I have quotes for a few companies that are similar and two that are very different. I live in zip 32952, which is Merritt Island, Fl. I have a lot of sun and don’t seem to have any obstructions. I have a good portion of south and west facing roof space which is optimal in this hemisphere. Sixteen or Seventeen of my panels would be on the second floor roof there is only a small pitch, the rest on the first; all on the south side. We have a tile roof. I hope to replace our gas heater with DHW on the west side after.
Quote from Brevard Solar for 2.01/watt US or ~2.84/watt AUD. They are quoting me on a 12,470 watt system.
- Panels: Hanwha Q Cell QCELL290M, (43 each), 25 year warranty & positive tolerance
- Inverter: SMA Sunny Boy High Frequency Grid-Tie inverters with emergency power outlets which
provide up to 4,000 watts of power when the sun is up, but the grid is down
These solar modules have a 12 year warranty covering materials and workmanship and a 83.6% production after 25 years warranty covering their guaranteed power output. The company does have good ratings in the area, they were one of the companies used in a recent co-op where a large group all purchased solar from them. This pricing I am told is comparable to the last co-op pricing, from people in the co-op. I would get a $7520 rebate back from the US government at my next tax filing after install but that is all we get in my area unfortunately, beyond wholesale net metering from our utility. Even the government rebate is set to end soon.
Quote from a local Electrical company is $2.50/watt US or 3.53/watt AUD for a 14.0kWh system and 46 panels. I would get ~10,523 back from the US government again and the system would be a gross amount of $35,075 US or $49,478 AUD. I have a few other quotes very similar to this one, but not at good since most involved a single inverter instead of microinverters.
- Panel: Hanwha Q CELLS Q.PEAK-G4.1 305 Q.PEAK
- Inverter: Enphase Energy microinverters
My other high end quote is from ESA Solar, which is another local company that was also involved in one of the prior co-ops in the area as well and is highly rated also. Their quote is 2.80/watt US or 3.95/watt AUD and they are quoting on a 13,410 watt system so its an astronomical $36,539 US. I get a $1,000 discount because my company has a “deal” w/ them.
- Panels: Sunpower Corp. SPR-E20-327-D-AC (240V)
- Inverters: n/a (integrated micro inverters)
For this system I would get a $10,962 government tax credit back. From my reading Sunpower has a insane warranty that covers virtually anything and everything for 25 years including labor, shipping and parts and in a beachside area and 92% production after 25 years warranty covering their guaranteed power output. We are on the river ~3miles over a causeway from the beach on the east coast of Florida.
Brevard Solar, the first quote has offered to lower the price by going to Canadian Solar panels instead of Hanwha for 1.85/watt US or 2.61/watt AUD. I have some co-workers that have just recently installed w/ ESA Solar and were able to get them down to 2.50/watt US or $3.53/watt AUD but I haven’t been able to get them down to this pricing, they have only offered me a smaller system, which I think would be fine anyhow, but at this point I am still trying to compare as apples to apples as I can. They also offered quoting us on going to the Hanwha QCell panels instead. My sisten-in-law purchased LG panels with microinverters for $2.01/watt or 2.84 AUD in the past three months as well. I am waiting on a quote from a LG contractor and I have access to my sister-in-law’s system and I see how much power they are producing which is covering all their bills so I know solar PV is the way to go. The Sunpower rep had much material in his packet on why their panel and warranty is much better than LG’s/
There is another co-op group that is close to start up again but from what I could tell from the last co-op is that they downgrade the equipment in order to lower the price and get as many people into the co-op.
So I guess the big question is how much of an advantage is it to go w/ a “more” premium system? Are my quotes totally outrageous? I think what I am being quoted for the Sunpower system is a little high honestly. They are insisting to me its $2000 US higher because of our tile roof, but even that price seems high. It seems I am not going to be able to negotiate the lower pricing my co-workers have been able to get with ESA Solar for whatever the reason. I also suspect I probably don’t need this large a system from looking at my sister-in-law’s output but I am just not sure yet.
Just not sure what direction to go here are you best off just getting the cheapest solar option available or going for one that has the best warranty and performance available. Does it really matter in the end? Most people I have talked to that have done this don’t seem to understand the difference and are just focused on the lowest price.
Thanks for any ideas/opinions,