledge is power. Get some of both by investing a few hours and read "Solar for Dummies". It'll be a very worthwhile investment and pay big dividends. Don't get answers to your questions from vendors. Know the answers to the questions before you ask them and learn who 's knowledgeable and perhaps worth your business.

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          • #6
            Got another bid back and started reading Solar for Dummies. Last bid is for SunPower, 38 320 w panels, SMA TL inverters. Came in at 41,147 or 3.38/w. Still waiting on one more quote and another electric bill or 2. In the mean time I'll finish reading Solar for Dummies and then get going on this system. Thanks for all the good info everyone!

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