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Solar in Denver, CO

Discussion in 'Energy, Environment, and Policy' started by TheTalkingMule, Feb 23, 2018.

  1. TheTalkingMule

    TheTalkingMule Distributed Energy Enthusiast

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    Anyone have experience with local installers in Denver? That's a fairly mature solar market, so I have to think there are long established contractors offering $2.75/W or lower for high quality residential solar.

    Thoughts?
     
  2. Zaxxon

    Zaxxon Supporting Member

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    Confusing as your location shows Philly. :)

    I had panels installed in 2014 here in a Denver suburb. I used Golden Solar for the install. I also evaluated IPS, Stellar, Photon Bros, and SolarCity. Of that group, SolarCity was far and away the least competitive (they were largely focused on leasing back then, which I was not interested in for various reasons, and their outright purchase pricing was terrible-->$6/W for my home). IPS was $4.75, and Golden, Stellar, and Photon were in the mid-$3 range. We have a cement tile roof, which inflates the cost a bit as the install labor is higher (they have to remove the tiles, install the framing, then re-install the tiles. They're also easier to damage while working up there).

    Second was probably Photon Brothers due to their being a SunPower dealer, which would have led to a higher-power system in the same space. We ultimately went with Golden as their project lead was super-responsive and flexible in integrating my requests into the install. They also tossed in a NEMA 14-50 install in my garage (run through the crawl space from my service panel in the back yard) gratis during the project, which I appreciated. My home has 4 relatively small roof faces. We installed a total of 15 panels on the S and SW faces, at 280W apiece (SolarWorld panels). Total system power is 4.2 kW, and it produces around 5.9 MWh/year.

    I'm sure the landscape has changed since 2014, so not sure how relevant this all is to you today, but there it is. Hope it helps. If you do decide to go with Golden, I can toss you a referral (think it gets us each a few hundred bucks, IIRC) and contact info for my project manager. Not trying to steer you that way, though. Whatever you decide, I hope you end up with some panels. Denver is very conducive to solar, and it's a nice feeling to know that a large percentage of your energy comes from that big old nuclear fusion reactor in the sky.
     
    • Informative x 1
  3. TheTalkingMule

    TheTalkingMule Distributed Energy Enthusiast

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    That's great info, thank you much. I have a friend who just moved out that way and she was asking about SunRun. I told here they were a good company, but likely very expensive(like your SolarCity experience), and that I'd try to find a couple reputable local options.

    Feel free to PM me your info and if she goes with your installer she'd be more than happy to mention you as the referral. Thanks again!
     
  4. dkemme

    dkemme Supporting Member

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    I have a private installer who is quite good if your friend is still looking.
     
  5. Zaxxon

    Zaxxon Supporting Member

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    I'm actually curious-private as in a guy who knows good stuff rather than a company? Can you expound on why you went that route? I've tossed around the idea of adding more panels to my system if I can find an economical way to do it. Not enthused about the quotes I've gotten as they tend to treat it as a new install.
     
  6. nwdiver

    nwdiver Active Member

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    What type of inverter do you have? Shouldn't be too difficult...
     
  7. Zaxxon

    Zaxxon Supporting Member

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    Enphase micros. Cement tile roof.
     
  8. nwdiver

    nwdiver Active Member

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    Ah... that might complicate things a bit. And depending on how many micros you have you might need to run another trunk cable and that would basically be like another install. IIRC the limit is ~16 per trunk cable...
     
  9. Zaxxon

    Zaxxon Supporting Member

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    That would help explain the quote I got from my installer. I have 15 panels now across two roof faces and was looking to do similar on the remaining two. Cost quoted was about what I paid the first time.
     
  10. nwdiver

    nwdiver Active Member

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    Well... adding 1 more panel would be easy... ;)
     
  11. Zaxxon

    Zaxxon Supporting Member

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    I'll get right on that. :)
     
  12. dkemme

    dkemme Supporting Member

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    I found three installers to bid on my panels and he was by far the cheapest. Two were large companies and the third was an electrician who designs and installs mostly himself, he brought two helpers when installing the panels. Solar is his passion.

    Hydrogen Electric
     
  13. Zaxxon

    Zaxxon Supporting Member

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    Thanks. I'll check him out. I'd really like to cover the rest of my roof, but $15k (quoted from my original installer) for another 4 kW, on my N and E-facing roof faces, is tough to justify.
     
  14. nwdiver

    nwdiver Active Member

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    You wanna put panels on a NORTH facing roof?
     
  15. Zaxxon

    Zaxxon Supporting Member

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    It's more that I want more solar power and only have the roof faces that I have. No room on my property suitable for ground-mount.
     
  16. nwdiver

    nwdiver Active Member

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    Have you considered a S, E or W facing wall? I think that would provide better production than a N facing roof.
     
  17. Zaxxon

    Zaxxon Supporting Member

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    We have a deck in back that's roughly south-facing. Perhaps an awning over that would make the most sense for us. Probably wouldn't get us to 100% coverage of our usage, but at least it'd be a better investment...
     

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