Solar Seminar

BEES Solar Seminar Feb 2014

3 responses to “Solar Seminar

  1. Great event! 35 people showed up – presentations by SnoPUD and PSE were informative and a lot of good questions were asked and well answered by the utility reps. Presentations will be posted here in the near future.

  2. Thanks to the 35 or so people who attended the Solar Seminar on Thursday. Below are the key facts from the presentations by the representatives from Snohomish PUD (Laura Zorick) and Puget Sound Energy (Jake Wade).
    • The average size of a residential installation in this area is about 5 kW, so typical installation cost is between $20k and $30k before refunds. A system of this size would need 20-25 modules (panels) covering an area of about 400 – 500 sq ft (can be roof or ground-mounted).
    • With a 5 kW system, average annual production in this region is about 5000 kWh, so with the $0.54/kWh Production Credit (if the equipment is manufactured in Washington State), the annual income from the average system would be about $2700.
    • In the Puget Sound region, on average about 1000 kWh is generated for every kW installed (compared to Arizona – 1600 kWh/kW/year – and Berlin 800 kWh/kW/year). Heat reduces efficiency and we have frequent natural cleaning cycles (ie rain) which helps keep the panels operating efficiently without layers of dust and other obstructions.
    • An average Snohomish PUD house uses 12,000 kWh/year – a solar installation would not cover your entire electricity use (in kWh) but should cover the entire electricity bill (in $ – with WA -state Production Credit) and then some…
    • With the 30% federal tax refund, Production Credit and net metering (credit for what you produce vs what you use) the payback period (using average numbers) is around 6.5 years for equipment manufactured in Washington state. SnoPUD customers can also get a Solar Express grant up to $2500.
    • The Federal tax refund expires in 2016 and the state Production Credit expires in 2020 (both could be extended) so now is a good time to do this if you are interested.
    • DC current from the modules (panels) has to be inverted to be put back on the grid and used in your house. Choice of micro-inverter (one per panel) or single inverter (one per array) depends on level of shading, maintenance and other factors (requires deeper analysis than can be summarized here)
    • Modules (panels) usually last 20-30 years, inverters 8-12 years.
    • Attachments to roofs are very well sealed – leaks are extremely rare (2 cases in 2000 installations)
    • Financing is available through several banks and credit unions. Some offer lower rates for solar projects.
    If you have more questions, please contact the utility reps directly or post them in this group or the Environmental Enthusiasts group. There are several employees who already have solar installations who will probably be willing to share information about their system.

  3. You can see the presentations on the InSite group on any Boeing computer, or link directly to them here:

    PSE Presentation:
    SnoPUD Presentation:

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