Solar Spring 2013. A well sighted solar array in eastern Washington of about 7.2kW will generate aproximately 9,720kWh per year. A Washington manufactured system entitles the owner to a $.54/kwh annual incentive payment with a $5,000 per year cap until 2020. That’s 7 years x $5,000 = $35,000. Not bad.
So what does Hire Electric charge for installing a fully Washington made, 7.2kW solar array using iTek solar modules, Blue Frog micro inverters and a top of the line racking system? About $42,500.
In year one of your investment you get a 30% federal tax CREDIT of $12,750. If you live in Walla Walla, Columbia or Franklin Counties you can also get a 20% cash incentive of $8,500. You’re also offsetting $970 of your electric bill (money you don’t have to pay to the power company). As you can see from doing a little quick math – this is a no-brainer. Total payback is 3 to 5 years depending on the sighting of the array, and close to a 10% modified internal rate of return. There’s also a 100% sales tax exemption that runs through June 2013. Yes, we are VERY busy.
The home in this photo has a westerly orientation and many beautiful trees in the yard and neighbor’s property. The actual production from this site is calculated at closer to 7,400kWh. Hire Electric does a detailed site analysis so that our production numbers are not guesses based on average system size but accurate, scientifically founded, monthly production projections using local weather and irradiance data; roof angle and orientation; and a shade report. This sets realistic expectations for our prospective customers and ensures a quality project from start to finish. If your solar installer is not providing a shade and site analysis as the basis of their design then you need to start questioning their design from start to finish. A well designed system is meant to be there making power for you for 25 years. Make sure it starts off on the right foot.
9.6kW iTek solar array in Walla Walla, Washington. 16 iTek, 240 watt solar panels on the house/carport roof and 24 solar panels on the shop roof, all with Siemens M215 micro inverters. Challenges included high wind loading and monitoring solar production between buildings. Wind loading was dealt with by using additional fasteners into the roof and monitoring was accomplished by adding 2 Ubiquity radios to establish a network bridge to the shop. Using a combination of Washington manufactured solar modules and out of state micro inverters gives a Washington incentive amount of $.36/kWh. Staying just under 10kW qualified the system for zero state sales tax.
On Dec 13, 2012 Hire Electric and The Sustainable Living Center will be hosting a solar open house at the home of Brian and Peggy Olson on 5808 West Marie, Pasco, WA 99301 from 2 to 5pm. You can view their grid-connected 9.8kW solar array, watch their meter go backwards, grab some great solar information and learn about all the incentives available for solar.
Right after the open house we will be going to the Red Lion in Kennewick for our December Seminar.