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PV cost update (nothern NJ, near NYC):

LenMinNJ | Posted in PassivHaus on

We just installed a 9.6 kW PV system on our PHIUS-certified passivhaus in northern NJ.

I was the installer of record. I hired a licensed electrician who has an experienced PV installer crew.

It has 30 320W LG panels, a SolarEdge 10 kW inverter and 30 of their Optimizers. We used the QuickRack panel mount system – no rails.

The materials cost roughly $18,000. The installation cost around $7200.

That works out to around $2.66 per watt.

When I priced the same installation from the large installer companies, they quoted a bit more than $4 per watt.

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  1. walta100 | | #1

    Are your numbers before or after incentives and tax credits?

    Did your electric utility make getting a net billing account difficult?


  2. LenMinNJ | | #2

    All the numbers are before state incentives and federal tax credits.

    Our local utility made getting net billing very easy. We filed plans with them before the installation, which they approved. The net meter was installed a week after we filed with them that our installation was completed.

    Federal tax credit incentive is 30% or roughly $7560, leaving a cost of roughly $17,640. That works out to $1.83 per Watt after the tax credit incentive.

    NJ State Solar Renewable Energy Credits (SRECs) are valued at around $200 per 1000 kW hours. That should bring in between $2000 and $2500 per year for up to 15 years. (There's no guarantee that the SREC program will continue indefinitely, nor that the value of an SREC will stay at around $200.)

    At current electrical rates, we'll save roughly $2100 per year on our electrical bill. That number includes the roughly $700 we spent last year for heating and cooling.

    With the incentives it should take less than five years for it to pay for itself.

  3. GBA Editor
    Martin Holladay | | #3

    Thanks for sharing the financial details of your PV installation. Your situation is similar to my brother's situation in Massachusetts -- I wrote about his PV installation in one of my blogs, Making Room for a PV Array.

    Any U.S. taxpayer can claim the 30% federal tax credit. If you live in a state that also offers guaranteed net metering and SRECs, the payback is unbelievably fast -- people in those states who can afford to install PV systems (and have a south-facing roof or an unshaded section of their yard) are nuts if they don't take advantage of the opportunity.

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