[SATLUG] off-topic Solar-PV discussion

Andrew Pickens wg5o at sbcglobal.net
Wed May 26 10:26:07 CDT 2010

Chris wrote:
>>  Do PV actually pay off in the long term, given initial cost, 
>> degradation, service and the like?  Doubt it.  At least my 
>> calculations have indicated it to be cost-prohibitive in the long 
>> term model. 
> Current residential PV setups range from 6 to 15 grand. In that price
> range you can offset 5 to 20 percent of your CPS bill.
> For 3 grand you can upgrade your homes insulation envelope well enough
> to cut your total energy bill in half.
> So unless your aiming for a net zero energy home the Solar PV panels
> are just so much $Eco-Bling$.
> Now Solar Thermal for hot water and space heating is a no brain-er.
> Depending on how DIY and resourceful you are a Reliable set-up
> can be had in the 1 grand range.
> The current mission is to keep my mechanical room from resembling
> the console of the TARDIS.
> Chris (if you just have to blow 10 grand to ease your conscience,
>  buy a ground source heat-pump.) Lee

Our 4.86 kW PV system was placed in service a week ago, on 2010/5/19.  
So far, it has made about $8 worth of juice, and I can hardly wait for a 
sunny day.  There is no question that, at full price, PV is not 
practical.  But, the powers that be have decided to spend our money on 
the things, and I figured I might as well get my share.  The rational:

With CPS paying about half of the cost, and with the Feds kicking in a 
30% TAX CREDIT, at a time when interest rates are unreasonably low, it 
became a reasonable investment.  It pays in tax free dollars (those 
saved), and the return, i.e. the cost of power, is almost guaranteed to 
go up.


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