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SGIP with Large Scale Energy Storage (3 x PowerWalls) with Tesla or Individual

marcor

Member
Apr 12, 2019
11
16
California
My roof is 21 years old. I've been on the fence for Solar oof for a while.

But given the recent events in NorCal and PG&E shutoffs, I'm going to pull the trigger.

I'm looking at the following configuration:

- 10KW+ Solarroof v3 system
- 2 PowerWall's.

My daily consumption on avg is ~20 KW/hr a day and ~45-50KW/hr the day we charge our EVs. (Usually done every 3-4 days).

My question to this forum:

- If I want to charge my EVs while off grid, my math tells me I'll need 3 PowerWalls. But I can live without charging EVs since I still have a Gas car for such events.

- Another reason to get 3 PowerWalls would be SGIP. Given Small Residential Step 5 on PG&E is all but gone, what are people's experience getting a SGIP Large Scale Energy Storage SGIP rebate via Tesla? My reading suggest they won't even apply on my behalf for this...

- The real question: how successful are people on this forum applying for a contractor status for a self managed project with PG&E/SGIP admin to apply for SGIP rebate themselves?

My issue here is I would need to go through Tesla to get the Solar Roof since my roof is 21 years old it makes no point for me to get the panels. Also, from the quotes I've received it seems 3rd party installers are artificially increasing the prices for PowerWalls to account for SGIP rebates, especially when 3+.

Thanks,
 
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AEdennis

Active Member
Jul 23, 2013
2,719
938
I received SGIP (Commercial) because Individual was only for up to 2 PowerWall 2.... HOWEVER, I am a DAY ONE reservation holder (i was at the party at Universal Studios). Furthermore, my PTO was received 2Q this year, after installation...

My understanding is that SGIP for Tesla has been mostly allocated, so direct purchase of PW2 from them will be at retail prices...
 
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GenSao

Member
Aug 3, 2017
556
947
Pleasant Hill, CA
My roof is 21 years old. I've been on the fence for Solar oof for a while.

But given the recent events in NorCal and PG&E shutoffs, I'm going to pull the trigger.

I'm looking at the following configuration:

- 10KW+ Solarroof v3 system
- 2 PowerWall's.

My daily consumption on avg is ~20 KW/hr a day and ~45-50KW/hr the day we charge our EVs. (Usually done every 3-4 days).

My question to this forum:

- If I want to charge my EVs while off grid, my math tells me I'll need 3 PowerWalls. But I can live without charging EVs since I still have a Gas car for such events.

- Another reason to get 3 PowerWalls would be SGIP. Given Small Residential Step 5 on PG&E is all but gone, what are people's experience getting a SGIP Large Scale Energy Storage SGIP rebate via Tesla? My reading suggest they won't even apply on my behalf for this...

- The real question: how successful are people on this forum applying for a contractor status for a self managed project with PG&E/SGIP admin to apply for SGIP rebate themselves?

My issue here is I would need to go through Tesla to get the Solar Roof since my roof is 21 years old it makes no point for me to get the panels. Also, from the quotes I've received it seems 3rd party installers are artificially increasing the prices for PowerWalls to account for SGIP rebates, especially when 3+.

Thanks,

You can get away with two Powerwalls for most household loads. Depending on your AC load, it may be included/excluded from your backup.

Until Tesla has software that limits charging during the event of a power outage, do consider having any Tesla wall connector(s) (60 A circuit) excluded from backup. Maintain a NEMA 15-50 or 6-50 (40 A circuit) on the backup panel to charge an EV as needed. In the event of a power outage you can charge at least one EV at 7.7 kW of power. Two Powerwalls can comfortably provide up to 10 kW of power. Ideally, charge during solar production to minimize power draw from the batteries.

Regarding SGIP, program funds for Tesla are likely exhausted and there is a backlog. If you are willing to gamble 4% of the Federal ITC (26% vs 30%), there is a potential to get funds in the middle of 2020. The state is anticipated to replenish SGIP funds at the beginning of the fiscal year (July 1, 2020). Tesla will likely prioritize any backlog projects first.

It is possible to go with a 3rd party installer for Powerwalls. Unfortunately, their priced are typically higher with usually eats up the SGIP credit (if available).
 
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jjrandorin

Moderator, Model 3, Tesla Energy Forums
Nov 28, 2018
10,381
11,726
Riverside Co. CA
According to tesla (at least when I talked to them before my order of 2 powerwalls with them) they are fully subscribed for SGIP, so no tesla installs going forward will be able to get SGIP.

OP as of you have seen, third party installers tend to basically just take the SGIP (or most of it) for themselves, pricing such that their price INCLUDING the SGIP is similar to tesla's without it. Since it is normally better to have a lower price "up front" than depend on a "mail in rebate", I just went with tesla with my order of 2 powerwalls.

Even with 2 powerwalls, the pricing I was being quoted by third parties in my area was 20-22k (we never talked tax, so I dont know if that included tax), while tesla was 18.2k with tax. I saw a post here that someone had a quote from a third party telling them, in effect, 3 powerwalls was cheaper than 2, after SGIP, with the rebate on each one... but given that some people have posted that they installed 1-2 years ago and either didnt get SGIP or got some lower step than they were expecting, I am wary of any pricing from third parties "including" SGIP in their calculations.

Maybe thats just me.
 
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cwied

Member
Jan 13, 2015
887
641
San Mateo, CA
One thing to note about SGIP is that small residential and commercial installations have separate budgets. While the residential funds are exhausted, the large-scale budget still has a lot of money left (it's step 2 for PG&E, step 3 for the rest). The big question is whether Tesla still is willing to do large-scale SGIP applications for their customers.

ref: SGIP | - select "large scale storage" for the Budget Category dropdowns to see the numbers.
 

marcor

Member
Apr 12, 2019
11
16
California
The big question is whether Tesla still is willing to do large-scale SGIP applications for their customers.

That's essentially what I'm trying to find out (Large-scale and not small residential) and whether they plan to do it next year.... and if not can I apply for it myself. It's clear installers are just reaping the SGIP rewards themselves. It's a game at this point for 4% now vs. next year seeing what unfolds. That assumes if I can get a Solar Roof + Tesla PowerWall project kicked off before EOY.
 

Vines

Active Member
Jul 20, 2018
2,050
2,379
Silicon Valley, CA
That's essentially what I'm trying to find out (Large-scale and not small residential) and whether they plan to do it next year.... and if not can I apply for it myself. It's clear installers are just reaping the SGIP rewards themselves. It's a game at this point for 4% now vs. next year seeing what unfolds. That assumes if I can get a Solar Roof + Tesla PowerWall project kicked off before EOY.

I believe you can apply for SGIP yourself, but you will be under the Tesla Energy bucket, so SGIP funds will be according to their steps and funds left. Not 100% sure on this though.

Good luck getting your system installed before the EOY, most installers are booked up with folks who pulled the trigger earlier in the season. We have a 4-6 month backlog and are selling 3-5 Powerwall systems at a rate of a few each day. PGEs PSPS are like free advertising for Powerwalls. Who knew reliable power would be a luxury in the bay area? Its certainly a luxury that people want though!

As far as your assertion that installers are reaping the benefits from SGIP by increasing prices, I can only speak for my experience. We did not increase our pricing at all due to SGIP, and won't reduce it due to SGIP when its phased out. Though we would reduce it if and when equipment cost goes down (assuming it does, demand is huge atm).

From what I hear, Tesla pricing to installers, and end users is nearly the same, so customers expecting another installer to do it for Tesla pricing are missing half of the picture. Also, Tesla price quotes aren't turn-key prices, and there are enough stories of sticker shock when the quoted price and the installed price are significantly different due to unforeseen service upgrades or additional equipment.

In order to stay in business, installers need to make money. Installing solar and battery backup systems for almost 20 years is the proof we will be there to make sure your backup system is running and to fix it quickly if something fails. We will never be the cheapest, and we see some of the cheapest guys close up shop every year.
 
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marcor

Member
Apr 12, 2019
11
16
California
Thanks for the follow up, appreciate the feedback.

Re: getting it done this year..

Per the IRS publication end of last year: https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-drop/n-18-59.pdf

Section 3: SECTION 3. METHODS FOR ESTABLISHING BEGINNING OF CONSTRUCTION .01 In general. This notice provides two methods for a taxpayer to establish that construction of energy property has begun for purposes of the ITC under § 48. A taxpayer may establish the beginning of construction by starting physical work of a significant nature as set forth in section 4 of this notice (Physical Work Test). Alternatively, a taxpayer may establish the beginning of construction by meeting a safe harbor based on having paid or incurred five percent or more of the total cost of the energy property as set forth in section 5 of this notice (Five Percent Safe Harbor). Both methods require that a taxpayer make continuous progress towards completion once construction has begun (Continuity Requirement). Section 6 of this notice discusses the Continuity Requirement and provides a safe harbor for satisfying this requirement (Continuity Safe Harbor).

As per the Five Percent Safe Harbor test, as long as a deposit of 5% of the total system cost is made this year and turn up happens before EOY 2022, one would be entitled to the 30% ITC credit.

This is NOT tax advice, but I had my Tax attorney review and provide their guidance.
 

charlesj

Active Member
Oct 22, 2019
1,241
273
Monterey, CA
@marcor thanks for the link. So, if I read it correctly the 30% is available if that 5% cost is paid before end of year and installed before 2024.
Then the question is when can this ITC be taken on the tax return, when the project is place in service?
 

ChrisJ

Member
Apr 5, 2016
199
159
SF Bay Area (Napa Valley)
One thing to note about SGIP is that small residential and commercial installations have separate budgets. While the residential funds are exhausted, the large-scale budget still has a lot of money left (it's step 2 for PG&E, step 3 for the rest). The big question is whether Tesla still is willing to do large-scale SGIP applications for their customers.

ref: SGIP | - select "large scale storage" for the Budget Category dropdowns to see the numbers.
Did you make any progress on answering this questions? I'm very interesting in knowing if a Tesla Certified Installer can get the Large Scale SGIP application approved for residential installs.
 

Vines

Active Member
Jul 20, 2018
2,050
2,379
Silicon Valley, CA
The SGIP funds are divided into 2 buckets for each installer in the program.
One bucket is small systems of 1-2 Powerwalls. Many installers including ourselves are out of these funds.
The other bucket is for large scale installations, with 3 or more batteries. For these systems the sweet spot is 3-5 Powerwalls. Once you go to 6 or more the SGIP is delayed and paid out over several years. Also, once you get to 6, there are special reporting and monitoring requirements, which Tesla is not interested in supporting. Installers must figure out their own solution to this issue, and it adds a chunk of cost.

Any competent installer should handle these issues, and be up front about which "Step" they are on, and approximately what a rebate would be. The steps determine the exact payout of SGIP per Powerwall. Step 1 being the biggest rebate, and the rebates getting smaller with each new step and only a fixed number of rebates per step, per installer.
 

Ulmo

Active Member
Jan 19, 2016
4,329
4,428
Vienna Woods, Aptos, California
My daily consumption on avg is ~20 KW/hr a day and ~45-50KW/hr the day we charge our EVs. (Usually done every 3-4 days).
My assumption is you meant ~20kWh/day and ~45-50kWh/day, respectively, which seem like reasonably small electrical use amounts compared to my home. (The alternative is 24 times as much, which is an unreasonably large amount!) The problem is energy measurement is usually done in kWh (kilowatthours) rather than J (Joules). Joules would be a much easier unit. Alas, we use kWh. It is what it is.

What makes it worse is that we also use kW differently than kWh. If we just had J and W rather than Wh and W, that would be way better.

Ok, back to the interesting thread ...

(In case you're curious, keeping in mind that 60 seconds per minute and 60 minutes per hour is 3,600 seconds per hour, the unit J and W are related easily: 3,600,000J=3,600,000Ws=1,000Wh=1kWh. 1kWh=3,600kWs=3,600,000Ws=3,600,000J=3.6MJ. 1J=1Ws.)
- 10KW+ Solarroof v3 system
- 2 PowerWall's.
10kW*~5h/day good sun = ~50kWh.
My daily consumption on avg is ~20kWh a day and ~45-50kWh the day we charge our EVs. (Usually done every 3-4 days).
50kWh*80% round trip efficiency of PowerWalls means around ~40kWh available to charge your cars and rest of house (if charging EVs at dark). Sounds like a ~5-10kWh deficit many charging days. Maybe you can split up your charging days, since then the ~50kWh would be enough for one car + a regular day of home use. Alternatively, you could charge your EVs a little bit each day, up to a minimum % (whatever keeps the car batteries closest to around 55% most of the time). During heavy days of electric use and dark days of less sun, you will often have shortfall. During power outages, you would have to budget your use to not use up your batteries.
My question to this forum:

- If I want to charge my EVs while off grid, my math tells me I'll need 3 PowerWalls. But I can live without charging EVs since I still have a Gas car for such events.
Yes. What you said. You could very carefully budget your EV charging and do about half your usual charging. Maybe do some destination charging, carpooling, gas car usage, lower your home usage, etc. But most power outages happen in the darker time of year, so your EV charging budget will be even lower.
- Another reason to get 3 PowerWalls would be SGIP. Given Small Residential Step 5 on PG&E is all but gone, what are people's experience getting a SGIP Large Scale Energy Storage SGIP rebate via Tesla? My reading suggest they won't even apply on my behalf for this...
Wait, uhh, did I miss an opportunity to get 4 PowerWalls cheap? DARN! If you can, do it! Apparently, the application would have to be via other means. Don't go blindly into that without knowing what it entails. Paperwork is daunting!
- The real question: how successful are people on this forum applying for a contractor status for a self managed project with PG&E/SGIP admin to apply for SGIP rebate themselves?
It sounds pretty hairy; wouldn't you be better off finding an actual contractor that is used to doing exactly that paperwork for exactly that project (that installs PowerWalls)? I think a few exist. Ask around, including your message right here. I look forward to the replies! Very interesting question. I look forward to the answers.
My issue here is I would need to go through Tesla to get the Solar Roof since my roof is 21 years old it makes no point for me to get the panels. Also, from the quotes I've received it seems 3rd party installers are artificially increasing the prices for PowerWalls to account for SGIP rebates, especially when 3+.
Supposedly, they'd be negotiable. Is there another electric project you have in mind that you can dangle as a carrot? What a bummer! That's a rip-off. Those batteries are already outlandishly expensive; the SGIP rebate is supposed to go to the person deciding whether to purchase the units, not to the installers. The installers are there to do the basic work. Yes, part of the cost of the SGIP rebate is the paperwork, so some of that should go to the installers, but nothing more than 10% to 20% of the base cost of the PowerWalls at the most.

So, upon edit, I think I should clarify: 10 hours of paperwork at $100/hour is $1,000. That seems like a reasonable SGIP paperwork addon price. Anything higher and I'd call the amount charged for paperwork labor a rip off, and you shouldn't pay it. Enabling criminals makes the whole world worse for everyone.

Of course, installation requires the PowerWalls, gateway, any additional equipment and material needed, and labor cost, so expect reasonable charges for those things. It has to be added up properly. Then you can see if the SGIP paperwork labor exceeds $1,000 or not.

When I was in the small systems SGIP program for only two PowerWall 2's, I missed stage 1 due to a paperwork goof on Tesla's side, and then I got stage 2. I got $9,280 rebated. My install price before rebate was $13,774.50. It took years to get the rebate. If you go through the SGIP spreadsheet, you can see that it takes more years for larger systems to get the rebate.
 
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Ulmo

Active Member
Jan 19, 2016
4,329
4,428
Vienna Woods, Aptos, California
OP as of you have seen, third party installers tend to basically just take the SGIP (or most of it) for themselves, pricing such that their price INCLUDING the SGIP is similar to tesla's without it.
Those must just be criminals. It is not legitimate for installers to eat all the welfare money. It's not for them; it's for the people trying to get the units.

There is legitimate labor in doing the SGIP paperwork. The entire cost of a PowerWall is not the correct amount for SGIP paperwork labor. Let's just say 10 hours of paperwork at $100/hour is $1,000 for the paperwork, not $20,000 for the paperwork, as the SGIP rebate is bound to be. DO NOT FEED THE CRIMINALS.
 
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Ulmo

Active Member
Jan 19, 2016
4,329
4,428
Vienna Woods, Aptos, California
FYI, the tested RT efficiency of the PW2 is 90-91%. I've borne this out in my own data as well.
Good to hear. That's quite a bit better than I had remembered. I thought the rule of thumb was 82% or 85% or so. You have to also count in the heater bill, especially if you install the units outside in the cold, but they are keeping themselves warm all night regardless of how much you charge your car.
 

Vines

Active Member
Jul 20, 2018
2,050
2,379
Silicon Valley, CA
Those must just be criminals. It is not legitimate for installers to eat all the welfare money. It's not for them; it's for the people trying to get the units.

There is legitimate labor in doing the SGIP paperwork. The entire cost of a PowerWall is not the correct amount for SGIP paperwork labor. Let's just say 10 hours of paperwork at $100/hour is $1,000 for the paperwork, not $20,000 for the paperwork, as the SGIP rebate is bound to be. DO NOT FEED THE CRIMINALS.

Try to run a small business and compete with the Costos, Home Depots and Teslas on price alone.

I'll bet you called Tesla criminals too when they raised prices while the full $7500 tax credit was available for new cars?

The extra you might pay to one of those small installers means they will still be in business to answer the phone on the weekend in winter when your PW is down. It pays for exceptional service and ensuring you can get a human on the phone to stand by the 10-15 year warranty.
 
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djlott

Member
Jul 25, 2018
130
146
Livermore, CA
Tesla
7.6 kWh PV w 2x PW (medium config)
No SGIP available
Price $38k (before ITC)

Next best local 3rd party installer
6.8 kWh PV w 2 x PW
SunPower tiles, way better warranty
SGIP available
Price $56k (before ITC & SGIP)

Bottom line:
Even with SGIP rebate (which I was quoted $1800 to process paperwork), 3rd party was ~$6k higher than Tesla (after ITC & SGIP rebate) for a smaller system but much longer warranty and better PV panels (similar panel watts). Just couldn't justify it.
 
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charlesj

Active Member
Oct 22, 2019
1,241
273
Monterey, CA
Tesla
7.6 kWh PV w 2x PW (medium config)
No SGIP available
Price $38k (before ITC)

Next best local 3rd party installer
6.8 kWh PV w 2 x PW
SunPower tiles, way better warranty
SGIP available
Price $56k (before ITC & SGIP)

Bottom line:
Even with SGIP rebate (which I was quoted $1800 to process paperwork), 3rd party was ~$6k higher than Tesla (after ITC & SGIP rebate) for a smaller system but much longer warranty and better PV panels (similar panel watts). Just couldn't justify it.
My example is that 3rd party is almost 50% higher than Tesla. And, it didn't include permitting fee that would include paperwork to get it to the permitting office, so it could be 50% more than Tesla.
 

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