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California / SF Bay Area: Feedback re PV solar price quote

Discussion in 'California' started by spaghetti, Jul 27, 2014.

  1. spaghetti

    spaghetti Member

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    I just received a quote for a solar install for my home. $22,978 installed (before any tax credits) for a 5.98 kW (DC) solar system. Cost works out to approximately $3.84 per DC watt (again before tax credits). Looking for feedback on how competitive this is. Thanks in advance.
     
  2. miimura

    miimura Active Member

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    You should get at least one more quote. However, the number you have is pretty good. Consider the quality of the components and whether you think the installer and the manufacturers involved will be in business in 10+ years. I know an installer in the area who has made a pretty good business from servicing systems that are in manufacturer warranty, but the installer has disappeared or gone out of business. Most installers don't want this kind of service work, even when they get to charge time and materials. They want the big payday from selling systems.
     
  3. simplesolar

    simplesolar Member

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    what kind of panels/inverters? price can vary from $3.50 simple install with cheap panels to $4.00 decent install with higher wattage panels.
     
  4. spaghetti

    spaghetti Member

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    Quote is from Sunrun for an REC Solar system. The quote did not go into details re panel or inverter manufacturers/brands. The Year 1 production for the 5.98 kW (DC) system is estimated to be 8,397 kWh. At this stage, I am trying to get the hour-by-hour production numbers from Sunrun so that I can plug these into my model to calculate an overall internal rate of return.
     
  5. liuping

    liuping Active Member

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    I highly recommend checking more than one installer. They can vary by several thousand dollars for the same equipment.

    Without knowing the number/type of panels, type of inverter(s) used, it's impossible to say if that a good deal or not.
     
  6. Jeffgtx

    Jeffgtx Member

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    you really need to find out what kind of equipment they are selling you. i only worked with an installer that let me spec the panels/inverters.
     
  7. miimura

    miimura Active Member

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    If I was buying, I would not do business with someone who did not specify exactly what hardware would be supplied. However, if it is PPA, then it matters less since they are completely on the hook for keeping it working through the full term of the contract. So, just ask them straight up to specify the major components.
     
  8. wamochi

    wamochi Member

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    yes kind of weird not to get all that up front. we got 4 proposals all of which were big "packages" with panel specs, inverter info, and then all the financial graphs, ROIs, etc etc.

    that said, your price per watt seems pretty good for the system size, but that's assuming everything else is on the up and up.
     
  9. kdd3300

    kdd3300 Member

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    We used RecSolar in 2008 through Costco to install a 9.5 KW system. We were very happy with their service and professional approach. We have not had many problems, but one inverter did fail and they replaced it under warranty.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Price is to old to comment, but they did specify both the panels and the inverters in their quote
     
  10. Blue_Model_S

    Blue_Model_S Member

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    Mother Nature Solar has a slightly better rate. They did my installation soon after I got my Model S about a year ago.
     
  11. spaghetti

    spaghetti Member

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    Thanks all for the feedback and pointers so far. I am slowly getting educated on the various factors I would need to consider, and am in the process of getting more quotes. Will report back here on what I come up with.

    I just checked out Mother Nature Solar, and see that they not only have extremely competitive pricing, but seem to be very transparent about the equipment they install, what warranty is provided, etc. I have sent in a request to them for an analysis of my situation.

    Based on everything I have read, micro-inverters seem to be the way to go to maximize panel efficiency. Any thoughts on this?
     
  12. Merrill

    Merrill Active Member

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    In 2010 I used The Solar Company in the East Bay and have been very happy with them. We had a few issues which they took care of, they use Sun Power equipment and are a family run company. Definitely get at least 3 quotes when you do this and look into the company's history and check BBB.
     
  13. liuping

    liuping Active Member

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    I'm a big fan of micro inverters (I have 20 panels now with them and get 13 more in 2 weeks), but they are slightly more expensive.

    If you do not have shading issues, string inverters are probably better. If you have partial shading at any time during the day, they are definitely the way to go.

    Also some string inverters are set up to work better with, and cheaper to set up with, battery back up systems, if you decide to add that later.

    I'm very happy with the system we got 2 years ago (SolarWorld 240W panels with Enphase 215M micro inverters), but the new panels this month are even better (SolarWorld 275W "Protect" panels with Enphase 250M micro inverters).

    The new SolarWorld panels have an amazing warranty. It's a 30 year linear warranty, and they are warrantied to be producing 86.5% as much power 30 years from now as they do new. Plus they are made in the USA, etc.
     
  14. Blue_Model_S

    Blue_Model_S Member

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    Yes, they are one of the small operators, but surprisingly transparent. They also came across as being passionate about their work.

    Yes, unless all your panels get the exact same sun, I would think, micro-inverters would be the way to go.
     

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