As you can see, the entire United States is situated for good to great solar power production. Even more interesting, compare the map above to actual solar production by country and you will see that Germany currently leads the world even though it has less solar power potential than the USA.
When looking to lower the cost of your solar panel installation, a helpful tool for investigating what rebates or subsidies your home qualifies for is the DSIRE website. Here is a link to DSIRE’s interactive chart of financial incentives by state:
I may be biased here, but I think that solar panels can be installed in a way that not only blends in with your home, but can actually enhance its appearance. Our home’s solar panels were installed flush with the roof and most people do not even realize that they are there.
An interesting article appeared in the local newspaper this week, “Solar Power For The Do-It-Yourselfer”. The article profiled a company, SolarPod, that sells a solar kit that includes 4 PV solar panels, mounting hardware and micro-inverters. The kit will produce about 1kW of electricity for a price tag of $4000 and are designed for flat roofs.
Our system is located in Minnesota, and while we can generate large amounts of energy all year long, the decreased hours of sunlight and snow cover impacts our production in winter months. On the flip side, the summer months are our super star performers. Our 7kW system generates well over 100% of our usage in the May-November months. The utility company “buys back” the excess resulting in a profit of $20-$60/month. Seriously, not only do we not pay for electricity during these months, but the utility company sends us a check each month!
Note that the $20-$60 is in excess of the savings that we are NOT paying utility fees for the month. We averaged $700/year or $60/month in electricity costs before the Continue reading →
As discussed in previous posts here and here, the cost of installing solar panels can be greatly reduced by utility company rebates. But, what if your utility company doesn’t have an incentive program? Or your roof doesn’t qualify due to the direction your roof faces? Fortunately, without the utility’s involvement you retain ownership of the SRECs and can sell them on the Continue reading →
The amount homeowners are eligible to receive from our utility company is based on the size of their PV system. For example, as mentioned previously, our home’s PV system has a total of 7 kW. At the time of installation, the utility rebate was $2.25/watt*. This resulted in a $15,750 rebate (2.25 x 7000).