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Solar Panel Leasing

Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by Pesqueeb, Apr 11, 2011.

  1. Pesqueeb

    Pesqueeb bicycle in airplane hangar

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    Anybody ever done one or know of someone who has? There are @ least two companies here in Colorado that do such a thing. I spoke to one on the phone earlier but right now they are only doing the leasing program up north in Denver. It looks like I could probably come out ahead $$ wise with a lease with the difference in not paying for/significantly less for electricity. If I could do a lease on some panels for break even on my utility bill, or hell, even a couple bucks more a month I totally would.

    http://www.solarcity.com/
    http://www.sunrunhome.com/co/colorado-solar-power
     

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  2. C.P.

    C.P. Monkey

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    It seems like a risk and potentially not a good deal. Lock into a solar lease for 15 years, or cough up the initial cash to buy yourself, and have it (most likely) paid off sooner, in some cases a lot sooner - leaving you with a positive cash flow at the time it's paid off. With all of the electrical efficiency measures that new products will come out with during the period of your solar lease, you will still be stuck paying the lease amount, when your total consumption would be a lot less. It's basically a performance contract. Gotta read between the lines.
    Also, if you ever plan to move out of your home, when you sell it, you'll have to assign the lease to the next owners, which could be a big turnoff for some. I dunno, something stinks with solar leasing to me...

    edit: thought so, finance 101.
     
    #2 -   Apr 11, 2011
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2011
  3. stoney

    stoney Part of the unwashed, middle-American horde

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    IIRC, with a lease the installing company gets the tax credit.
     
  4. Pesqueeb

    Pesqueeb bicycle in airplane hangar

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    I have been pursuing teh interwebz in the interim and it appears you are correct. It also seems that at least some of the rate you pay on the lease is tied to your local utility, so if utility rates go up your bill increases anyway, which to me seems to defeat the purpose of installing solar in the first place. :think: It seems you can get financing to purchase but I haven’t looked into what the sorts of terms are available. Your basically purchasing a car since a system sized for the average home runs north of $20,000 before rebates, which of course have already run out here in CO for the year. Terms are going to have to be friendly in comparison to my utility bill for me to consider taking a loan. I must visit with my local Solar Installer.
     
    #4 -   Apr 11, 2011
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2011
  5. jimmydean

    jimmydean The Official Meat of Ridemonkey

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    If you are looking at solar to "pay for itself" I doubt it would anytime soon. If you are looking at solar as an alternative means of energy, then you are looking for the right reason.

    I have looked at solar and if I ever decide to buy another house (very unlikely) then I would consider a system large enough to run critical stuff stand alone, but not a full "off the grid" system.
     
  6. Pesqueeb

    Pesqueeb bicycle in airplane hangar

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    I'm not really looking for it to pay for itself per se, but I'm not looking to eat a big financial bullet either. I would be very happy to come out break even over a short (5-10 years) time period. If I can make the $$ part work in that time frame I'm going to be very interested. There is an installer I pedal past when I ride my bike to work. Think I'm going to swing by on my way home today and see if they are still open and see what they can tell me.
     
  7. syadasti

    syadasti i heart mac

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    I sold a few months of NJ SRECs (23@655/each) on the open market a couple of weeks ago - within a few hours of posting them they were sold. A few days later we got $15K check in the mail from the buyer (FYI, the lowest production of the year in the second most snowy season ever - we had snow cover for weeks). NJ's program leads the country. We are coming into season now 31.5 in March and 11 already in April - we'll do at least double the SRECs for the next sale.

    Our system will pay for itself 5-7 years and its all profit after that :thumb:

     
    #7 -   Apr 11, 2011
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2011
  8. mandown

    mandown Poopdeck Repost

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    i gave a chick a solar panel on the first date once. there was no second date.
     
  9. C.P.

    C.P. Monkey

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    Pesqueeb, it depends which state you are in.
    Generally, this is what you'll look for in a solar proposal::

    +Proposed system (turn key) cost (gross)
    -Federal Tax Credit (1st year 30%)
    -State Solar Incentive (1st year-varies by state)
    -SREC's (can be multi year)
    -State tax rebate on solar materials (depends) (1st year)
    =$Net total Cost

    Syadasti demonstrates NJ as one of the states that has very good incentive program (currently).
     
    #9 -   Apr 11, 2011
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2011
  10. syadasti

    syadasti i heart mac

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    Despite below average days of useable sun, we are one of the first indoor sport facilities in our state to achieve net zero electricity for 2011 - see below - solar production is approximately equal to total consumption. Array is 1196 235W panels (281kW), we have room for plenty more on the roof but there is no need. We own our system. The SREC market tanked as too many people built solar. NJ is probably going to pull ahead a year for required renewable productions totals so the market will return to normal with a buffer against overbuilding, SREC are currently trading at $282.58 as of 12/29/2011:

     
    #10 -   Dec 31, 2011
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2011
  11. Pesqueeb

    Pesqueeb bicycle in airplane hangar

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    I'm WAY too drunk to understand any of that.
     
  12. syadasti

    syadasti i heart mac

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    Our solar array made about 323,000 kWh in 2011 which is also how much energy we consumed during the same time period.

    There are only a handful of indoor athletic facilities in the world which are solar net-zero. The only one I've found is a newer project than ours and won't be net-zero until they make some upgrades (note we financed our own project, including a new roof and other significant upgrades in 2010):

    http://www.greentechmedia.com/indus...pavilion-goes-solar-with-help-of-vangu-17006/
     
    #12 -   Dec 31, 2011
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2011
  13. ?????

    ????? Turbo Monkey

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    Get them because they're good for the environment and your kid's future.
     
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  14. woodsguy

    woodsguy gets infinity MPG

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    It would be cool if the cardio trainers at the gym generated power. And it could keep a log on your accout as to how much power you made.
     
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  15. C.P.

    C.P. Monkey

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    Sydasti, the Randolph sports center is only net zero with it's electrical usage, not it's entire energy usage. The facility uses natural gas to heat the building. The solar array only takes care of lighting and all other electrical usage.
    Question, did they combine any light-harvesting devices into the roof layout (example tubular sky-lights) to help with daytime lighting?
     
  16. syadasti

    syadasti i heart mac

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    We are also net-zero with regards to our electrical demand as I noted above only but we rebuilt our secondary building a year ago with far better insulation and lighting systems. Compared to the prior building it uses 50% less electricity with better lighting than our main building (T8 vs T5HO) and rather than using our old 2 million BTU heater we use 4 small 125K BTU heaters - gas use is 1/10 of prior years.

    I have seen buildings with the roof skylights but I am not familiar with the Randolph facility, I found it on google. They aren't much use unless you have dimmable fixtures to compensate for the lack of sunlight during cloudy or nighttime conditions (also metal roofs can be hard to keep leak free). With LED fixtures (we've been hoping to convert once they are mature enough for a few years now) this might be possible with sensors etc...

    We made approx 323 SRECs this year. This upcoming year will be our 40th.
     
    #16 -   Jan 1, 2012
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2012
  17. C.P.

    C.P. Monkey

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    Nice. Sounds like they took a whole facility view of energy consumption when they did the solar project.

    Lighting retrofit/controls demand is picking up lately, especially with the newest commercial light-fixtures now coming available to market with lumen sensors and dimming controls integrated into each individual fixture. These practically removes the need to install networked lighting control systems. Think of it like what has happened with some of the photovoltaic solar panel lines where the (micro) inverter is included as part of each solar panel.

    Better LED fixture options will follow soon (I hope).
     
    #17 -   Jan 1, 2012
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2012
  18. slyfink

    slyfink Turbo Monkey

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    Syadasti, just curious, did you get any push-back in the community due to looks? How close is the facility to residential areas? Pretty cool project, well done.
     
  19. Westy

    Westy the teste

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    As an alternative energy source, have you considered burning the dried corpses of your enemies? There is also the choice of enslaving their children, think Conan the Barbarian.
     
  20. CBJ

    CBJ Turbo Monkey

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    I think that is smart thinking too but no need just to burn enemies and enslave children as an alternative to solar I think the best strategy is to do all of it.
     
  21. jdcamb

    jdcamb Tool Time!

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    Everyone knows that the energy used to dry the corpses far exceeds the the energy derived from them. Haven't the Aliens taught you anything? The Conan comment was arbitrary and not up to the standard we expect from you...
     
  22. Toshi

    Toshi Harbinger of Doom

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    Solar drying, duh. Leave the corpses out in the sun...
     
  23. CBJ

    CBJ Turbo Monkey

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    See the combine brain power of the Monkey can accomplish anything. UN are you paying attention!
     
  24. jdcamb

    jdcamb Tool Time!

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    That would require Slaves. The guy from the 700 Club is vetting the idea of making Slavery Legal again as we speak. I would like to state unequivocally that I would not make a good slave. I am way to smart....
     
  25. Westy

    Westy the teste

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    You clearly have never left a skewered corpse out in dry season. If you have a short dry season try disembowling and butterflying the chest your enemy before hanging them. Kind of fun to do while they are alive.

    Of course the wet organs like the lungs and liver should be removed first, a full bleeding goes without question. These items are a good organic fertilizer, especially in iron poor soils.
     
  26. Pesqueeb

    Pesqueeb bicycle in airplane hangar

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    I love this place so much. :rofl:
     
  27. kazlx

    kazlx Patches O'Houlihan

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    Around here, it's a crock of shit. It's basically the energy companies taking advantage of people to get the tax credits. That's why they push them so hard. I ran all the numbers for both my old place and my new place and it wasn't really going to save us anything. It basically just split our bill between Edison and whatever solar company is providing everything. I have talked to people that have done it and the ones that come out ahead are the ones that purchase the equipment and have it installed themselves, of which, you obviously won't recoup costs for a while. A guy I work with lives in the desert and converted his house. His electric bill was at least $500 or more every month, often close to $1000. I think he spent about $20K out of pocket and then got some back from rebates and credits, but basically has no bill anymore. That includes running his A/C more and having a pool. I don't know all the details, but he seems happy with it.
     
  28. Toshi

    Toshi Harbinger of Doom

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    When I buy/build a house in the next year or two I'm definitely doing solar. Sun's hot up here in Denver.
     
  29. SkaredShtles

    SkaredShtles I love NEWCASTLE and will ONLY drink NEWCASTLE!!!!

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    Everyone is missing the largest benefit of solar:

    Assuages Catholic guilt.

    :D
     
  30. jdcamb

    jdcamb Tool Time!

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    When you watch Videos of Baby Seals being clubbed. Those are my Quebec relatives. My disemboweling skills are second to none. Well at least here I am pretty sure....

    Is the root word for Assuage sausage? I have always struggled with that word. Who defines what a Palindrome is? Why does it have to be ascending or descending? Why can't it be random? Who makes the rules or better yet. Who made them and why were they in charge?
     
    #30 -   Sep 24, 2014
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2014
  31. SkaredShtles

    SkaredShtles I love NEWCASTLE and will ONLY drink NEWCASTLE!!!!

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    These are all deep philosophical questions... way too fuckin' deep for the :monkey:
     
  32. syadasti

    syadasti i heart mac

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    No push-back. Our facility has been around for over 40 years in a commercial park with a farm behind it. About 5-6 years ago they built expensive townhouses behind our main building where the farm was, but our building is about 35-40' high with the panels on the top and other side of the roof - I don't think you can see them from the townhouses very well.
     
  33. jimmydean

    jimmydean The Official Meat of Ridemonkey

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    What does solar energy have to do with alter boys?
     
  34. Toshi

    Toshi Harbinger of Doom

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    He's referring to me earlier equating carbon offsets with papal indulgences.
     
  35. stoney

    stoney Part of the unwashed, middle-American horde

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    If you go that way, let me know first. I get a $500 referral bonus from SolarCity. Same with any of you hoodlums.

    We should be live in the next month. Our near term costs will be cloase to the same, but when you start looking long-term, it gets much, much cheaper. Plus I can tout how green I am, all hile burning baby seals to power my lawn mower.
     
  36. Pesqueeb

    Pesqueeb bicycle in airplane hangar

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    I have too much Freedom® down here in the Springs to socialize you, commie!
     
  37. stoney

    stoney Part of the unwashed, middle-American horde

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    If by freedom, do you mean they have effectively made it illegal to use solar?
     
  38. Pesqueeb

    Pesqueeb bicycle in airplane hangar

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    You say illegal, we say "saving 'Mercun jurbs".


    :mad:
     
  39. Pesqueeb

    Pesqueeb bicycle in airplane hangar

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    Since it's a new year and teh rebates are hot off the press, I spent a portion of the afternoon speaking with a couple different installers here in town with an eye towards a system purchase. While the local utility company continues to vex me, I've decided to see what can be done in spite of them. So far pretty impressed by the people I've spoken too, but these are of course the sales people who will blow so much sunshine up your ass one could provide their own solar power. Currently awaiting a couple of initial estimates/info packets to see how bad it's going to hit the pocket book. If I'm not immediately put off, I'll see how the process goes with the onsite stuff.
     
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  40. eric strt6

    eric strt6 Resident Curmudgeon

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    Buy your system. My wife the CPA ran all the numbers, leasing is a rip off. Too bad we did all the insulation work and LED conversion. Winter electric is $50/month and Summer during the two months of 100+ temps we only hit $180 once. Still working numbers to figure out a system that might be cost efficient for this house.