GaslessInSeattle
Posts: 1566
Joined: Fri May 06, 2011 2:15 pm
Delivery Date: 29 Apr 2011
Leaf Number: 850

Another Leaf Goes Solar, In "Sunny" Seattle!

Mon Oct 29, 2012 10:35 pm

We did it! After what feels like a lifetime of deliberation, we are now a solar home. Driving on solar electrons is a dream come true!

We went with West Seattle Natural Energy, they were awesome! Our roof was a little tricky, low pitch torch down with a layer of insulation on top with exposed ceilings (little room for error). In just a few years since our last estimate the cost practically fell in half so we really went for it and had a 9.8 kW install (10 kW is the max for the WA state sales tax exemption), a total of 40, 240 watt Solar World panels, made in Beaverton Oregon with Enphase micro inverters. the cost with new electrical panel upgrade, roofing and all came to $4 a Watt. We are getting 15 cents a kW from the utility which should average about $2K a year. We could have gotten up to 53 cents a KW back but would have had to go with WA made panels and inverters which would have cost much more up front. We decided to go with the less expensive panels, and get a larger array, figuring that in the long run we will make out better, considering the rebate here ends in 2020. We will have almost no utility bill on top of the rebates. It was pretty amazing to plug the Leaf in for a charge on a sunny day and still have the meter go backwards! Based on preliminary calculations our monthly average in savings and rebates should be more than the monthly loan payment, which blows my mind. For anyone in this area, I would highly recommend Puget Sound Cooperative Credit Union's Energy Smart loan program. we filled it out on line and got approved the next day, without having to do a home equity loan.

The timing for solar in WA state is great right now. Prices are at an all time low right now, and are expected to rise soon. The tariff on Chinese imports went into effect on Sept 1st, it's expected that now the US manufacturers are going to raise their prices. The sales tax exemption for solar in WA state ends in June of 2013. These two factors, along with a low install bid we couldn't refuse, caused us to pull the trigger finally. It's always a gamble, but at this point it really doesn't matter how much better the price gets, it's low enough to be worthwhile.
Last edited by GaslessInSeattle on Tue Oct 30, 2012 8:20 am, edited 1 time in total.
Gasless: Silver 2012 SL, traded in for Lease on 1/13
Tesla S P85, Gray, pano, carbon fiber, took delivery: 2-9-13... LOVE this car!
9.8 kW PV Solar installed 9/12, http://www.westseattlenaturalenergy.com" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

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ksnogas2112
Posts: 1218
Joined: Mon Apr 16, 2012 7:56 pm
Delivery Date: 23 Jun 2012
Leaf Number: 021881
Location: Lenexa KS (Kansas City)
Contact: Website

Re: Another Leaf Goes Solar, In "Sunny" Seattle!

Tue Oct 30, 2012 7:22 am

Awesomeness!! :mrgreen: :mrgreen:
Tom in KS
100 Mile Club-#57
http://ksnogas.blogspot.com/
Try reading a book, it's a novel experience
MY 2012 - Cayenne Red-55,000+ miles

camasleaf
Posts: 646
Joined: Sun Sep 26, 2010 5:20 am
Delivery Date: 17 Jun 2011
Location: Camas, WA

Re: Another Leaf Goes Solar, In "Sunny" Seattle!

Tue Oct 30, 2012 8:17 am

With $40000 dolars you could buy a litle property with a creek on it, build a little "run of the creek" dam, have a $400 10Kw generator installed there and it will produce a lot more electricity than the solar panels. Well, that is my plan (dream) :geek: . I just hate to look at all this water going down hill for free.

Good gob! Better than me dreaming. Do you have a link to the Enphase so I can see the "sunny" Seatle production? (PM me) We should have slightly more sunshine here and I have a good part of the roof pointing south.
2011 SLe 06/17/11 Over 89000 miles 61%SOH 13.8kWh
2018 Honda Clarity PHEV
2014 Model S P85 77888 miles 256mile range
5.7kW DC Solar System

klapauzius
Posts: 1658
Joined: Thu Feb 24, 2011 4:19 pm
Delivery Date: 25 Jan 2011
Leaf Number: 0197
Location: Seattle, Wa

Re: Another Leaf Goes Solar, In "Sunny" Seattle!

Tue Oct 30, 2012 8:43 am

My current experience (although with a battery backed up system, which has ~ 83-86% efficiency. Its all WA made, so I get the full 53 c per kWH) is that I get a little less than 1000 kWH per kW peak power installed per year (for a system on a south facing roof with no shade, so the perfect spot). We produced somewhere between 3800 kWH average for the past 2 years and maybe will hit 4000 kWH for this year (which was so far exceptionally sunny).

I think the rule of thumb - 1000 kWH per kW installed - roughly holds, which should give a good estimate (+/- 10%) of what to expect for Seattle.

GaslessInSeattle
Posts: 1566
Joined: Fri May 06, 2011 2:15 pm
Delivery Date: 29 Apr 2011
Leaf Number: 850

Re: Another Leaf Goes Solar, In "Sunny" Seattle!

Tue Oct 30, 2012 2:32 pm

it will be interesting to see how it adds up. we are encumbered by trees to the east on the lot. we did break down and had a douglas fir removed that opened up 20% on the array. directly to the south we have a very large tree, fortunately it only shades in the winter months. it is interesting to be faced with opposing values, we love trees, and we love sun!
klapauzius wrote:My current experience (although with a battery backed up system, which has ~ 83-86% efficiency. Its all WA made, so I get the full 53 c per kWH) is that I get a little less than 1000 kWH per kW peak power installed per year (for a system on a south facing roof with no shade, so the perfect spot). We produced somewhere between 3800 kWH average for the past 2 years and maybe will hit 4000 kWH for this year (which was so far exceptionally sunny).

I think the rule of thumb - 1000 kWH per kW installed - roughly holds, which should give a good estimate (+/- 10%) of what to expect for Seattle.
Gasless: Silver 2012 SL, traded in for Lease on 1/13
Tesla S P85, Gray, pano, carbon fiber, took delivery: 2-9-13... LOVE this car!
9.8 kW PV Solar installed 9/12, http://www.westseattlenaturalenergy.com" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

GaslessInSeattle
Posts: 1566
Joined: Fri May 06, 2011 2:15 pm
Delivery Date: 29 Apr 2011
Leaf Number: 850

Re: Another Leaf Goes Solar, In "Sunny" Seattle!

Tue Oct 30, 2012 2:35 pm

interesting, I'm not a big fan of mass hydro, but I do like micro hydro! I'll try and see if I can post a link to my production, it is of course going to look pretty pathetic for the next several months.
camasleaf wrote:With $40000 dolars you could buy a litle property with a creek on it, build a little "run of the creek" dam, have a $400 10Kw generator installed there and it will produce a lot more electricity than the solar panels. Well, that is my plan (dream) :geek: . I just hate to look at all this water going down hill for free.

Good gob! Better than me dreaming. Do you have a link to the Enphase so I can see the "sunny" Seatle production? (PM me) We should have slightly more sunshine here and I have a good part of the roof pointing south.
Gasless: Silver 2012 SL, traded in for Lease on 1/13
Tesla S P85, Gray, pano, carbon fiber, took delivery: 2-9-13... LOVE this car!
9.8 kW PV Solar installed 9/12, http://www.westseattlenaturalenergy.com" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

klapauzius
Posts: 1658
Joined: Thu Feb 24, 2011 4:19 pm
Delivery Date: 25 Jan 2011
Leaf Number: 0197
Location: Seattle, Wa

Re: Another Leaf Goes Solar, In "Sunny" Seattle!

Tue Oct 30, 2012 2:52 pm

GaslessInSeattle wrote:interesting, I'm not a big fan of mass hydro, but I do like micro hydro! I'll try and see if I can post a link to my production, it is of course going to look pretty pathetic for the next several months.
Well, for November thru February I would not expect too much....Based on our 4 kW system, I have seen 100-150 kWH in November, 90-110 for December, 90-100 in January, 150-180 in February and 250 -280 in March. Multiply those numbers by ~2.5 (or 9.8/4.08 to be precise) and you can get an idea what to expect. The micro inverters are probably at higher efficiency, so that might add another 5-10 %.

GaslessInSeattle
Posts: 1566
Joined: Fri May 06, 2011 2:15 pm
Delivery Date: 29 Apr 2011
Leaf Number: 850

Re: Another Leaf Goes Solar, In "Sunny" Seattle!

Tue Oct 30, 2012 3:02 pm

i'm dubious if we'll even see that. like I said, there is a wide tree to our south that casts an ever bigger shadow as the sun drops for the winter. the good news is that in the summer we get lots of exposure. i'll keep you all posted. so far we are at 414 kW this month.
klapauzius wrote:
GaslessInSeattle wrote:interesting, I'm not a big fan of mass hydro, but I do like micro hydro! I'll try and see if I can post a link to my production, it is of course going to look pretty pathetic for the next several months.
Well, for November thru February I would not expect too much....Based on our 4 kW system, I have seen 100-150 kWH in November, 90-110 for December, 90-100 in January, 150-180 in February and 250 -280 in March. Multiply those numbers by ~2.5 (or 9.8/4.08 to be precise) and you can get an idea what to expect. The micro inverters are probably at higher efficiency, so that might add another 5-10 %.
Gasless: Silver 2012 SL, traded in for Lease on 1/13
Tesla S P85, Gray, pano, carbon fiber, took delivery: 2-9-13... LOVE this car!
9.8 kW PV Solar installed 9/12, http://www.westseattlenaturalenergy.com" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

EnergyNovice
Posts: 21
Joined: Tue Oct 23, 2012 9:01 am
Delivery Date: 23 Oct 2012

Re: Another Leaf Goes Solar, In "Sunny" Seattle!

Thu Nov 01, 2012 12:09 pm

Congrats on going solar and powering up the Leaf Alternative Energy!

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