Bid #1a

Why 1a? Because I asked some firms to give me quotes on systems with more and less power. This first bid is for a small system (3.150 kW DC power).

Normal “house current” in the US is AC (alternating current). But solar panels generate electricity in DC (direct current) which has to be converted to AC. Some power is lost in the process, so it’s always good to know the size of the system in both DC and AC.

The 3.150 kW system, for example, produces 2.651 kW of AC power.

The system costs $22,290, including all parts and labor.

Our utility (APS) pays a rebate of $3 per watt of DC installed. That’s $9,450 subtracted from the installation cost. That leaves our out-of-pocket cost at $12,840.

Finally, state and federal tax incentives bring the net cost of the system down to $8,288.

That’s more than walking around money, of course, but it still seems like a pretty good deal. Especially when you consider that not only will I save on electric bills each month, but that the system which cost a bit over $8,000 adds about $20,000 to the value of the house.

To sum up: Bid #1a — $8,288 for a 3.150 kW solar panel system.

System specifications

  • Estimated annual production: 5,001 kWh
  • PV Panels: 18 x Sharp Corporation model NT-175UC1
  • Inverter: SMA America model SB3000US

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2 thoughts on “Bid #1a

  1. With Module prices coming down, $8.40 per Watt seems a bit on the high side. Also, even for Phoenix 1886 kWh per AC KW (5001/2.651) seems a bit higher than I’d expect.

    Couple of quick pointers: DC wattage is denoted as KWp and AC wattage is denoted as KW.

    Good luck with your system. Getting one is the right decision. You will now be protected against energy cost escalation and will have the system paid off in 7 to 10 years.

    If you can please do consider implementing energy conservation/efficiency measures and that saving will greatly accelerate the pay back period.

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