Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

What is considered to be a good $/watt OTD (with all taxes/fees minus the rebate)?

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • What is considered to be a good $/watt OTD (with all taxes/fees minus the rebate)?

    I am new to the world of solar and am planning out my system, but I am not sure what a good deal is. Also world of DIY vs paying a contractor to do it would have different "good deals". So what is considered to be a good deal after all is set and done and you are sitting on your couch with everything around you powered by solar?

    Location: Southern California
    Utility: SCE
    Last edited by Duxa; 01-17-2020, 03:47 PM.

  • #2
    Unfortunately, it is never so simple. Each situation is different. Ground mounts can be more expensive than roof mounts. Some roofs are easier than others. Some electrical situations are easier than others. Premium panels produce more power per square meter of roof space, but cost more per watt. Microinverters cost more per watt than string inverters in exchange for other advantages. In addition, there are alternatives to save money that some consider risky. Do you want the security of a premium brand or can you accept a slightly higher risk in exchange for a lower cost? Are you able to DIY the electrical or will you need a licensed electrician? Then there's the possible cost of site work, like taking down trees. Solar works really badly in the shade.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Duxa View Post
      I am new to the world of solar and am planning out my system, but I am not sure what a good deal is. Also world of DIY vs paying a contractor to do it would have different "good deals". So what is considered to be a good deal after all is set and done and you are sitting on your couch with everything around you powered by solar?
      If you want a ballpark figure of average costs there's a tab (Solar Panel Costs) near the top of this page that tabulates the average costs based on the size of your system. On that page, you can even drill down to your specific state (assuming you live in the USA) and perhaps even your city. Of course you will have to decide if the average cost represents a bargain or not as there's lots of factors that bob-n mentioned that go into a cost estimate.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Duxa View Post
        I am new to the world of solar and am planning out my system, but I am not sure what a good deal is. Also world of DIY vs paying a contractor to do it would have different "good deals". So what is considered to be a good deal after all is set and done and you are sitting on your couch with everything around you powered by solar?
        I would guess it comes down to what you feel is a good payback number. For me a final installed cost of < $2/watt gets me about a 10 year payback. That is because the cost of power is only $0.11/kWh for me and my usage is low. For others their cost is in the $0.20/kWh range with a high usage.

        The simple math is to determine what you would save each year in kWh and multiply that by what your POCO charges you per kWh and then divide that value into your total installed cost.

        Going DIY would certainly be cheaper then having a Contractor do the work but you still have to provide drawings for the permit and get the AHJ to approve the installation. You also are the person responsible for a DIY system so you have no one to blame or call to get a problem resolved. Take your pick and determine what you want to gamble on a pv system.

        Comment


        • #5
          Welcome!

          You can google Solar Reviews for more regionalized details and even vendor bids. But in general, for a standard residential grid tie system, with roof mounted panels, using a Solar Edge or Enphase solution, from a reputable, local installer. You're looking at anywhere from $2.50 - $3.25 per Watt DC for a complete turnkey solution. This is to purchase outright (cash or loan -- never lease or sign a PPA) before any tax deductions or incentives.

          Price per watt of course depends on region of the country/market conditions, panel selection (mid range versus high efficiency), and the size of the system (larger systems (>7.6kW) usually have lower cost per watt). Ground mount is more than roof mount. The exact roof arrangement (unless it is metal, slate, or tile) doesn't have a huge impact.

          Most jurisdictions require rapid shutdown of some ilk or another (e.g. NEC 2014 vs 2017, vs. specific AHJ requirements), and Solar Edge and Enphase command ~90% of US market share in this regard.

          2019 was really hot as it was the last year to get the full 30% Federal rebate. Now should be a good time to haggle/negotiate as 2020 demand (except California) will be softer. You're probably looking at ~$2.65-$2.85/W unless you go with a really high end panel (Panasonic, LG Neon R, SunPower) or have a very small (<5kW system). So a 10kW system, for example, will be ~$26-28K.

          What state do you live in? How many MWh do you use per year? Do you have a perspective yet as to how large of a system you want? Any specific aesthetic requirements (costs more). How much roof area do you have and which way(s) does it face?

          I live in NJ, have a 12.2kW Solar Edge / Panasonic system, which offset 91% of my usage in 2019 (I made 12.34 MWh and consumed 13.53MWh). My system was ~$3.28/W (in 2017) as I recall. Given Federal incentives, savings on consumption, and NJ market specific SREC's, I expect to break even in 7-8 years (from installation - June 2017).
          Last edited by solar pete; 01-18-2020, 06:16 PM.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by JSchnee21 View Post
            Welcome!

            You can google EnergySage for more regionalized details and even vendor bids. But in general, for a standard residential grid tie system, with roof mounted panels, using a Solar Edge or Enphase solution, from a reputable, local installer. You're looking at anywhere from $2.50 - $3.25 per Watt DC for a complete turnkey solution. This is to purchase outright (cash or loan -- never lease or sign a PPA) before any tax deductions or incentives.

            Price per watt of course depends on region of the country/market conditions, panel selection (mid range versus high efficiency), and the size of the system (larger systems (>7.6kW) usually have lower cost per watt). Ground mount is more than roof mount. The exact roof arrangement (unless it is metal, slate, or tile) doesn't have a huge impact.

            Most jurisdictions require rapid shutdown of some ilk or another (e.g. NEC 2014 vs 2017, vs. specific AHJ requirements), and Solar Edge and Enphase command ~90% of US market share in this regard.

            2019 was really hot as it was the last year to get the full 30% Federal rebate. Now should be a good time to haggle/negotiate as 2020 demand (except California) will be softer. You're probably looking at ~$2.65-$2.85/W unless you go with a really high end panel (Panasonic, LG Neon R, SunPower) or have a very small (<5kW system). So a 10kW system, for example, will be ~$26-28K.

            What state do you live in? How many MWh do you use per year? Do you have a perspective yet as to how large of a system you want? Any specific aesthetic requirements (costs more). How much roof area do you have and which way(s) does it face?

            I live in NJ, have a 12.2kW Solar Edge / Panasonic system, which offset 91% of my usage in 2019 (I made 12.34 MWh and consumed 13.53MWh). My system was ~$3.28/W (in 2017) as I recall. Given Federal incentives, savings on consumption, and NJ market specific SREC's, I expect to break even in 7-8 years (from installation - June 2017).
            I am in Southern California. And I am looking at Panasonic + Enphase system 330x15 panels (so 4.95Kwh). My roof is composite shingle and azimuth is 220 (so South-Westish). Looking at DIY install, and wondering what a good price would be per watt after all is set and done.

            Comment


            • #7
              To get an idea on state and local incentives the DSIRE site is a good place to start. The thing to understand about solar is unless the local utility is solar friendly (or is forced by state law to at follow reasonable rules) there is chance that solar may not be good fit for your house. Not much you can do except move. If you need a good primer pick up a copy of Solar Power Your Home for Dummies. Between the DSIRE database, the book and the PV Watts you can figure out a lot of system details and then come back to us with more details which allows us to improve the discussion. Do the research first then decide if you want to pull the trigger.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Duxa View Post
                I am in Southern California. And I am looking at Panasonic + Enphase system 330x15 panels (so 4.95Kwh). My roof is composite shingle and azimuth is 220 (so South-Westish). Looking at DIY install, and wondering what a good price would be per watt after all is set and done.
                I checked one vendor and Panasonic 330s are at ~$1.08/W. They also have Hyundai 290s at $.68/W (and Talesun 270's at $.36/W)
                If you have room to do 18 of Hyundai 290s - at $.68/W you'd have 5% more watts for less money ($3564 vs. $5340.)
                I didn't include the extra 3 enphase inverters and extra racking - but that won't be $1800.

                But maybe you found a really good deal on Panasonic 330s in which case my point is moot. I only checked one vendor (renvu - the one I used for most of my stuff when I did my DIY install)

                FWIW, I think $2.75/W to $3/W (pre-rebates) would be a good price for someone else installing - but I think it really depends on how competitive the installers are around you and a lot of other factors - like do they need to do a new panel, etc.
                The cheapest DIY I've seen reported here I think was ~$1/W, but IIRC they had a very straightforward install and could use a string inverter (cheaper than Enphase or Solaredge)
                Mine was higher - but I replaced the main panel.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by foo1bar View Post

                  I checked one vendor and Panasonic 330s are at ~$1.08/W. They also have Hyundai 290s at $.68/W (and Talesun 270's at $.36/W)
                  If you have room to do 18 of Hyundai 290s - at $.68/W you'd have 5% more watts for less money ($3564 vs. $5340.)
                  I didn't include the extra 3 enphase inverters and extra racking - but that won't be $1800.

                  But maybe you found a really good deal on Panasonic 330s in which case my point is moot. I only checked one vendor (renvu - the one I used for most of my stuff when I did my DIY install)

                  FWIW, I think $2.75/W to $3/W (pre-rebates) would be a good price for someone else installing - but I think it really depends on how competitive the installers are around you and a lot of other factors - like do they need to do a new panel, etc.
                  The cheapest DIY I've seen reported here I think was ~$1/W, but IIRC they had a very straightforward install and could use a string inverter (cheaper than Enphase or Solaredge)
                  Mine was higher - but I replaced the main panel.
                  How much did your come out to be? Based on my calculations with doing it myself Iam ending up in around ~$1.70 per watt (These are the panels - https://es-media-prod.s3.amazonaws.c...icACmodule.pdf), and that includes panel upgrade ($2400, current panel is 100AMP Zinsco, upgrade to 200Amp SquareD). They have microinverters built into them. Someone else doing it for ~$1 makes it sound like I am paying way too much though :/

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Duxa View Post
                    How much did your come out to be?
                    It came to ~$2.35/W

                    You can use google to search for "DIY CA 8.68KW foo1bar" to find my thread about my install. (search built into this website apparently doesn't go back that far or something.)

                    Based on my calculations with doing it myself Iam ending up in around ~$1.70 per watt
                    Since you're doing Enphase, make sure you're looking at cost for the enphase cabling.
                    I looked at Enphase and Solaredge and went with Solaredge, part because of cost, part because I wanted less electronics on the roof.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by foo1bar View Post
                      It came to ~$2.35/W

                      You can use google to search for "DIY CA 8.68KW foo1bar" to find my thread about my install. (search built into this website apparently doesn't go back that far or something.)


                      Since you're doing Enphase, make sure you're looking at cost for the enphase cabling.
                      I looked at Enphase and Solaredge and went with Solaredge, part because of cost, part because I wanted less electronics on the roof.
                      Yeah the Enphase trunk cables are $300 to cover 15 panels. Not cheap, but I already got those accounted for.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Duxa View Post

                        ......Based on my calculations with doing it myself I am ending up in around ~$1.70 per watt ....., and that includes panel upgrade ($2400, current panel is 100AMP Zinsco, upgrade to 200Amp SquareD). They have microinverters built into them. Someone else doing it for ~$1 makes it sound like I am paying way too much though :/
                        That sounds like a good plan. You won't regret getting rid of that Zinsco panel either. As you may already know they are a fire hazard.

                        There will always be outliers that might make you think you are paying to much but that panel upgrade is $0.48 per Watt so your Net is about $1.22 per Watt. The small Tesla 3.8kW system is $2.02 per Watt. I think they get less expensive the larger they get. You will also have the satisfaction of doing it yourself.
                        Last edited by Ampster; 01-20-2020, 12:37 PM.
                        9 kW solar. Driving EVs since 2012

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          People have said on here and some installers have told me that it’s not really worth paying for the premium brand names.

                          im preparing for my diy system and planning to use something like peimar or the cheapest tier 1 panel I can buy at the time.

                          using those panels with ground mount and sma string inverter I will spend about $1.15 per watt for diy. That includes all bos and freight but not any electrical upgrades since the house is new. I’ll only need to buy the wire and conduit for the array to the house about 100’ away.

                          keep us posted on your decisions and install as I’m very interested.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by df0rster View Post
                            People have said on here and some installers have told me that it’s not really worth paying for the premium brand names.

                            im preparing for my diy system and planning to use something like peimar or the cheapest tier 1 panel I can buy at the time.

                            using those panels with ground mount and sma string inverter I will spend about $1.15 per watt for diy. That includes all bos and freight but not any electrical upgrades since the house is new. I’ll only need to buy the wire and conduit for the array to the house about 100’ away.

                            keep us posted on your decisions and install as I’m very interested.
                            the thing that makes premium Panasonic ones worth it is that after 25 years they will produce 90%, while most other brands will do 80%. Also I wanted Enphase system as I want to see how much each panel is producing. I am building out to outperform my consumption by 1Kw. With kids growing up who knows how consumption will increase in 5-10 years. And adding more later is a huge pain with permitting, so I rather do it all now. Plus producing as close to 6.6Kw as I can (I’ll be producing 5kw) allows me to do a level 2 (30 amp 240v) charge of EV purely off of solar.

                            Also the prime space on my roof is kinda limited, so I need high producing panels to maximize watts per sq foot.

                            I dunno, overall I feel like if I’m going to be dropping 10 grand on a 25 year project, I might as well pay a little more and get the better stuff. I know I’ll feel good about it 10 years down the road. But of course there is something to be said about saving money and breaking even faster.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              "the thing that makes premium Panasonic ones worth it is that after 25 years they will produce 90%, while most other brands will do 80%"
                              The LG Neon 2 panels advertise they will produce 90.08% after 25 years. https://es-media-prod.s3.amazonaws.c...N1C-V5_AUS.pdf

                              "Also I wanted Enphase system as I want to see how much each panel is producing"
                              SolarEdge systems with power optimizes provide individual panel monitoring at no addl. charge. https://www.solaredge.com/products/pv-monitoring#/

                              "Also the prime space on my roof is kinda limited, so I need high producing panels to maximize watts per sq foot."
                              LG has panels rated at over 400W with 20%+ efficiency. https://www.lg.com/us/business/solar-panels


                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X