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Cost of solar PV installed.

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  • Chris Boyer
    Here is a simple calculation showing examples of the current economics for Solar PV in Houston.  I mentioned this is the HREG meeting last Sunday, so here are
    Message 1 of 29 , Aug 1, 2009
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      Here is a simple calculation showing examples of the current economics for Solar PV in Houston.  I mentioned this is the HREG meeting last Sunday, so here are the numbers.  What it shows is the "Price" of installing a system of three sizes on a building (the upfront cash layout), from 100 kW, to 10 kW and 1 kW; then the Federal Tax Credit (which is now a rebate for commercial systems); and the Net cost of the solar installation for each size.  The next line is typical energy production (kWh) that the system would produce over the life of the system (25 years warranty).  Dividing the Net cost by energy produced gives the Cost of electricity with a solar PV system on a building: less than 12 cents/kWh for larger systems and nearly 15 cents/kWh for very small systems.
       
      Size
      100 kW
      10 kW1 kW
      Price $500,000.00  $55,000.00  $6,500.00
      Fed  $150,000.00  $16,500.00  $1,950.00
      Net $350,000.00  $38,500.00  $4,550.00
      Production
      kWh/25yr3,000,000300,00030,000
      Electricity
      Cost $        0.117  $      0.128  $     0.152
       
       
    • Robert Johnston
      This doesn t factor in (1) the cost of capital or (2) increased property insurance rates. (1) If you assume 100% financing at mortgage rates of 5.25% for
      Message 2 of 29 , Aug 2, 2009
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        This doesn’t factor in (1) the cost of capital or (2) increased property insurance rates.

        (1)     If you assume 100% financing at mortgage rates of 5.25% for 25 years, the monthly payment for a $38,500 system (10kW) would be $230.71.  Using Chris’ estimated output for a 10kW system of 1000 kW/mo, that increases the cost to $0.23/kwh.

        (2)    I was recently quoted $10 annually per $1000 coverage on Texas Windstorm (possibly Houston is a bit less; I live in Lake Jackson, nearer the coast).  Federal flood insurance currently runs me $2.61 per $1000 coverage.  Homeowners insurance costs me $3.73 per $1000 of coverage.  Thus, for all 3 coverages, a total of $16.34 per $1000 of coverage.  Now, I don’t know what exactly solar panels and controls add compared to the cost of the rest of the house itself, but if we conservatively assume that it incrementally increases insurance costs only at 75% of the rate of the rest of the house, that is $12.26 per $1000, or for a $38,500 installation (assuming we only insure for the net cost to us after federal subsidies, not the replacement cost of the system), then that is an extra $472 per year, or $0.039/kwh.  If insured at replacement cost, it will be correspondingly higher (I suspect you will be required by your insurance company to cover at replacement cost since that is what they are promising to do for you, and no federal subsidy will help them replace your system after a fire, hurricane, etc.).  If rates are lower in your area, or you don’t carry flood coverage, then rates would be somewhat lower.


        With the cost of financing and the cost of insurance factored in, the cost would be approximately $0.27/kwh for a 10 kW system.  Whereas $0.128/kwh is similar to current REP rates, $0.27/kwh is not.

         

        Robert Johnston

         

         

        From: hreg@yahoogroups.com [mailto:hreg@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Chris Boyer
        Sent: Saturday, August 01, 2009 10:27 PM
        To: HREG
        Subject: [hreg] Cost of solar PV installed.

         

         

        Here is a simple calculation showing examples of the current economics for Solar PV in Houston.  I mentioned this is the HREG meeting last Sunday, so here are the numbers.  What it shows is the "Price" of installing a system of three sizes on a building (the upfront cash layout), from 100 kW, to 10 kW and 1 kW; then the Federal Tax Credit (which is now a rebate for commercial systems); and the Net cost of the solar installation for each size.  The next line is typical energy production (kWh) that the system would produce over the life of the system (25 years warranty).  Dividing the Net cost by energy produced gives the Cost of electricity with a solar PV system on a building: less than 12 cents/kWh for larger systems and nearly 15 cents/kWh for very small systems.

         

        Size

        100 kW

        10 kW

        1 kW

        Price

         $500,000.00

         $55,000.00

         $6,500.00

        Fed

         $150,000.00

         $16,500.00

         $1,950.00

        Net

         $350,000.00

         $38,500.00

         $4,550.00

        Production

        kWh/25yr

        3,000,000

        300,000

        30,000

        Electricity

        Cost

         $        0.117

         $      0.128

         $     0.152

         

         

      • Garth & Kim Travis
        Greetings, Why would you factor 100% financing? Even mortgages require at least 5 or 10 percent down. Also, a 25 year term for a mere $38,500? That is paying
        Message 3 of 29 , Aug 2, 2009
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          Greetings,

          Why would you factor 100% financing? Even mortgages require at least 5
          or 10 percent down. Also, a 25 year term for a mere $38,500? That is
          paying less than $2,000 a year in capital. Any financial adviser worth
          their salt would tell you that is a bit silly, a 15 year period would be
          pretty maximum. How many times over do you wish to pay for the system?

          If you are going to include all of the joys of ownership, you should
          also include the adjustments for the rising cost of electric, and the
          final value of the system when it is paid for. Especially since when you
          pay the grid, at the end of it all, you have nothing. It is like renting
          a home vs owning a home. Initially it costs more to own, but in the long
          run, it is soooooo much cheaper.

          Bright Blessings,
          Kim

          Robert Johnston wrote:
          >
          >
          > This doesn’t factor in (1) the cost of capital or (2) increased
          > property insurance rates.
          >
          > (1) If you assume 100% financing at mortgage rates of 5.25% for 25
          > years, the monthly payment for a $38,500 system (10kW) would be
          > $230.71. Using Chris’ estimated output for a 10kW system of 1000
          > kW/mo, that increases the cost to $0.23/kwh.
          >
          > (2) I was recently quoted $10 annually per $1000 coverage on Texas
          > Windstorm (possibly Houston is a bit less; I live in Lake Jackson,
          > nearer the coast). Federal flood insurance currently runs me $2.61 per
          > $1000 coverage. Homeowners insurance costs me $3.73 per $1000 of
          > coverage. Thus, for all 3 coverages, a total of $16.34 per $1000 of
          > coverage. Now, I don’t know what exactly solar panels and controls add
          > compared to the cost of the rest of the house itself, but if we
          > conservatively assume that it incrementally increases insurance costs
          > only at 75% of the rate of the rest of the house, that is $12.26 per
          > $1000, or for a $38,500 installation (assuming we only insure for the
          > net cost to us after federal subsidies, not the replacement cost of
          > the system), then that is an extra $472 per year, or $0.039/kwh. If
          > insured at replacement cost, it will be correspondingly higher (I
          > suspect you will be required by your insurance company to cover at
          > replacement cost since that is what they are promising to do for you,
          > and no federal subsidy will help them replace your system after a
          > fire, hurricane, etc.). If rates are lower in your area, or you don’t
          > carry flood coverage, then rates would be somewhat lower.
          >
          >
          > With the cost of financing and the cost of insurance factored in, the
          > cost would be approximately $0.27/kwh for a 10 kW system. Whereas
          > $0.128/kwh is similar to current REP rates, $0.27/kwh is not.
          >
          > Robert Johnston
          >
          > *From:* hreg@yahoogroups.com [mailto:hreg@yahoogroups.com] *On Behalf
          > Of *Chris Boyer
          > *Sent:* Saturday, August 01, 2009 10:27 PM
          > *To:* HREG
          > *Subject:* [hreg] Cost of solar PV installed.
          >
          > Here is a simple calculation showing examples of the current economics
          > for Solar PV in Houston. I mentioned this is the HREG meeting last
          > Sunday, so here are the numbers. What it shows is the "Price" of
          > installing a system of three sizes on a building (the upfront cash
          > layout), from 100 kW, to 10 kW and 1 kW; then the Federal Tax Credit
          > (which is now a rebate for commercial systems); and the Net cost of
          > the solar installation for each size. The next line is typical energy
          > production (kWh) that the system would produce over the life of the
          > system (25 years warranty). Dividing the Net cost by energy produced
          > gives the Cost of electricity with a solar PV system on a building:
          > less than 12 cents/kWh for larger systems and nearly 15 cents/kWh for
          > very small systems.
          >
          > Size
          >
          >
          >
          > 100 kW
          >
          >
          >
          > 10 kW
          >
          >
          >
          > 1 kW
          >
          > Price
          >
          >
          >
          > $500,000.00
          >
          >
          >
          > $55,000.00
          >
          >
          >
          > $6,500.00
          >
          > Fed
          >
          >
          >
          > $150,000.00
          >
          >
          >
          > $16,500.00
          >
          >
          >
          > $1,950.00
          >
          > Net
          >
          >
          >
          > $350,000.00
          >
          >
          >
          > $38,500.00
          >
          >
          >
          > $4,550.00
          >
          > Production
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          > kWh/25yr
          >
          >
          >
          > 3,000,000
          >
          >
          >
          > 300,000
          >
          >
          >
          > 30,000
          >
          > Electricity
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          > Cost
          >
          >
          >
          > $ 0.117
          >
          >
          >
          > $ 0.128
          >
          >
          >
          > $ 0.152
          >
          >
          >
          >
        • jay.ring@ymail.com
          Well you probably wouldn t get 100% financing over 25 years, but a ROI calculation would assume you do. Financially speaking, a PV system is like a
          Message 4 of 29 , Aug 2, 2009
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            Well you probably wouldn't get 100% financing over 25 years, but a ROI calculation would assume you do. Financially speaking, a PV system is like a certificate of deposit (CD) where you pay, say, a $38,500 up front, but then get back, say, $120 each month.

            You set the term to the useful life of the investment. So if the system survives 25 years you get 25 years of payments, and you evaluate it over a 25 year interval. You don't actually have to get a 25 year loan.

            In fact, you don't even have to get a loan at all. You could pay cash and the analysis doesn't change. You don't think of an investment costs a month; you think of what it produces each month.

            I hope that helps!




            --- In hreg@yahoogroups.com, Garth & Kim Travis <gartht@...> wrote:
            >
            > Greetings,
            >
            > Why would you factor 100% financing? Even mortgages require at least 5
            > or 10 percent down. Also, a 25 year term for a mere $38,500? That is
            > paying less than $2,000 a year in capital. Any financial adviser worth
            > their salt would tell you that is a bit silly, a 15 year period would be
            > pretty maximum. How many times over do you wish to pay for the system?
            >
            > If you are going to include all of the joys of ownership, you should
            > also include the adjustments for the rising cost of electric, and the
            > final value of the system when it is paid for. Especially since when you
            > pay the grid, at the end of it all, you have nothing. It is like renting
            > a home vs owning a home. Initially it costs more to own, but in the long
            > run, it is soooooo much cheaper.
            >
            > Bright Blessings,
            > Kim
            >
            > Robert Johnston wrote:
            > >
            > >
            > > This doesn't factor in (1) the cost of capital or (2) increased
            > > property insurance rates.
            > >
            > > (1) If you assume 100% financing at mortgage rates of 5.25% for 25
            > > years, the monthly payment for a $38,500 system (10kW) would be
            > > $230.71. Using Chris' estimated output for a 10kW system of 1000
            > > kW/mo, that increases the cost to $0.23/kwh.
            > >
            > > (2) I was recently quoted $10 annually per $1000 coverage on Texas
            > > Windstorm (possibly Houston is a bit less; I live in Lake Jackson,
            > > nearer the coast). Federal flood insurance currently runs me $2.61 per
            > > $1000 coverage. Homeowners insurance costs me $3.73 per $1000 of
            > > coverage. Thus, for all 3 coverages, a total of $16.34 per $1000 of
            > > coverage. Now, I don't know what exactly solar panels and controls add
            > > compared to the cost of the rest of the house itself, but if we
            > > conservatively assume that it incrementally increases insurance costs
            > > only at 75% of the rate of the rest of the house, that is $12.26 per
            > > $1000, or for a $38,500 installation (assuming we only insure for the
            > > net cost to us after federal subsidies, not the replacement cost of
            > > the system), then that is an extra $472 per year, or $0.039/kwh. If
            > > insured at replacement cost, it will be correspondingly higher (I
            > > suspect you will be required by your insurance company to cover at
            > > replacement cost since that is what they are promising to do for you,
            > > and no federal subsidy will help them replace your system after a
            > > fire, hurricane, etc.). If rates are lower in your area, or you don't
            > > carry flood coverage, then rates would be somewhat lower.
            > >
            > >
            > > With the cost of financing and the cost of insurance factored in, the
            > > cost would be approximately $0.27/kwh for a 10 kW system. Whereas
            > > $0.128/kwh is similar to current REP rates, $0.27/kwh is not.
            > >
            > > Robert Johnston
            > >
            > > *From:* hreg@yahoogroups.com [mailto:hreg@yahoogroups.com] *On Behalf
            > > Of *Chris Boyer
            > > *Sent:* Saturday, August 01, 2009 10:27 PM
            > > *To:* HREG
            > > *Subject:* [hreg] Cost of solar PV installed.
            > >
            > > Here is a simple calculation showing examples of the current economics
            > > for Solar PV in Houston. I mentioned this is the HREG meeting last
            > > Sunday, so here are the numbers. What it shows is the "Price" of
            > > installing a system of three sizes on a building (the upfront cash
            > > layout), from 100 kW, to 10 kW and 1 kW; then the Federal Tax Credit
            > > (which is now a rebate for commercial systems); and the Net cost of
            > > the solar installation for each size. The next line is typical energy
            > > production (kWh) that the system would produce over the life of the
            > > system (25 years warranty). Dividing the Net cost by energy produced
            > > gives the Cost of electricity with a solar PV system on a building:
            > > less than 12 cents/kWh for larger systems and nearly 15 cents/kWh for
            > > very small systems.
            > >
            > > Size
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > > 100 kW
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > > 10 kW
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > > 1 kW
            > >
            > > Price
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > > $500,000.00
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > > $55,000.00
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > > $6,500.00
            > >
            > > Fed
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > > $150,000.00
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > > $16,500.00
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > > $1,950.00
            > >
            > > Net
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > > $350,000.00
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > > $38,500.00
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > > $4,550.00
            > >
            > > Production
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > > kWh/25yr
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > > 3,000,000
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > > 300,000
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > > 30,000
            > >
            > > Electricity
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > > Cost
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > > $ 0.117
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > > $ 0.128
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > > $ 0.152
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >
            >
          • Kevin Conlin
            Good points all. At the Solar 2009 conference a few months ago I heard a very interesting analogy made. The premise was that if you invested in a 1.5 kw PV
            Message 5 of 29 , Aug 2, 2009
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              Good points all.

              At the Solar 2009 conference a few months ago I heard a very interesting
              analogy made. The premise was that if you invested in a 1.5 kw PV system and
              drove an electric vehicle for the next 30 years, you would essentially have
              paid for 30 years worth of fuel with the PV system. I don't remember all the
              specific assumptions, but it assumed a useful life of 30 years for the pv.

              1.5KW @ $10,000 x .7 Federal Tax Credit = $7,000/30 years = $233/year.
              Compared to a 25 mpg vehicle, current gasoline costs would be at least
              $800/year, and aren't likely to decline over 30 years time, but you could
              also assume mileage improvements would be par with rising fuel costs.

              I know you can take the example apart because of the assumptions and
              simplified math, but the point was by investing in pv/ev you were displacing
              foreign oil payments and reducing the trade deficit, spending the money
              domestically and stimulating a growing industry, reducing CO2 and other
              climate changing emissions, encouraging distributed energy on the grid as
              well as saving money personally, over $15,000.

              As Kim alluded, the benefits aren't just financial; intangibles such as the
              personal pride, enjoyment and fulfillment that come from ownership have
              different values to different people.


              Kevin Conlin
              Heliosolar Design, Inc.
              13534 Quetzal Lane
              Houston, TX 77083
              C: (281) 202-9629
              H: (281) 530-7501
              F: (281) 530-7501
              kevin@...



              -----Original Message-----
              From: hreg@yahoogroups.com [mailto:hreg@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Garth
              & Kim Travis
              Sent: Sunday, August 02, 2009 3:40 PM
              To: hreg@yahoogroups.com
              Subject: Re: [hreg] Cost of solar PV installed.

              Greetings,

              Why would you factor 100% financing? Even mortgages require at least 5 or 10
              percent down. Also, a 25 year term for a mere $38,500? That is paying less
              than $2,000 a year in capital. Any financial adviser worth their salt would
              tell you that is a bit silly, a 15 year period would be pretty maximum. How
              many times over do you wish to pay for the system?

              If you are going to include all of the joys of ownership, you should also
              include the adjustments for the rising cost of electric, and the final value
              of the system when it is paid for. Especially since when you pay the grid,
              at the end of it all, you have nothing. It is like renting a home vs owning
              a home. Initially it costs more to own, but in the long run, it is soooooo
              much cheaper.

              Bright Blessings,
              Kim

              Robert Johnston wrote:
              >
              >
              > This doesn't factor in (1) the cost of capital or (2) increased
              > property insurance rates.
              >
              > (1) If you assume 100% financing at mortgage rates of 5.25% for 25
              > years, the monthly payment for a $38,500 system (10kW) would be
              > $230.71. Using Chris' estimated output for a 10kW system of 1000
              > kW/mo, that increases the cost to $0.23/kwh.
              >
              > (2) I was recently quoted $10 annually per $1000 coverage on Texas
              > Windstorm (possibly Houston is a bit less; I live in Lake Jackson,
              > nearer the coast). Federal flood insurance currently runs me $2.61 per
              > $1000 coverage. Homeowners insurance costs me $3.73 per $1000 of
              > coverage. Thus, for all 3 coverages, a total of $16.34 per $1000 of
              > coverage. Now, I don't know what exactly solar panels and controls add
              > compared to the cost of the rest of the house itself, but if we
              > conservatively assume that it incrementally increases insurance costs
              > only at 75% of the rate of the rest of the house, that is $12.26 per
              > $1000, or for a $38,500 installation (assuming we only insure for the
              > net cost to us after federal subsidies, not the replacement cost of
              > the system), then that is an extra $472 per year, or $0.039/kwh. If
              > insured at replacement cost, it will be correspondingly higher (I
              > suspect you will be required by your insurance company to cover at
              > replacement cost since that is what they are promising to do for you,
              > and no federal subsidy will help them replace your system after a
              > fire, hurricane, etc.). If rates are lower in your area, or you don't
              > carry flood coverage, then rates would be somewhat lower.
              >
              >
              > With the cost of financing and the cost of insurance factored in, the
              > cost would be approximately $0.27/kwh for a 10 kW system. Whereas
              > $0.128/kwh is similar to current REP rates, $0.27/kwh is not.
              >
              > Robert Johnston
              >
              > *From:* hreg@yahoogroups.com [mailto:hreg@yahoogroups.com] *On Behalf
              > Of *Chris Boyer
              > *Sent:* Saturday, August 01, 2009 10:27 PM
              > *To:* HREG
              > *Subject:* [hreg] Cost of solar PV installed.
              >
              > Here is a simple calculation showing examples of the current economics
              > for Solar PV in Houston. I mentioned this is the HREG meeting last
              > Sunday, so here are the numbers. What it shows is the "Price" of
              > installing a system of three sizes on a building (the upfront cash
              > layout), from 100 kW, to 10 kW and 1 kW; then the Federal Tax Credit
              > (which is now a rebate for commercial systems); and the Net cost of
              > the solar installation for each size. The next line is typical energy
              > production (kWh) that the system would produce over the life of the
              > system (25 years warranty). Dividing the Net cost by energy produced
              > gives the Cost of electricity with a solar PV system on a building:
              > less than 12 cents/kWh for larger systems and nearly 15 cents/kWh for
              > very small systems.
              >
              > Size
              >
              >
              >
              > 100 kW
              >
              >
              >
              > 10 kW
              >
              >
              >
              > 1 kW
              >
              > Price
              >
              >
              >
              > $500,000.00
              >
              >
              >
              > $55,000.00
              >
              >
              >
              > $6,500.00
              >
              > Fed
              >
              >
              >
              > $150,000.00
              >
              >
              >
              > $16,500.00
              >
              >
              >
              > $1,950.00
              >
              > Net
              >
              >
              >
              > $350,000.00
              >
              >
              >
              > $38,500.00
              >
              >
              >
              > $4,550.00
              >
              > Production
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              > kWh/25yr
              >
              >
              >
              > 3,000,000
              >
              >
              >
              > 300,000
              >
              >
              >
              > 30,000
              >
              > Electricity
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              > Cost
              >
              >
              >
              > $ 0.117
              >
              >
              >
              > $ 0.128
              >
              >
              >
              > $ 0.152
              >
              >
              >
              >


              ------------------------------------

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            • Robert Johnston
              Kim, you ve raised some interesting points. I ll try to address each below. Assuming 100% financing at mortgage rates in the cost of capital calculation is
              Message 6 of 29 , Aug 2, 2009
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                Kim, you've raised some interesting points. I'll try to address each below.

                Assuming 100% financing at mortgage rates in the cost of capital calculation
                is reasonable. Actually, it is conservative, since most people probably
                couldn't finance at mortgage rates (i.e., they would have a higher interest
                rate for a home improvement loan or whatever). If you only finance 90% (or
                whatever), you still have a cost of capital associated with the remaining
                10% that you had to pay out of pocket. That is capital not available to you
                for some other purpose, such as paying down a different loan, or investing,
                etc. So doing the calculation on the basis of 100% financing is the correct
                approach for comparisons of this type, even if not the level of financing a
                particular individual would choose to use (or be allowed by her bank).

                As for the term, adjust it however you like. I used 25 years simply because
                that is the estimated life of the product as used in Chris' calculations, so
                I kept things on that basis. If you finance for less time, you pay less
                interest, but you also have more capital tied up for longer. If you figured
                the value of that (lost opportunity cost), I think it would work out to be
                about the same as simply amortizing over 25 years as I did. In other words,
                your financial advisor might advise financing for a shorter time, but that
                is if you think there is a greater return on capital for the money invested
                in the solar system than in other investments. But that doesn't change the
                fact that for a fair "apples vs. apples comparison" of costs one should
                amortize over the life of the system.

                You suggested an adjustment for the rising cost of electricity. The
                forecasted increase is not that great if you factor in inflation. DOE
                forecasts only 0.6%/yr increase in residential energy rates from 2007-2300.
                http://www.eia.doe.gov/oiaf/forecasting.html (click the link for spreadsheet
                for AEO under the U.S. Data Projections for Electricity). In short, rising
                from 10.6 to 12.2 cents/kwh in 2007 dollars. Obviously, that only makes a
                small dent in the difference between current REP rates and the cost of
                PV-generated electricity under the assumptions used below. That small
                increase may be offset on the PV side by the expected increase in insurance
                costs over the life of the system.

                You also suggested including "final value" or residual value estimate. I
                did not because Chris did not. If the useful lifetime is 25 years, then the
                estimates are accurate. If the useful life is longer, then both Chris' and
                my estimates are too high and the actual cost of solar will prove less.
                (But how much value there will be in a system in 25 years, I question. I
                know very few technology devices that are desirable after 25 years! The
                original homeowner will probably have moved on, and the buyer of a home in
                25 years will prefer the technology available at that time, which will no
                doubt be much improved, given the advances in technology. For example, what
                if there is a new control scheme required to be installed to tie into a
                nation-wide smart grid, or what if they want new battery technology for
                storage, etc.? Does anyone know of many PV systems installed in the 1980
                timeframe that are going strong today without significant interim
                improvements/repairs?).

                Your "pay the grid" argument is correct. That is why to do a fair
                comparison, one should factor in cost of capital, since the grid has no
                "upfront" capital cost to the homeowner. In reality, there **IS** a cost of
                capital for electricity generation and distribution systems on the grid;
                these are amortized and the homeowner pays for them over time in their
                rates. So, to compare PV without cost of capital to the "grid" with cost of
                capital is an inaccurate and misleading comparison.

                Actually, owning a home can often be more expensive than renting. It is a
                longstanding myth in America that homeownership is less expensive. In some
                circumstances it is, in others not. Depends in part on the part of the
                business cycle in which one buys, the neighborhood one buys in, etc. It
                certainly is not without its risks, as homeowners in much of the nation
                (thankfully not much in Texas--this time!) are learning. An interesting
                blog on this topic can be found here:
                http://www.getrichslowly.org/blog/2007/07/16/renting-vs-buying-the-realities
                -of-home-buying/

                That blog, in fact, is a good segue to make the point that, just as buying a
                house vs. renting has certain nontangible benefits that people enjoy, so
                owning a PV system brings certain nontangible benefits to people that some
                people enjoy. In neither case, however, should one confuse these
                nontangibles with the actual value or cost of a particular choice.
                Regardless of whether we tweak the calculations a bit in the above areas or
                not, I think that when one does the comparisons on a fair basis, taking into
                account the cost of capital, etc., PV is on the order of 2.5 times the cost
                of the "grid" (where one can also choose 100% renewable if one wishes to).
                Incidentally, if one is trying to hedge against rising inflation or rising
                energy costs, one can do that through any number of financial
                instruments/investments that will likely provide higher returns, lower risk,
                less maintenance, etc., than a PV system will entail.

                I suspect some people wish I'd quit criticizing optimistic PV cost figures
                that get posted here from time to time. I am not anti-PV! I just think we
                should be honest with one another and accurately portray the true costs,
                then let people make the decision that is best for them, factoring in
                accurate financial costs as well as the intangibles. Raising false
                expectations is not healthy for any industry, and I don't think the PV
                industry is well-served by boosterism that inaccurately projects its costs.
                (BTW, please note that I am NOT accusing Chris of boosterism! I don't know
                the context of his calculations, and know him only as an enthusiastic
                supporter and helpful user of renewable energy technologies. There's
                nothing wrong with that--it is why this group exists!). For me personally,
                PV should be a trouble-free system with costs equal to renewable energy
                purchased on the grid with the full support of professional
                crews/maintenance included. When that day comes, and I can make a sound
                risk-adjusted return on my investment, I'll be interested. Until then, it
                is a hobby/interest which I enjoy learning more about, including from people
                like Chris with skin in the game.

                Robert Johnston




                -----Original Message-----
                From: hreg@yahoogroups.com [mailto:hreg@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Garth
                & Kim Travis
                Sent: Sunday, August 02, 2009 3:40 PM
                To: hreg@yahoogroups.com
                Subject: Re: [hreg] Cost of solar PV installed.

                Greetings,

                Why would you factor 100% financing? Even mortgages require at least 5
                or 10 percent down. Also, a 25 year term for a mere $38,500? That is
                paying less than $2,000 a year in capital. Any financial adviser worth
                their salt would tell you that is a bit silly, a 15 year period would be
                pretty maximum. How many times over do you wish to pay for the system?

                If you are going to include all of the joys of ownership, you should
                also include the adjustments for the rising cost of electric, and the
                final value of the system when it is paid for. Especially since when you
                pay the grid, at the end of it all, you have nothing. It is like renting
                a home vs owning a home. Initially it costs more to own, but in the long
                run, it is soooooo much cheaper.

                Bright Blessings,
                Kim

                Robert Johnston wrote:
                >
                >
                > This doesn't factor in (1) the cost of capital or (2) increased
                > property insurance rates.
                >
                > (1) If you assume 100% financing at mortgage rates of 5.25% for 25
                > years, the monthly payment for a $38,500 system (10kW) would be
                > $230.71. Using Chris' estimated output for a 10kW system of 1000
                > kW/mo, that increases the cost to $0.23/kwh.
                >
                > (2) I was recently quoted $10 annually per $1000 coverage on Texas
                > Windstorm (possibly Houston is a bit less; I live in Lake Jackson,
                > nearer the coast). Federal flood insurance currently runs me $2.61 per
                > $1000 coverage. Homeowners insurance costs me $3.73 per $1000 of
                > coverage. Thus, for all 3 coverages, a total of $16.34 per $1000 of
                > coverage. Now, I don't know what exactly solar panels and controls add
                > compared to the cost of the rest of the house itself, but if we
                > conservatively assume that it incrementally increases insurance costs
                > only at 75% of the rate of the rest of the house, that is $12.26 per
                > $1000, or for a $38,500 installation (assuming we only insure for the
                > net cost to us after federal subsidies, not the replacement cost of
                > the system), then that is an extra $472 per year, or $0.039/kwh. If
                > insured at replacement cost, it will be correspondingly higher (I
                > suspect you will be required by your insurance company to cover at
                > replacement cost since that is what they are promising to do for you,
                > and no federal subsidy will help them replace your system after a
                > fire, hurricane, etc.). If rates are lower in your area, or you don't
                > carry flood coverage, then rates would be somewhat lower.
                >
                >
                > With the cost of financing and the cost of insurance factored in, the
                > cost would be approximately $0.27/kwh for a 10 kW system. Whereas
                > $0.128/kwh is similar to current REP rates, $0.27/kwh is not.
                >
                > Robert Johnston
                >
                > *From:* hreg@yahoogroups.com [mailto:hreg@yahoogroups.com] *On Behalf
                > Of *Chris Boyer
                > *Sent:* Saturday, August 01, 2009 10:27 PM
                > *To:* HREG
                > *Subject:* [hreg] Cost of solar PV installed.
                >
                > Here is a simple calculation showing examples of the current economics
                > for Solar PV in Houston. I mentioned this is the HREG meeting last
                > Sunday, so here are the numbers. What it shows is the "Price" of
                > installing a system of three sizes on a building (the upfront cash
                > layout), from 100 kW, to 10 kW and 1 kW; then the Federal Tax Credit
                > (which is now a rebate for commercial systems); and the Net cost of
                > the solar installation for each size. The next line is typical energy
                > production (kWh) that the system would produce over the life of the
                > system (25 years warranty). Dividing the Net cost by energy produced
                > gives the Cost of electricity with a solar PV system on a building:
                > less than 12 cents/kWh for larger systems and nearly 15 cents/kWh for
                > very small systems.
                >
                > Size
                >
                >
                >
                > 100 kW
                >
                >
                >
                > 10 kW
                >
                >
                >
                > 1 kW
                >
                > Price
                >
                >
                >
                > $500,000.00
                >
                >
                >
                > $55,000.00
                >
                >
                >
                > $6,500.00
                >
                > Fed
                >
                >
                >
                > $150,000.00
                >
                >
                >
                > $16,500.00
                >
                >
                >
                > $1,950.00
                >
                > Net
                >
                >
                >
                > $350,000.00
                >
                >
                >
                > $38,500.00
                >
                >
                >
                > $4,550.00
                >
                > Production
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                > kWh/25yr
                >
                >
                >
                > 3,000,000
                >
                >
                >
                > 300,000
                >
                >
                >
                > 30,000
                >
                > Electricity
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                > Cost
                >
                >
                >
                > $ 0.117
                >
                >
                >
                > $ 0.128
                >
                >
                >
                > $ 0.152
                >
                >
                >
                >


                ------------------------------------

                Yahoo! Groups Links
              • Robert Johnston
                I see you posted while I was composing my last post. Just a quick comment. Your last paragraph is the key one-for some people, the intangibles make it worth
                Message 7 of 29 , Aug 2, 2009
                • 0 Attachment

                  I see you posted while I was composing my last post.  Just a quick comment…

                   

                  Your last paragraph is the key one—for some people, the intangibles make it worth it.  That’s fine, so long as the true financial cost isn’t obscured.  Using the example of an electric vehicle just creates a mental image of something green and neat—free transportation fuel!  But from a financial perspective, one would want to do the comparison on the basis of the cost of metered electricity from the grid vs. the cost of electricity from PV—regardless of whether it is used for an electric car or for anything else you wanted it for.  In that case, the calculation must still factor in cost of capital etc. as I argued.  i.e., regardless of the use, one should just make the calculation on the basis of cost per kwh.

                  Robert

                   

                   

                  From: hreg@yahoogroups.com [mailto:hreg@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Kevin Conlin
                  Sent: Sunday, August 02, 2009 5:13 PM
                  To: hreg@yahoogroups.com
                  Subject: [hreg] A different way to look at PV investment...

                   

                   

                  Good points all.

                  At the Solar 2009 conference a few months ago I heard a very interesting
                  analogy made. The premise was that if you invested in a 1.5 kw PV system and
                  drove an electric vehicle for the next 30 years, you would essentially have
                  paid for 30 years worth of fuel with the PV system. I don't remember all the
                  specific assumptions, but it assumed a useful life of 30 years for the pv.

                  1.5KW @ $10,000 x .7 Federal Tax Credit = $7,000/30 years = $233/year.
                  Compared to a 25 mpg vehicle, current gasoline costs would be at least
                  $800/year, and aren't likely to decline over 30 years time, but you could
                  also assume mileage improvements would be par with rising fuel costs.

                  I know you can take the example apart because of the assumptions and
                  simplified math, but the point was by investing in pv/ev you were displacing
                  foreign oil payments and reducing the trade deficit, spending the money
                  domestically and stimulating a growing industry, reducing CO2 and other
                  climate changing emissions, encouraging distributed energy on the grid as
                  well as saving money personally, over $15,000.

                  As Kim alluded, the benefits aren't just financial; intangibles such as the
                  personal pride, enjoyment and fulfillment that come from ownership have
                  different values to different people.

                  Kevin Conlin
                  Heliosolar Design, Inc.
                  13534 Quetzal Lane
                  Houston, TX 77083
                  C: (281) 202-9629
                  H: (281) 530-7501
                  F: (281) 530-7501
                  kevin@...



                  -----Original Message-----
                  From: hreg@yahoogroups.com [mailto:hreg@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Garth
                  & Kim Travis
                  Sent: Sunday, August 02, 2009 3:40 PM
                  To: hreg@yahoogroups.com
                  Subject: Re: [hreg] Cost of solar PV installed.

                  Greetings,

                  Why would you factor 100% financing? Even mortgages require at least 5 or 10
                  percent down. Also, a 25 year term for a mere $38,500? That is paying less
                  than $2,000 a year in capital. Any financial adviser worth their salt would
                  tell you that is a bit silly, a 15 year period would be pretty maximum. How
                  many times over do you wish to pay for the system?

                  If you are going to include all of the joys of ownership, you should also
                  include the adjustments for the rising cost of electric, and the final value
                  of the system when it is paid for. Especially since when you pay the grid,
                  at the end of it all, you have nothing. It is like renting a home vs owning
                  a home. Initially it costs more to own, but in the long run, it is soooooo
                  much cheaper.

                  Bright Blessings,
                  Kim

                  Robert Johnston wrote:

                  >
                  >
                  > This doesn't factor in (1) the cost of capital or (2) increased
                  > property insurance rates.
                  >
                  > (1) If you assume 100% financing at mortgage rates of 5.25% for 25
                  > years, the monthly payment for a $38,500 system (10kW) would be
                  > $230.71. Using Chris' estimated output for a 10kW system of 1000
                  > kW/mo, that increases the cost to $0.23/kwh.
                  >
                  > (2) I was recently quoted $10 annually per $1000 coverage on Texas
                  > Windstorm (possibly Houston is a bit less; I live in Lake Jackson,
                  > nearer the coast). Federal flood insurance currently runs me $2.61 per
                  > $1000 coverage. Homeowners insurance costs me $3.73 per $1000 of
                  > coverage. Thus, for all 3 coverages, a total of $16.34 per $1000 of
                  > coverage. Now, I don't know what exactly solar panels and controls add
                  > compared to the cost of the rest of the house itself, but if we
                  > conservatively assume that it incrementally increases insurance costs
                  > only at 75% of the rate of the rest of the house, that is $12.26 per
                  > $1000, or for a $38,500 installation (assuming we only insure for the
                  > net cost to us after federal subsidies, not the replacement cost of
                  > the system), then that is an extra $472 per year, or $0.039/kwh. If
                  > insured at replacement cost, it will be correspondingly higher (I
                  > suspect you will be required by your insurance company to cover at
                  > replacement cost since that is what they are promising to do for you,
                  > and no federal subsidy will help them replace your system after a
                  > fire, hurricane, etc.). If rates are lower in your area, or you don't
                  > carry flood coverage, then rates would be somewhat lower.
                  >
                  >
                  > With the cost of financing and the cost of insurance factored in, the
                  > cost would be approximately $0.27/kwh for a 10 kW system. Whereas
                  > $0.128/kwh is similar to current REP rates, $0.27/kwh is not.
                  >
                  > Robert Johnston
                  >
                  > *From:* hreg@yahoogroups.com
                  [mailto:hreg@yahoogroups.com] *On Behalf
                  > Of *Chris Boyer
                  > *Sent:* Saturday, August 01, 2009 10:27 PM
                  > *To:* HREG
                  > *Subject:* [hreg] Cost of solar PV installed.
                  >
                  > Here is a simple calculation showing examples of the current economics
                  > for Solar PV in Houston. I mentioned this is the HREG meeting last
                  > Sunday, so here are the numbers. What it shows is the "Price" of
                  > installing a system of three sizes on a building (the upfront cash
                  > layout), from 100 kW, to 10 kW and 1 kW; then the Federal Tax Credit
                  > (which is now a rebate for commercial systems); and the Net cost of
                  > the solar installation for each size. The next line is typical energy
                  > production (kWh) that the system would produce over the life of the
                  > system (25 years warranty). Dividing the Net cost by energy produced
                  > gives the Cost of electricity with a solar PV system on a building:
                  > less than 12 cents/kWh for larger systems and nearly 15 cents/kWh for
                  > very small systems.
                  >
                  > Size
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > 100 kW
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > 10 kW
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > 1 kW
                  >
                  > Price
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > $500,000.00
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > $55,000.00
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > $6,500.00
                  >
                  > Fed
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > $150,000.00
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > $16,500.00
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > $1,950.00
                  >
                  > Net
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > $350,000.00
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > $38,500.00
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > $4,550.00
                  >
                  > Production
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > kWh/25yr
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > 3,000,000
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > 300,000
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > 30,000
                  >
                  > Electricity
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > Cost
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > $ 0.117
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > $ 0.128
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > $ 0.152
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >

                  ------------------------------------

                  Yahoo! Groups Links

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                • Robert Johnston
                  Oops.typo. The forecast from DOE is to 2030, not 2300! Robert From: hreg@yahoogroups.com [mailto:hreg@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Robert Johnston Sent:
                  Message 8 of 29 , Aug 2, 2009
                  • 0 Attachment

                    Oops…typo.  The forecast from DOE is to 2030, not 2300!


                    Robert

                     

                    From: hreg@yahoogroups.com [mailto:hreg@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Robert Johnston
                    Sent: Sunday, August 02, 2009 5:34 PM
                    To: hreg@yahoogroups.com
                    Subject: RE: [hreg] Cost of solar PV installed.

                     

                     

                    Kim, you've raised some interesting points. I'll try to address each below.

                    Assuming 100% financing at mortgage rates in the cost of capital calculation
                    is reasonable. Actually, it is conservative, since most people probably
                    couldn't finance at mortgage rates (i.e., they would have a higher interest
                    rate for a home improvement loan or whatever). If you only finance 90% (or
                    whatever), you still have a cost of capital associated with the remaining
                    10% that you had to pay out of pocket. That is capital not available to you
                    for some other purpose, such as paying down a different loan, or investing,
                    etc. So doing the calculation on the basis of 100% financing is the correct
                    approach for comparisons of this type, even if not the level of financing a
                    particular individual would choose to use (or be allowed by her bank).

                    As for the term, adjust it however you like. I used 25 years simply because
                    that is the estimated life of the product as used in Chris' calculations, so
                    I kept things on that basis. If you finance for less time, you pay less
                    interest, but you also have more capital tied up for longer. If you figured
                    the value of that (lost opportunity cost), I think it would work out to be
                    about the same as simply amortizing over 25 years as I did. In other words,
                    your financial advisor might advise financing for a shorter time, but that
                    is if you think there is a greater return on capital for the money invested
                    in the solar system than in other investments. But that doesn't change the
                    fact that for a fair "apples vs. apples comparison" of costs one should
                    amortize over the life of the system.

                    You suggested an adjustment for the rising cost of electricity. The
                    forecasted increase is not that great if you factor in inflation. DOE
                    forecasts only 0.6%/yr increase in residential energy rates from 2007-2300.
                    http://www.eia.doe.gov/oiaf/forecasting.html (click the link for spreadsheet
                    for AEO under the U.S. Data Projections for Electricity). In short, rising
                    from 10.6 to 12.2 cents/kwh in 2007 dollars. Obviously, that only makes a
                    small dent in the difference between current REP rates and the cost of
                    PV-generated electricity under the assumptions used below. That small
                    increase may be offset on the PV side by the expected increase in insurance
                    costs over the life of the system.

                    You also suggested including "final value" or residual value estimate. I
                    did not because Chris did not. If the useful lifetime is 25 years, then the
                    estimates are accurate. If the useful life is longer, then both Chris' and
                    my estimates are too high and the actual cost of solar will prove less.
                    (But how much value there will be in a system in 25 years, I question. I
                    know very few technology devices that are desirable after 25 years! The
                    original homeowner will probably have moved on, and the buyer of a home in
                    25 years will prefer the technology available at that time, which will no
                    doubt be much improved, given the advances in technology. For example, what
                    if there is a new control scheme required to be installed to tie into a
                    nation-wide smart grid, or what if they want new battery technology for
                    storage, etc.? Does anyone know of many PV systems installed in the 1980
                    timeframe that are going strong today without significant interim
                    improvements/repairs?).

                    Your "pay the grid" argument is correct. That is why to do a fair
                    comparison, one should factor in cost of capital, since the grid has no
                    "upfront" capital cost to the homeowner. In reality, there **IS** a cost of
                    capital for electricity generation and distribution systems on the grid;
                    these are amortized and the homeowner pays for them over time in their
                    rates. So, to compare PV without cost of capital to the "grid" with cost of
                    capital is an inaccurate and misleading comparison.

                    Actually, owning a home can often be more expensive than renting. It is a
                    longstanding myth in America that homeownership is less expensive. In some
                    circumstances it is, in others not. Depends in part on the part of the
                    business cycle in which one buys, the neighborhood one buys in, etc. It
                    certainly is not without its risks, as homeowners in much of the nation
                    (thankfully not much in Texas--this time!) are learning. An interesting
                    blog on this topic can be found here:
                    http://www.getrichslowly.org/blog/2007/07/16/renting-vs-buying-the-realities
                    -of-home-buying/

                    That blog, in fact, is a good segue to make the point that, just as buying a
                    house vs. renting has certain nontangible benefits that people enjoy, so
                    owning a PV system brings certain nontangible benefits to people that some
                    people enjoy. In neither case, however, should one confuse these
                    nontangibles with the actual value or cost of a particular choice.
                    Regardless of whether we tweak the calculations a bit in the above areas or
                    not, I think that when one does the comparisons on a fair basis, taking into
                    account the cost of capital, etc., PV is on the order of 2.5 times the cost
                    of the "grid" (where one can also choose 100% renewable if one wishes to).
                    Incidentally, if one is trying to hedge against rising inflation or rising
                    energy costs, one can do that through any number of financial
                    instruments/investments that will likely provide higher returns, lower risk,
                    less maintenance, etc., than a PV system will entail.

                    I suspect some people wish I'd quit criticizing optimistic PV cost figures
                    that get posted here from time to time. I am not anti-PV! I just think we
                    should be honest with one another and accurately portray the true costs,
                    then let people make the decision that is best for them, factoring in
                    accurate financial costs as well as the intangibles. Raising false
                    expectations is not healthy for any industry, and I don't think the PV
                    industry is well-served by boosterism that inaccurately projects its costs.
                    (BTW, please note that I am NOT accusing Chris of boosterism! I don't know
                    the context of his calculations, and know him only as an enthusiastic
                    supporter and helpful user of renewable energy technologies. There's
                    nothing wrong with that--it is why this group exists!). For me personally,
                    PV should be a trouble-free system with costs equal to renewable energy
                    purchased on the grid with the full support of professional
                    crews/maintenance included. When that day comes, and I can make a sound
                    risk-adjusted return on my investment, I'll be interested. Until then, it
                    is a hobby/interest which I enjoy learning more about, including from people
                    like Chris with skin in the game.

                    Robert Johnston

                    -----Original Message-----
                    From: hreg@yahoogroups.com [mailto:hreg@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Garth
                    & Kim Travis
                    Sent: Sunday, August 02, 2009 3:40 PM
                    To: hreg@yahoogroups.com
                    Subject: Re: [hreg] Cost of solar PV installed.

                    Greetings,

                    Why would you factor 100% financing? Even mortgages require at least 5
                    or 10 percent down. Also, a 25 year term for a mere $38,500? That is
                    paying less than $2,000 a year in capital. Any financial adviser worth
                    their salt would tell you that is a bit silly, a 15 year period would be
                    pretty maximum. How many times over do you wish to pay for the system?

                    If you are going to include all of the joys of ownership, you should
                    also include the adjustments for the rising cost of electric, and the
                    final value of the system when it is paid for. Especially since when you
                    pay the grid, at the end of it all, you have nothing. It is like renting
                    a home vs owning a home. Initially it costs more to own, but in the long
                    run, it is soooooo much cheaper.

                    Bright Blessings,
                    Kim

                    Robert Johnston wrote:

                    >
                    >
                    > This doesn't factor in (1) the cost of capital or (2) increased
                    > property insurance rates.
                    >
                    > (1) If you assume 100% financing at mortgage rates of 5.25% for 25
                    > years, the monthly payment for a $38,500 system (10kW) would be
                    > $230.71. Using Chris' estimated output for a 10kW system of 1000
                    > kW/mo, that increases the cost to $0.23/kwh.
                    >
                    > (2) I was recently quoted $10 annually per $1000 coverage on Texas
                    > Windstorm (possibly Houston is a bit less; I live in Lake Jackson,
                    > nearer the coast). Federal flood insurance currently runs me $2.61 per
                    > $1000 coverage. Homeowners insurance costs me $3.73 per $1000 of
                    > coverage. Thus, for all 3 coverages, a total of $16.34 per $1000 of
                    > coverage. Now, I don't know what exactly solar panels and controls add
                    > compared to the cost of the rest of the house itself, but if we
                    > conservatively assume that it incrementally increases insurance costs
                    > only at 75% of the rate of the rest of the house, that is $12.26 per
                    > $1000, or for a $38,500 installation (assuming we only insure for the
                    > net cost to us after federal subsidies, not the replacement cost of
                    > the system), then that is an extra $472 per year, or $0.039/kwh. If
                    > insured at replacement cost, it will be correspondingly higher (I
                    > suspect you will be required by your insurance company to cover at
                    > replacement cost since that is what they are promising to do for you,
                    > and no federal subsidy will help them replace your system after a
                    > fire, hurricane, etc.). If rates are lower in your area, or you don't
                    > carry flood coverage, then rates would be somewhat lower.
                    >
                    >
                    > With the cost of financing and the cost of insurance factored in, the
                    > cost would be approximately $0.27/kwh for a 10 kW system. Whereas
                    > $0.128/kwh is similar to current REP rates, $0.27/kwh is not.
                    >
                    > Robert Johnston
                    >
                    > *From:* hreg@yahoogroups.com
                    [mailto:hreg@yahoogroups.com] *On Behalf
                    > Of *Chris Boyer
                    > *Sent:* Saturday, August 01, 2009 10:27 PM
                    > *To:* HREG
                    > *Subject:* [hreg] Cost of solar PV installed.
                    >
                    > Here is a simple calculation showing examples of the current economics
                    > for Solar PV in Houston. I mentioned this is the HREG meeting last
                    > Sunday, so here are the numbers. What it shows is the "Price" of
                    > installing a system of three sizes on a building (the upfront cash
                    > layout), from 100 kW, to 10 kW and 1 kW; then the Federal Tax Credit
                    > (which is now a rebate for commercial systems); and the Net cost of
                    > the solar installation for each size. The next line is typical energy
                    > production (kWh) that the system would produce over the life of the
                    > system (25 years warranty). Dividing the Net cost by energy produced
                    > gives the Cost of electricity with a solar PV system on a building:
                    > less than 12 cents/kWh for larger systems and nearly 15 cents/kWh for
                    > very small systems.
                    >
                    > Size
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    > 100 kW
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    > 10 kW
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    > 1 kW
                    >
                    > Price
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    > $500,000.00
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    > $55,000.00
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    > $6,500.00
                    >
                    > Fed
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    > $150,000.00
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    > $16,500.00
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    > $1,950.00
                    >
                    > Net
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    > $350,000.00
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    > $38,500.00
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    > $4,550.00
                    >
                    > Production
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    > kWh/25yr
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    > 3,000,000
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    > 300,000
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    > 30,000
                    >
                    > Electricity
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    > Cost
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    > $ 0.117
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    > $ 0.128
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    > $ 0.152
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >

                    ------------------------------------

                    Yahoo! Groups Links

                  • Kevin Conlin
                    Yes, I can t argue against a realistic financial perspective, but I also think that distorts the true value of the investment. We seldom apply those rules to
                    Message 9 of 29 , Aug 2, 2009
                    • 0 Attachment
                      Yes, I can't argue against a realistic financial perspective, but I also think that distorts the true value of the investment.  We seldom apply those rules to most of the other major purchases in our lives.
                       
                      We never think about the return on a set of golf clubs, a beautiful home, a sleek car or a granite countertop, but those investments make for a more fulfilling life, and we personally justify the extra expense by the satisfaction and enjoyment we get from using those items. How many people reading this bought their car because it was the cheapest and most economical one you could find?  It more likely came down to personal choice and preference.
                       
                      If climate change, dwindling resources, environmental degradation, threatened wildlife, future generations, a sustainable society and lifestyle or any other issues are close to your heart, then you can make the right decision without regard for ROI, payback, cost of opportunity, etc...and feel real good about it.
                       
                      How many people use life cycle costing when buying a big screen TV, a stainless steel refrigerator, BBQ grill or new furniture?  Then why do we always insist on imposing those rules on solar?
                       
                      If we only made decisions based on economics, this would be one empty, desolate planet....and we would do many things for the very wrong reasons.
                       
                      Value is so much more than just cost.....and I admire the people who make the right decisions for the "wrong" reasons.
                       
                       
                       
                      Kevin Conlin
                      Heliosolar Design, Inc.
                      13534 Quetzal Lane
                      Houston, TX 77083
                      C:  (281) 202-9629
                      H:  (281) 530-7501
                      F:  (281) 530-7501
                       
                       
                       


                      From: hreg@yahoogroups.com [mailto:hreg@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Robert Johnston
                      Sent: Sunday, August 02, 2009 5:40 PM
                      To: hreg@yahoogroups.com
                      Subject: RE: [hreg] A different way to look at PV investment...

                       

                      I see you posted while I was composing my last post.  Just a quick comment…

                      Your last paragraph is the key one—for some people, the intangibles make it worth it.  That’s fine, so long as the true financial cost isn’t obscured.  Using the example of an electric vehicle just creates a mental image of something green and neat—free transportation fuel!  But from a financial perspective, one would want to do the comparison on the basis of the cost of metered electricity from the grid vs. the cost of electricity from PV—regardless of whether it is used for an electric car or for anything else you wanted it for.  In that case, the calculation must still factor in cost of capital etc. as I argued.  i.e., regardless of the use, one should just make the calculation on the basis of cost per kwh.

                      Robert

                      From: hreg@yahoogroups. com [mailto:hreg@ yahoogroups. com] On Behalf Of Kevin Conlin
                      Sent: Sunday, August 02, 2009 5:13 PM
                      To: hreg@yahoogroups. com
                      Subject: [hreg] A different way to look at PV investment.. .

                       

                      Good points all.

                      At the Solar 2009 conference a few months ago I heard a very interesting
                      analogy made. The premise was that if you invested in a 1.5 kw PV system and
                      drove an electric vehicle for the next 30 years, you would essentially have
                      paid for 30 years worth of fuel with the PV system. I don't remember all the
                      specific assumptions, but it assumed a useful life of 30 years for the pv.

                      1.5KW @ $10,000 x .7 Federal Tax Credit = $7,000/30 years = $233/year.
                      Compared to a 25 mpg vehicle, current gasoline costs would be at least
                      $800/year, and aren't likely to decline over 30 years time, but you could
                      also assume mileage improvements would be par with rising fuel costs.

                      I know you can take the example apart because of the assumptions and
                      simplified math, but the point was by investing in pv/ev you were displacing
                      foreign oil payments and reducing the trade deficit, spending the money
                      domestically and stimulating a growing industry, reducing CO2 and other
                      climate changing emissions, encouraging distributed energy on the grid as
                      well as saving money personally, over $15,000.

                      As Kim alluded, the benefits aren't just financial; intangibles such as the
                      personal pride, enjoyment and fulfillment that come from ownership have
                      different values to different people.

                      Kevin Conlin
                      Heliosolar Design, Inc.
                      13534 Quetzal Lane
                      Houston, TX 77083
                      C: (281) 202-9629
                      H: (281) 530-7501
                      F: (281) 530-7501
                      kevin@heliosolardes ign.com



                      -----Original Message-----
                      From: hreg@yahoogroups. com [mailto:hreg@yahoogroups. com] On Behalf Of Garth
                      & Kim Travis
                      Sent: Sunday, August 02, 2009 3:40 PM
                      To: hreg@yahoogroups. com
                      Subject: Re: [hreg] Cost of solar PV installed.

                      Greetings,

                      Why would you factor 100% financing? Even mortgages require at least 5 or 10
                      percent down. Also, a 25 year term for a mere $38,500? That is paying less
                      than $2,000 a year in capital. Any financial adviser worth their salt would
                      tell you that is a bit silly, a 15 year period would be pretty maximum. How
                      many times over do you wish to pay for the system?

                      If you are going to include all of the joys of ownership, you should also
                      include the adjustments for the rising cost of electric, and the final value
                      of the system when it is paid for. Especially since when you pay the grid,
                      at the end of it all, you have nothing. It is like renting a home vs owning
                      a home. Initially it costs more to own, but in the long run, it is soooooo
                      much cheaper.

                      Bright Blessings,
                      Kim

                      Robert Johnston wrote:

                      >
                      >
                      > This
                      doesn't factor in (1) the cost of capital or (2) increased
                      > property
                      insurance rates.
                      >
                      > (1) If you assume 100% financing at mortgage
                      rates of 5.25% for 25
                      > years, the monthly payment for a $38,500 system
                      (10kW) would be
                      > $230.71. Using Chris' estimated output for a 10kW
                      system of 1000
                      > kW/mo, that increases the cost to
                      $0.23/kwh.
                      >
                      > (2) I was recently quoted $10 annually per $1000
                      coverage on Texas
                      > Windstorm (possibly Houston is a bit less; I live in
                      Lake Jackson,
                      > nearer the coast). Federal flood insurance currently runs
                      me $2.61 per
                      > $1000 coverage. Homeowners insurance costs me $3.73 per
                      $1000 of
                      > coverage. Thus, for all 3 coverages, a total of $16.34 per
                      $1000 of
                      > coverage. Now, I don't know what exactly solar panels and
                      controls add
                      > compared to the cost of the rest of the house itself, but
                      if we
                      > conservatively assume that it incrementally increases insurance
                      costs
                      > only at 75% of the rate of the rest of the house, that is $12.26
                      per
                      > $1000, or for a $38,500 installation (assuming we only insure for
                      the
                      > net cost to us after federal subsidies, not the replacement cost of
                      > the system), then that is an extra $472 per year, or $0.039/kwh. If
                      > insured at replacement cost, it will be correspondingly higher (I
                      > suspect you will be required by your insurance company to cover at
                      > replacement cost since that is what they are promising to do for you,
                      > and no federal subsidy will help them replace your system after a
                      > fire, hurricane, etc.). If rates are lower in your area, or you don't
                      > carry flood coverage, then rates would be somewhat
                      lower.
                      >
                      >
                      > With the cost of financing and the cost of
                      insurance factored in, the
                      > cost would be approximately $0.27/kwh for a
                      10 kW system. Whereas
                      > $0.128/kwh is similar to current REP rates,
                      $0.27/kwh is not.
                      >
                      > Robert Johnston
                      >
                      > *From:*
                      href="mailto:hreg%40yahoogroups.com">hreg@yahoogroups. com [mailto:hreg@yahoogroups. com] *On Behalf
                      > Of *Chris Boyer
                      > *Sent:* Saturday, August 01, 2009 10:27
                      PM
                      > *To:* HREG
                      > *Subject:* [hreg] Cost of solar PV
                      installed.
                      >
                      > Here is a simple calculation showing examples of the
                      current economics
                      > for Solar PV in Houston. I mentioned this is the HREG
                      meeting last
                      > Sunday, so here are the numbers. What it shows is the
                      "Price" of
                      > installing a system of three sizes on a building (the
                      upfront cash
                      > layout), from 100 kW, to 10 kW and 1 kW; then the Federal
                      Tax Credit
                      > (which is now a rebate for commercial systems); and the Net
                      cost of
                      > the solar installation for each size. The next line is typical
                      energy
                      > production (kWh) that the system would produce over the life of
                      the
                      > system (25 years warranty). Dividing the Net cost by energy
                      produced
                      > gives the Cost of electricity with a solar PV system on a
                      building:
                      > less than 12 cents/kWh for larger systems and nearly 15
                      cents/kWh for
                      > very small systems.
                      >
                      > Size
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      > 100 kW
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      > 10 kW
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      > 1 kW
                      >
                      > Price
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      $500,000.00
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      > $55,000.00
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      > $6,500.00
                      >
                      > Fed
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      $150,000.00
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      > $16,500.00
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      > $1,950.00
                      >
                      > Net
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      $350,000.00
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      > $38,500.00
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      > $4,550.00
                      >
                      > Production
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      > kWh/25yr
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      3,000,000
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      > 300,000
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      > 30,000
                      >
                      > Electricity
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      > Cost
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      > $
                      0.117
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      > $ 0.128
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      $ 0.152
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >

                      ------------ --------- --------- ------

                      Yahoo! Groups Links

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                    • Robert Johnston
                      Yes, but you are pointing to the intangibles. How many people purchase PV because it is fun or sexy or anything like that? A few enthusiasts do. But most
                      Message 10 of 29 , Aug 2, 2009
                      • 0 Attachment

                        Yes, but you are pointing to the intangibles.  How many people purchase PV because it is fun or sexy or anything like that?  A few enthusiasts do.  But most people are interested simply in getting electrical power; they don’t care how.  As for the environment, climate change, etc.—remember that this is all available “on the grid” through renewable sources (windpower etc.).  So it isn’t a choice between PV and climate change etc.  The question is whether distributed power in the form of residential PV is cost competitive with renewable power distributed over the grid.  The answer, I believe the analysis shows (if you factor in cost of capital), is “no”.  Again, that doesn’t mean folks who get a thrill watching electrons chase holes in their PV panels won’t enjoy having them.


                        Robert

                         

                         

                        From: hreg@yahoogroups.com [mailto:hreg@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Kevin Conlin
                        Sent: Sunday, August 02, 2009 7:12 PM
                        To: hreg@yahoogroups.com
                        Subject: [hreg] A different way to look at PV investment... cost vs. value

                         

                         

                        Yes, I can't argue against a realistic financial perspective, but I also think that distorts the true value of the investment.  We seldom apply those rules to most of the other major purchases in our lives.

                         

                        We never think about the return on a set of golf clubs, a beautiful home, a sleek car or a granite countertop, but those investments make for a more fulfilling life, and we personally justify the extra expense by the satisfaction and enjoyment we get from using those items. How many people reading this bought their car because it was the cheapest and most economical one you could find?  It more likely came down to personal choice and preference.

                         

                        If climate change, dwindling resources, environmental degradation, threatened wildlife, future generations, a sustainable society and lifestyle or any other issues are close to your heart, then you can make the right decision without regard for ROI, payback, cost of opportunity, etc...and feel real good about it.

                         

                        How many people use life cycle costing when buying a big screen TV, a stainless steel refrigerator, BBQ grill or new furniture?  Then why do we always insist on imposing those rules on solar?

                         

                        If we only made decisions based on economics, this would be one empty, desolate planet....and we would do many things for the very wrong reasons.

                         

                        Value is so much more than just cost.....and I admire the people who make the right decisions for the "wrong" reasons.

                         

                         

                         

                        Kevin Conlin

                        Heliosolar Design, Inc.

                        13534 Quetzal Lane

                        Houston, TX 77083

                        C:  (281) 202-9629

                        H:  (281) 530-7501

                        F:  (281) 530-7501

                        kevin@...

                         

                         

                         

                         


                        From: hreg@yahoogroups.com [mailto:hreg@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Robert Johnston
                        Sent: Sunday, August 02, 2009 5:40 PM
                        To: hreg@yahoogroups.com
                        Subject: RE: [hreg] A different way to look at PV investment...

                         

                        I see you posted while I was composing my last post.  Just a quick comment…

                        Your last paragraph is the key one—for some people, the intangibles make it worth it.  That’s fine, so long as the true financial cost isn’t obscured.  Using the example of an electric vehicle just creates a mental image of something green and neat—free transportation fuel!  But from a financial perspective, one would want to do the comparison on the basis of the cost of metered electricity from the grid vs. the cost of electricity from PV—regardless of whether it is used for an electric car or for anything else you wanted it for.  In that case, the calculation must still factor in cost of capital etc. as I argued.  i.e., regardless of the use, one should just make the calculation on the basis of cost per kwh.

                        Robert

                        From: hreg@yahoogroups.com [mailto:hreg@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Kevin Conlin
                        Sent: Sunday, August 02, 2009 5:13 PM
                        To: hreg@yahoogroups.com
                        Subject: [hreg] A different way to look at PV investment...

                         

                        Good points all.

                        At the Solar 2009 conference a few months ago I heard a very interesting
                        analogy made. The premise was that if you invested in a 1.5 kw PV system and
                        drove an electric vehicle for the next 30 years, you would essentially have
                        paid for 30 years worth of fuel with the PV system. I don't remember all the
                        specific assumptions, but it assumed a useful life of 30 years for the pv.

                        1.5KW @ $10,000 x .7 Federal Tax Credit = $7,000/30 years = $233/year.
                        Compared to a 25 mpg vehicle, current gasoline costs would be at least
                        $800/year, and aren't likely to decline over 30 years time, but you could
                        also assume mileage improvements would be par with rising fuel costs.

                        I know you can take the example apart because of the assumptions and
                        simplified math, but the point was by investing in pv/ev you were displacing
                        foreign oil payments and reducing the trade deficit, spending the money
                        domestically and stimulating a growing industry, reducing CO2 and other
                        climate changing emissions, encouraging distributed energy on the grid as
                        well as saving money personally, over $15,000.

                        As Kim alluded, the benefits aren't just financial; intangibles such as the
                        personal pride, enjoyment and fulfillment that come from ownership have
                        different values to different people.

                        Kevin Conlin
                        Heliosolar Design, Inc.
                        13534 Quetzal Lane
                        Houston, TX 77083
                        C: (281) 202-9629
                        H: (281) 530-7501
                        F: (281) 530-7501
                        kevin@...



                        -----Original Message-----
                        From: hreg@yahoogroups.com [mailto:hreg@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Garth
                        & Kim Travis
                        Sent: Sunday, August 02, 2009 3:40 PM
                        To: hreg@yahoogroups.com
                        Subject: Re: [hreg] Cost of solar PV installed.

                        Greetings,

                        Why would you factor 100% financing? Even mortgages require at least 5 or 10
                        percent down. Also, a 25 year term for a mere $38,500? That is paying less
                        than $2,000 a year in capital. Any financial adviser worth their salt would
                        tell you that is a bit silly, a 15 year period would be pretty maximum. How
                        many times over do you wish to pay for the system?

                        If you are going to include all of the joys of ownership, you should also
                        include the adjustments for the rising cost of electric, and the final value
                        of the system when it is paid for. Especially since when you pay the grid,
                        at the end of it all, you have nothing. It is like renting a home vs owning
                        a home. Initially it costs more to own, but in the long run, it is soooooo
                        much cheaper.

                        Bright Blessings,
                        Kim

                        Robert Johnston wrote:

                        >
                        >
                        > This doesn't factor in (1) the cost of capital or (2) increased
                        > property insurance rates.
                        >
                        > (1) If you assume 100% financing at mortgage rates of 5.25% for 25
                        > years, the monthly payment for a $38,500 system (10kW) would be
                        > $230.71. Using Chris' estimated output for a 10kW system of 1000
                        > kW/mo, that increases the cost to $0.23/kwh.
                        >
                        > (2) I was recently quoted $10 annually per $1000 coverage on Texas
                        > Windstorm (possibly Houston is a bit less; I live in Lake Jackson,
                        > nearer the coast). Federal flood insurance currently runs me $2.61 per
                        > $1000 coverage. Homeowners insurance costs me $3.73 per $1000 of
                        > coverage. Thus, for all 3 coverages, a total of $16.34 per $1000 of
                        > coverage. Now, I don't know what exactly solar panels and controls add
                        > compared to the cost of the rest of the house itself, but if we
                        > conservatively assume that it incrementally increases insurance costs
                        > only at 75% of the rate of the rest of the house, that is $12.26 per
                        > $1000, or for a $38,500 installation (assuming we only insure for the
                        > net cost to us after federal subsidies, not the replacement cost of
                        > the system), then that is an extra $472 per year, or $0.039/kwh. If
                        > insured at replacement cost, it will be correspondingly higher (I
                        > suspect you will be required by your insurance company to cover at
                        > replacement cost since that is what they are promising to do for you,
                        > and no federal subsidy will help them replace your system after a
                        > fire, hurricane, etc.). If rates are lower in your area, or you don't
                        > carry flood coverage, then rates would be somewhat lower.
                        >
                        >
                        > With the cost of financing and the cost of insurance factored in, the
                        > cost would be approximately $0.27/kwh for a 10 kW system. Whereas
                        > $0.128/kwh is similar to current REP rates, $0.27/kwh is not.
                        >
                        > Robert Johnston
                        >
                        > *From:* hreg@yahoogroups.com
                        [mailto:hreg@yahoogroups.com] *On Behalf
                        > Of *Chris Boyer
                        > *Sent:* Saturday, August 01, 2009 10:27 PM
                        > *To:* HREG
                        > *Subject:* [hreg] Cost of solar PV installed.
                        >
                        > Here is a simple calculation showing examples of the current economics
                        > for Solar PV in Houston. I mentioned this is the HREG meeting last
                        > Sunday, so here are the numbers. What it shows is the "Price" of
                        > installing a system of three sizes on a building (the upfront cash
                        > layout), from 100 kW, to 10 kW and 1 kW; then the Federal Tax Credit
                        > (which is now a rebate for commercial systems); and the Net cost of
                        > the solar installation for each size. The next line is typical energy
                        > production (kWh) that the system would produce over the life of the
                        > system (25 years warranty). Dividing the Net cost by energy produced
                        > gives the Cost of electricity with a solar PV system on a building:
                        > less than 12 cents/kWh for larger systems and nearly 15 cents/kWh for
                        > very small systems.
                        >
                        > Size
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        > 100 kW
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        > 10 kW
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        > 1 kW
                        >
                        > Price
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        > $500,000.00
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        > $55,000.00
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        > $6,500.00
                        >
                        > Fed
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        > $150,000.00
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        > $16,500.00
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        > $1,950.00
                        >
                        > Net
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        > $350,000.00
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        > $38,500.00
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        > $4,550.00
                        >
                        > Production
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        > kWh/25yr
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        > 3,000,000
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        > 300,000
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        > 30,000
                        >
                        > Electricity
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        > Cost
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        > $ 0.117
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        > $ 0.128
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        > $ 0.152
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >

                        ------------------------------------

                        Yahoo! Groups Links

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                        Checked by AVG - www.avg.com
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                        05:56:00

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                        Checked by AVG - www.avg.com
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                      • Otto Glaser
                        There are a few things that are not being considered. The US Government has to borrow the money to give the owner of a PV system the tax credit. Based on past
                        Message 11 of 29 , Aug 2, 2009
                        • 0 Attachment
                          There are a few things that are not being considered. The US Government has to borrow the money to give the owner of a PV system the tax credit. Based on past history, the government will borrow this money forever. The government will be paying interest on this money long after the PV system is gone.If a large number of people installed a PV system where would the government get the money to pay the tax credit? The cost of a back up system to supply electricity when the sun is not shining. The local utility is required to supply electricity when ever needed, so they would have to build generating plants to cover the demand when the sun was not shining. What source of power would they use to generate electricity? Coal or nuclear? Having the extra capacity that was little used would substantially increase the cost of electricity from the utility. Guess who would pay for that. The tax credit would mostly go to higher income people as poor people would not have enough income to use the tax credit. What that does is take money from poor people and give it to rich people. The poor would have to pay those higher rates. It is more expensive to install PV on each house than to install a Solar Power Tower central system. I was told that a PV system costs about $8 per watt to install. A central system costs about $1.00 per watt. If Rice University gets there nano tech wire perfected it would eliminate enough line loss to enable us to shut down 30% of our present generating capacity. I believe that when we get to mass producing Solar Power Tower electric generating plants, the cost will come down enough that it will be the cheapest form of generation. Presently, a SPT plant costs 1/2 as much to build as a nuclear plant-has no fuel cost and is much cheaper to operate.
                          Otto Glaser
                          12111 Medina Bend Lane
                          Houston, TX 77041-6694
                          Phone and Fax 713-896-9935
                          Email oglaser@...
                          ----- Original Message -----
                          Sent: Sunday, August 02, 2009 7:43 PM
                          Subject: RE: [hreg] A different way to look at PV investment... cost vs. value

                           

                          Yes, but you are pointing to the intangibles.  How many people purchase PV because it is fun or sexy or anything like that?  A few enthusiasts do.  But most people are interested simply in getting electrical power; they don’t care how.  As for the environment, climate change, etc.—remember that this is all available “on the grid” through renewable sources (windpower etc.).  So it isn’t a choice between PV and climate change etc.  The question is whether distributed power in the form of residential PV is cost competitive with renewable power distributed over the grid.  The answer, I believe the analysis shows (if you factor in cost of capital), is “no”.  Again, that doesn’t mean folks who get a thrill watching electrons chase holes in their PV panels won’t enjoy having them.


                          Robert

                          From: hreg@yahoogroups. com [mailto:hreg@ yahoogroups. com] On Behalf Of Kevin Conlin
                          Sent: Sunday, August 02, 2009 7:12 PM
                          To: hreg@yahoogroups. com
                          Subject: [hreg] A different way to look at PV investment.. . cost vs. value

                           

                          Yes, I can't argue against a realistic financial perspective, but I also think that distorts the true value of the investment.  We seldom apply those rules to most of the other major purchases in our lives.

                          We never think about the return on a set of golf clubs, a beautiful home, a sleek car or a granite countertop, but those investments make for a more fulfilling life, and we personally justify the extra expense by the satisfaction and enjoyment we get from using those items. How many people reading this bought their car because it was the cheapest and most economical one you could find?  It more likely came down to personal choice and preference.

                          If climate change, dwindling resources, environmental degradation, threatened wildlife, future generations, a sustainable society and lifestyle or any other issues are close to your heart, then you can make the right decision without regard for ROI, payback, cost of opportunity, etc...and feel real good about it.

                          How many people use life cycle costing when buying a big screen TV, a stainless steel refrigerator, BBQ grill or new furniture?  Then why do we always insist on imposing those rules on solar?

                          If we only made decisions based on economics, this would be one empty, desolate planet....and we would do many things for the very wrong reasons.

                          Value is so much more than just cost.....and I admire the people who make the right decisions for the "wrong" reasons.

                          Kevin Conlin

                          Heliosolar Design, Inc.

                          13534 Quetzal Lane

                          Houston, TX 77083

                          C:  (281) 202-9629

                          H:  (281) 530-7501

                          F:  (281) 530-7501

                          kevin@heliosolardes ign.com


                          From: hreg@yahoogroups. com [mailto:hreg@ yahoogroups. com] On Behalf Of Robert Johnston
                          Sent: Sunday, August 02, 2009 5:40 PM
                          To: hreg@yahoogroups. com
                          Subject: RE: [hreg] A different way to look at PV investment.. .

                           

                          I see you posted while I was composing my last post.  Just a quick comment…

                          Your last paragraph is the key one—for some people, the intangibles make it worth it.  That’s fine, so long as the true financial cost isn’t obscured.  Using the example of an electric vehicle just creates a mental image of something green and neat—free transportation fuel!  But from a financial perspective, one would want to do the comparison on the basis of the cost of metered electricity from the grid vs. the cost of electricity from PV—regardless of whether it is used for an electric car or for anything else you wanted it for.  In that case, the calculation must still factor in cost of capital etc. as I argued.  i.e., regardless of the use, one should just make the calculation on the basis of cost per kwh.

                          Robert

                          From: hreg@yahoogroups. com [mailto:hreg@ yahoogroups. com] On Behalf Of Kevin Conlin
                          Sent: Sunday, August 02, 2009 5:13 PM
                          To: hreg@yahoogroups. com
                          Subject: [hreg] A different way to look at PV investment.. .

                           

                          Good points all.

                          At the Solar 2009 conference a few months ago I heard a very interesting
                          analogy made. The premise was that if you invested in a 1.5 kw PV system and
                          drove an electric vehicle for the next 30 years, you would essentially have
                          paid for 30 years worth of fuel with the PV system. I don't remember all the
                          specific assumptions, but it assumed a useful life of 30 years for the pv.

                          1.5KW @ $10,000 x .7 Federal Tax Credit = $7,000/30 years = $233/year.
                          Compared to a 25 mpg vehicle, current gasoline costs would be at least
                          $800/year, and aren't likely to decline over 30 years time, but you could
                          also assume mileage improvements would be par with rising fuel costs.

                          I know you can take the example apart because of the assumptions and
                          simplified math, but the point was by investing in pv/ev you were displacing
                          foreign oil payments and reducing the trade deficit, spending the money
                          domestically and stimulating a growing industry, reducing CO2 and other
                          climate changing emissions, encouraging distributed energy on the grid as
                          well as saving money personally, over $15,000.

                          As Kim alluded, the benefits aren't just financial; intangibles such as the
                          personal pride, enjoyment and fulfillment that come from ownership have
                          different values to different people.

                          Kevin Conlin
                          Heliosolar Design, Inc.
                          13534 Quetzal Lane
                          Houston, TX 77083
                          C: (281) 202-9629
                          H: (281) 530-7501
                          F: (281) 530-7501
                          kevin@heliosolardes ign.com



                          -----Original Message-----
                          From: hreg@yahoogroups. com [mailto:hreg@yahoogroups. com] On Behalf Of Garth
                          & Kim Travis
                          Sent: Sunday, August 02, 2009 3:40 PM
                          To: hreg@yahoogroups. com
                          Subject: Re: [hreg] Cost of solar PV installed.

                          Greetings,

                          Why would you factor 100% financing? Even mortgages require at least 5 or 10
                          percent down. Also, a 25 year term for a mere $38,500? That is paying less
                          than $2,000 a year in capital. Any financial adviser worth their salt would
                          tell you that is a bit silly, a 15 year period would be pretty maximum. How
                          many times over do you wish to pay for the system?

                          If you are going to include all of the joys of ownership, you should also
                          include the adjustments for the rising cost of electric, and the final value
                          of the system when it is paid for. Especially since when you pay the grid,
                          at the end of it all, you have nothing. It is like renting a home vs owning
                          a home. Initially it costs more to own, but in the long run, it is soooooo
                          much cheaper.

                          Bright Blessings,
                          Kim

                          Robert Johnston wrote:
                          >
                          >
                          > This doesn't factor in (1) the cost of capital or (2) increased
                          > property insurance rates.
                          >
                          > (1) If you assume 100% financing at mortgage rates of 5.25% for 25
                          > years, the monthly payment for a $38,500 system (10kW) would be
                          > $230.71. Using Chris' estimated output for a 10kW system of 1000
                          > kW/mo, that increases the cost to $0.23/kwh.
                          >
                          > (2) I was recently quoted $10 annually per $1000 coverage on Texas
                          > Windstorm (possibly Houston is a bit less; I live in Lake Jackson,
                          > nearer the coast). Federal flood insurance currently runs me $2.61 per
                          > $1000 coverage. Homeowners insurance costs me $3.73 per $1000 of
                          > coverage. Thus, for all 3 coverages, a total of $16.34 per $1000 of
                          > coverage. Now, I don't know what exactly solar panels and controls add
                          > compared to the cost of the rest of the house itself, but if we
                          > conservatively assume that it incrementally increases insurance costs
                          > only at 75% of the rate of the rest of the house, that is $12.26 per
                          > $1000, or for a $38,500 installation (assuming we only insure for the
                          > net cost to us after federal subsidies, not the replacement cost of
                          > the system), then that is an extra $472 per year, or $0.039/kwh. If
                          > insured at replacement cost, it will be correspondingly higher (I
                          > suspect you will be required by your insurance company to cover at
                          > replacement cost since that is what they are promising to do for you,
                          > and no federal subsidy will help them replace your system after a
                          > fire, hurricane, etc.). If rates are lower in your area, or you don't
                          > carry flood coverage, then rates would be somewhat lower.
                          >
                          >
                          > With the cost of financing and the cost of insurance factored in, the
                          > cost would be approximately $0.27/kwh for a 10 kW system. Whereas
                          > $0.128/kwh is similar to current REP rates, $0.27/kwh is not.
                          >
                          > Robert Johnston
                          >
                          > *From:* hreg@yahoogroups. com [mailto:hreg@yahoogroups. com] *On Behalf
                          > Of *Chris Boyer
                          > *Sent:* Saturday, August 01, 2009 10:27 PM
                          > *To:* HREG
                          > *Subject:* [hreg] Cost of solar PV installed.
                          >
                          > Here is a simple calculation showing examples of the current economics
                          > for Solar PV in Houston. I mentioned this is the HREG meeting last
                          > Sunday, so here are the numbers. What it shows is the "Price" of
                          > installing a system of three sizes on a building (the upfront cash
                          > layout), from 100 kW, to 10 kW and 1 kW; then the Federal Tax Credit
                          > (which is now a rebate for commercial systems); and the Net cost of
                          > the solar installation for each size. The next line is typical energy
                          > production (kWh) that the system would produce over the life of the
                          > system (25 years warranty). Dividing the Net cost by energy produced
                          > gives the Cost of electricity with a solar PV system on a building:
                          > less than 12 cents/kWh for larger systems and nearly 15 cents/kWh for
                          > very small systems.
                          >
                          > Size
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          > 100 kW
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          > 10 kW
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          > 1 kW
                          >
                          > Price
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          > $500,000.00
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          > $55,000.00
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          > $6,500.00
                          >
                          > Fed
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          > $150,000.00
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          > $16,500.00
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          > $1,950.00
                          >
                          > Net
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          > $350,000.00
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          > $38,500.00
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          > $4,550.00
                          >
                          > Production
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          > kWh/25yr
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          > 3,000,000
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          > 300,000
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          > 30,000
                          >
                          > Electricity
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          > Cost
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          > $ 0.117
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          > $ 0.128
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          > $ 0.152
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          >

                          ------------ --------- --------- ------

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                        • Gary Beck
                          This topic really lit up the hreg switchboard. I m not a finance guy and like many other nuts and bolts thinkers have made many bad investments through my life
                          Message 12 of 29 , Aug 2, 2009

                          This topic really lit up the hreg switchboard.

                           

                          I'm not a finance guy and like many other nuts and bolts thinkers have made many bad investments through my life - bad stock choices (didn’t by Apple in the 70s), beer hall versus the library hall in school,  boat(s), didn't bail of the market at 14000 etc.   Bad financial decisions due to lack of experience or timing or luck or all three.

                           

                          A simple way to financially justify investing in solar PV panels for your house is to 'find' the money by designing smaller and super insulating in the first place. The current cost semi-custom home building is easily $100/sf  (most at $150/sf+) so taking your dream/retirement floor plan down a notch by just 500sf 'finds' you $50,000 in present value $ for solar PV.

                           

                          Solar PV designed into an isolation circuit with a standby generator provides a decent level of grid independence for the 'shelter-in-place' portion of your home when the grid goes down.  Maybe the investment 'return'  would improve if we could place some valuation on that aspect, especially as we enter yet another hurricane season.

                           

                          I have attached some prior presentation slides concerning this design concept. They also contain a handy shelter in place supplies listing.  

                           

                          Gary Beck, P.E., SECB, LEED AP

                          Eco-Holdings Engineering Services

                          4010 Blue Bonnet Blvd. Ste 114

                          Houston, Texas 77025

                          Tel: 713-377-4209  Fax: 832-201-5338

                           

                          SECB certified in the Practice of Structural Engineering, a structural inspector for the Texas Residential Construction Commission SIRP program, and a listed Engineer for the Texas Department of Insurance Wind Storm program. Eco provides Engineering and Engineer's Inspection Services for Residential, Commercial, Lodging, Educational, Industrial and Government Facilities. Eco's design engineering services include AutoCAD based construction documents for permitting and building foundations, structures, storm water systems, and detention ponds; and Autodesk Revit based 3D Building Information Modeling for green building practices.

                           

                          From: hreg@yahoogroups.com [mailto:hreg@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Otto Glaser
                          Sent: Sunday, August 02, 2009 9:42 PM
                          To: hreg@yahoogroups.com
                          Subject: Re: [hreg] A different way to look at PV investment... cost vs. value

                           

                           

                          There are a few things that are not being considered. The US Government has to borrow the money to give the owner of a PV system the tax credit. Based on past history, the government will borrow this money forever. The government will be paying interest on this money long after the PV system is gone.If a large number of people installed a PV system where would the government get the money to pay the tax credit? The cost of a back up system to supply electricity when the sun is not shining. The local utility is required to supply electricity when ever needed, so they would have to build generating plants to cover the demand when the sun was not shining. What source of power would they use to generate electricity? Coal or nuclear? Having the extra capacity that was little used would substantially increase the cost of electricity from the utility. Guess who would pay for that. The tax credit would mostly go to higher income people as poor people would not have enough income to use the tax credit. What that does is take money from poor people and give it to rich people. The poor would have to pay those higher rates. It is more expensive to install PV on each house than to install a Solar Power Tower central system. I was told that a PV system costs about $8 per watt to install. A central system costs about $1.00 per watt. If Rice University gets there nano tech wire perfected it would eliminate enough line loss to enable us to shut down 30% of our present generating capacity. I believe that when we get to mass producing Solar Power Tower electric generating plants, the cost will come down enough that it will be the cheapest form of generation. Presently, a SPT plant costs 1/2 as much to build as a nuclear plant-has no fuel cost and is much cheaper to operate.

                          Otto Glaser
                          12111 Medina Bend Lane
                          Houston, TX 77041-6694
                          Phone and Fax 713-896-9935
                          Email oglaser@...

                          ----- Original Message -----

                          Sent: Sunday, August 02, 2009 7:43 PM

                          Subject: RE: [hreg] A different way to look at PV investment... cost vs. value

                           

                           

                          Yes, but you are pointing to the intangibles.  How many people purchase PV because it is fun or sexy or anything like that?  A few enthusiasts do.  But most people are interested simply in getting electrical power; they don’t care how.  As for the environment, climate change, etc.—remember that this is all available “on the grid” through renewable sources (windpower etc.).  So it isn’t a choice between PV and climate change etc.  The question is whether distributed power in the form of residential PV is cost competitive with renewable power distributed over the grid.  The answer, I believe the analysis shows (if you factor in cost of capital), is “no”.  Again, that doesn’t mean folks who get a thrill watching electrons chase holes in their PV panels won’t enjoy having them.


                          Robert

                          From: hreg@yahoogroups.com [mailto:hreg@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Kevin Conlin
                          Sent: Sunday, August 02, 2009 7:12 PM
                          To: hreg@yahoogroups.com
                          Subject: [hreg] A different way to look at PV investment... cost vs. value

                           

                          Yes, I can't argue against a realistic financial perspective, but I also think that distorts the true value of the investment.  We seldom apply those rules to most of the other major purchases in our lives.

                          We never think about the return on a set of golf clubs, a beautiful home, a sleek car or a granite countertop, but those investments make for a more fulfilling life, and we personally justify the extra expense by the satisfaction and enjoyment we get from using those items. How many people reading this bought their car because it was the cheapest and most economical one you could find?  It more likely came down to personal choice and preference.

                          If climate change, dwindling resources, environmental degradation, threatened wildlife, future generations, a sustainable society and lifestyle or any other issues are close to your heart, then you can make the right decision without regard for ROI, payback, cost of opportunity, etc...and feel real good about it.

                          How many people use life cycle costing when buying a big screen TV, a stainless steel refrigerator, BBQ grill or new furniture?  Then why do we always insist on imposing those rules on solar?

                          If we only made decisions based on economics, this would be one empty, desolate planet....and we would do many things for the very wrong reasons.

                          Value is so much more than just cost.....and I admire the people who make the right decisions for the "wrong" reasons.

                          Kevin Conlin

                          Heliosolar Design, Inc.

                          13534 Quetzal Lane

                          Houston, TX 77083

                          C:  (281) 202-9629

                          H:  (281) 530-7501

                          F:  (281) 530-7501

                          kevin@...


                          From: hreg@yahoogroups.com [mailto:hreg@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Robert Johnston
                          Sent: Sunday, August 02, 2009 5:40 PM
                          To: hreg@yahoogroups.com
                          Subject: RE: [hreg] A different way to look at PV investment...

                           

                          I see you posted while I was composing my last post.  Just a quick comment…

                          Your last paragraph is the key one—for some people, the intangibles make it worth it.  That’s fine, so long as the true financial cost isn’t obscured.  Using the example of an electric vehicle just creates a mental image of something green and neat—free transportation fuel!  But from a financial perspective, one would want to do the comparison on the basis of the cost of metered electricity from the grid vs. the cost of electricity from PV—regardless of whether it is used for an electric car or for anything else you wanted it for.  In that case, the calculation must still factor in cost of capital etc. as I argued.  i.e., regardless of the use, one should just make the calculation on the basis of cost per kwh.

                          Robert

                          From: hreg@yahoogroups.com [mailto:hreg@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Kevin Conlin
                          Sent: Sunday, August 02, 2009 5:13 PM
                          To: hreg@yahoogroups.com
                          Subject: [hreg] A different way to look at PV investment...

                           

                          Good points all.

                          At the Solar 2009 conference a few months ago I heard a very interesting
                          analogy made. The premise was that if you invested in a 1.5 kw PV system and
                          drove an electric vehicle for the next 30 years, you would essentially have
                          paid for 30 years worth of fuel with the PV system. I don't remember all the
                          specific assumptions, but it assumed a useful life of 30 years for the pv.

                          1.5KW @ $10,000 x .7 Federal Tax Credit = $7,000/30 years = $233/year.
                          Compared to a 25 mpg vehicle, current gasoline costs would be at least
                          $800/year, and aren't likely to decline over 30 years time, but you could
                          also assume mileage improvements would be par with rising fuel costs.

                          I know you can take the example apart because of the assumptions and
                          simplified math, but the point was by investing in pv/ev you were displacing
                          foreign oil payments and reducing the trade deficit, spending the money
                          domestically and stimulating a growing industry, reducing CO2 and other
                          climate changing emissions, encouraging distributed energy on the grid as
                          well as saving money personally, over $15,000.

                          As Kim alluded, the benefits aren't just financial; intangibles such as the
                          personal pride, enjoyment and fulfillment that come from ownership have
                          different values to different people.

                          Kevin Conlin
                          Heliosolar Design, Inc.
                          13534 Quetzal Lane
                          Houston, TX 77083
                          C: (281) 202-9629
                          H: (281) 530-7501
                          F: (281) 530-7501
                          kevin@...



                          -----Original Message-----
                          From: hreg@yahoogroups.com [mailto:hreg@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Garth
                          & Kim Travis
                          Sent: Sunday, August 02, 2009 3:40 PM
                          To: hreg@yahoogroups.com
                          Subject: Re: [hreg] Cost of solar PV installed.

                          Greetings,

                          Why would you factor 100% financing? Even mortgages require at least 5 or 10
                          percent down. Also, a 25 year term for a mere $38,500? That is paying less
                          than $2,000 a year in capital. Any financial adviser worth their salt would
                          tell you that is a bit silly, a 15 year period would be pretty maximum. How
                          many times over do you wish to pay for the system?

                          If you are going to include all of the joys of ownership, you should also
                          include the adjustments for the rising cost of electric, and the final value
                          of the system when it is paid for. Especially since when you pay the grid,
                          at the end of it all, you have nothing. It is like renting a home vs owning
                          a home. Initially it costs more to own, but in the long run, it is soooooo
                          much cheaper.

                          Bright Blessings,
                          Kim

                          Robert Johnston wrote:
                          >
                          >
                          > This doesn't factor in (1) the cost of capital or (2) increased
                          > property insurance rates.
                          >
                          > (1) If you assume 100% financing at mortgage rates of 5.25% for 25
                          > years, the monthly payment for a $38,500 system (10kW) would be
                          > $230.71. Using Chris' estimated output for a 10kW system of 1000
                          > kW/mo, that increases the cost to $0.23/kwh.
                          >
                          > (2) I was recently quoted $10 annually per $1000 coverage on Texas
                          > Windstorm (possibly Houston is a bit less; I live in Lake Jackson,
                          > nearer the coast). Federal flood insurance currently runs me $2.61 per
                          > $1000 coverage. Homeowners insurance costs me $3.73 per $1000 of
                          > coverage. Thus, for all 3 coverages, a total of $16.34 per $1000 of
                          > coverage. Now, I don't know what exactly solar panels and controls add
                          > compared to the cost of the rest of the house itself, but if we
                          > conservatively assume that it incrementally increases insurance costs
                          > only at 75% of the rate of the rest of the house, that is $12.26 per
                          > $1000, or for a $38,500 installation (assuming we only insure for the
                          > net cost to us after federal subsidies, not the replacement cost of
                          > the system), then that is an extra $472 per year, or $0.039/kwh. If
                          > insured at replacement cost, it will be correspondingly higher (I
                          > suspect you will be required by your insurance company to cover at
                          > replacement cost since that is what they are promising to do for you,
                          > and no federal subsidy will help them replace your system after a
                          > fire, hurricane, etc.). If rates are lower in your area, or you don't
                          > carry flood coverage, then rates would be somewhat lower.
                          >
                          >
                          > With the cost of financing and the cost of insurance factored in, the
                          > cost would be approximately $0.27/kwh for a 10 kW system. Whereas
                          > $0.128/kwh is similar to current REP rates, $0.27/kwh is not.
                          >
                          > Robert Johnston
                          >
                          > *From:* hreg@yahoogroups.com [mailto:hreg@yahoogroups.com] *On Behalf
                          > Of *Chris Boyer
                          > *Sent:* Saturday, August 01, 2009 10:27 PM
                          > *To:* HREG
                          > *Subject:* [hreg] Cost of solar PV installed.
                          >
                          > Here is a simple calculation showing examples of the current economics
                          > for Solar PV in Houston. I mentioned this is the HREG meeting last
                          > Sunday, so here are the numbers. What it shows is the "Price" of
                          > installing a system of three sizes on a building (the upfront cash
                          > layout), from 100 kW, to 10 kW and 1 kW; then the Federal Tax Credit
                          > (which is now a rebate for commercial systems); and the Net cost of
                          > the solar installation for each size. The next line is typical energy
                          > production (kWh) that the system would produce over the life of the
                          > system (25 years warranty). Dividing the Net cost by energy produced
                          > gives the Cost of electricity with a solar PV system on a building:
                          > less than 12 cents/kWh for larger systems and nearly 15 cents/kWh for
                          > very small systems.
                          >
                          > Size
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          > 100 kW
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          > 10 kW
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          > 1 kW
                          >
                          > Price
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          > $500,000.00
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          > $55,000.00
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          > $6,500.00
                          >
                          > Fed
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          > $150,000.00
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          > $16,500.00
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          > $1,950.00
                          >
                          > Net
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          > $350,000.00
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          > $38,500.00
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          > $4,550.00
                          >
                          > Production
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          > kWh/25yr
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          > 3,000,000
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          > 300,000
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          > 30,000
                          >
                          > Electricity
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          > Cost
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          > $ 0.117
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          > $ 0.128
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          > $ 0.152
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          >

                          ------------------------------------

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                        • Garth & Kim Travis
                          Greetings, With that kind of thinking, no wonder we are in the financial mess we are. There is no mention of end value. I have panels that are over 20 years
                          Message 13 of 29 , Aug 3, 2009
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                            Greetings,
                            With that kind of thinking, no wonder we are in the financial mess we
                            are. There is no mention of end value. I have panels that are over 20
                            years old that are working just fine. I am not sure how old exactly,
                            but Kevin knows. I can tell you that they are going to last more than
                            25 years. There also is no value included to replace batteries, which
                            do not last 25 years. A bit of reality in the investment analysis would
                            be nice.

                            If I am looking at it as an investment, I would love to know where the
                            5.25% came from. I would love to be able to get that kind of interest
                            on my money.

                            Bright Blessings,
                            Kim

                            jay.ring@... wrote:
                            > Well you probably wouldn't get 100% financing over 25 years, but a ROI calculation would assume you do. Financially speaking, a PV system is like a certificate of deposit (CD) where you pay, say, a $38,500 up front, but then get back, say, $120 each month.
                            >
                            > You set the term to the useful life of the investment. So if the system survives 25 years you get 25 years of payments, and you evaluate it over a 25 year interval. You don't actually have to get a 25 year loan.
                            >
                            > In fact, you don't even have to get a loan at all. You could pay cash and the analysis doesn't change. You don't think of an investment costs a month; you think of what it produces each month.
                            >
                            > I hope that helps!
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            >
                          • Garth & Kim Travis
                            Greetings, While I agree with what you said, I did buy my car because of millage and price tag. It was the most economical one I could find that both of my
                            Message 14 of 29 , Aug 3, 2009
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                              Greetings,

                              While I agree with what you said, I did buy my car because of millage
                              and price tag. It was the most economical one I could find that both of
                              my dogs fit in the back seat of.

                              It has been years since CDs paid more than two or three percent
                              interest, so investing money in things makes better sense than ever. If
                              we want to evaluate the cost, look at investment incomes, not borrowing
                              costs.

                              Some of us live the simple life, but PV is part of it. I know a lot of
                              people that live off grid with less solar panels than I have.
                              Definitely less than a KW system. One guy lives with a 350 watt
                              system. I couldn't do that, but to each their own.

                              While I realize that this list is primarily for people in the city,
                              those of us that are rural can have a very different take on PV. It is
                              so much cheaper to put in a panel and a couple of batteries, in an
                              outbuilding than to run conduit and cable hundreds of feet. The basic
                              install has paid for the system. Front gates are another use of small
                              systems that really pay for themselves and are much cheaper than grid
                              supplied hook ups.

                              I think the main point is, how do you feel about your purchase? I do
                              believe you are right in that.

                              Bright Blessings,
                              Kim

                              Kevin Conlin wrote:
                              >
                              >
                              > Yes, I can't argue against a realistic financial perspective, *but** I
                              > also think that distorts the true value of the investment.* We seldom
                              > apply those rules to most of the other major purchases in our lives.
                              >
                              > We never think about the return on a set of golf clubs, a beautiful
                              > home, a sleek car or a granite countertop, but those investments make
                              > for a more fulfilling life, and we personally justify the extra
                              > expense by the satisfaction and enjoyment we get from using those
                              > items. How many people reading this bought their car because it was
                              > the cheapest and most economical one you could find? It more likely
                              > came down to personal choice and preference.
                              >
                              > If climate change, dwindling resources, environmental
                              > degradation, threatened wildlife, future generations, a sustainable
                              > society and lifestyle or any other issues are close to your heart,
                              > then you can make the right decision without regard for ROI, payback,
                              > cost of opportunity, etc...and feel real good about it.
                              >
                              > How many people use life cycle costing when buying a big screen TV, a
                              > stainless steel refrigerator, BBQ grill or new furniture? Then why do
                              > we always insist on imposing those rules on solar?
                              >
                              > If we only made decisions based on economics, this would be one empty,
                              > desolate planet....and we would do many things for the very wrong reasons.
                              >
                              > Value is so much more than just cost.....and I admire the people who
                              > make the right decisions for the "wrong" reasons.
                              >
                              >
                              >
                              > Kevin Conlin
                              > Heliosolar Design, Inc.
                              > 13534 Quetzal Lane
                              > Houston, TX 77083
                              > C: (281) 202-9629
                              > H: (281) 530-7501
                              > F: (281) 530-7501
                              > kevin@... <mailto:kevin@...>
                              >
                              >
                              >
                              >
                            • Garth & Kim Travis
                              Greetings, Actually, only in the city do you have a choice about power suppliers. Not everyone has that option, by a long shot. This list serves Houston and
                              Message 15 of 29 , Aug 3, 2009
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                                Greetings,
                                Actually, only in the city do you have a choice about power suppliers.
                                Not everyone has that option, by a long shot. This list serves Houston
                                and Surrounding Areas.

                                And today, living sustainably is considered Way Cool; Super trendy, and
                                Now. [I have been talking to my grandkids] My Mother says that Hubby and
                                I have become a status symbol with our family, they love to brag about
                                their Sister and Brother in Law in Texas that have a real, sustainable farm.

                                Bright Blessings,
                                Kim

                                Robert Johnston wrote:
                                >
                                >
                                > Yes, but you are pointing to the intangibles. How many people purchase
                                > PV because it is fun or sexy or anything like that? A few enthusiasts
                                > do. But most people are interested simply in getting electrical power;
                                > they don’t care how. As for the environment, climate change,
                                > etc.—remember that this is all available “on the grid” through
                                > renewable sources (windpower etc.). So it isn’t a choice between PV
                                > and climate change etc. The question is whether distributed power in
                                > the form of residential PV is cost competitive with renewable power
                                > distributed over the grid. The answer, I believe the analysis shows
                                > (if you factor in cost of capital), is “no”. Again, that doesn’t mean
                                > folks who get a thrill watching electrons chase holes in their PV
                                > panels won’t enjoy having them.
                                >
                                >
                                > Robert
                                >
                                > **
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                > ------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                >
                              • Russell Warren
                                I think this is a nice example except for the fact that there is a huge assumption being made in that a 1.5 kW solar system could power an electric vehicle for
                                Message 16 of 29 , Aug 3, 2009
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                                  I think this is a nice example except for the fact that there is a huge assumption being made in that a 1.5 kW solar system could power an electric vehicle for the same amount of miles as the gas listed in the explanation.
                                  Needless to say I have my doubts that you could run a vehicle on even 20 kWh a day.
                                   
                                   
                                   
                                  -----Original Message-----
                                  From: hreg@yahoogroups.com [mailto:hreg@yahoogroups.com]On Behalf Of Kevin Conlin
                                  Sent: Sunday, August 02, 2009 5:13 PM
                                  To: hreg@yahoogroups.com
                                  Subject: [hreg] A different way to look at PV investment...

                                   

                                  Good points all.

                                  At the Solar 2009 conference a few months ago I heard a very interesting
                                  analogy made. The premise was that if you invested in a 1.5 kw PV system and
                                  drove an electric vehicle for the next 30 years, you would essentially have
                                  paid for 30 years worth of fuel with the PV system. I don't remember all the
                                  specific assumptions, but it assumed a useful life of 30 years for the pv.

                                  1.5KW @ $10,000 x .7 Federal Tax Credit = $7,000/30 years = $233/year.
                                  Compared to a 25 mpg vehicle, current gasoline costs would be at least
                                  $800/year, and aren't likely to decline over 30 years time, but you could
                                  also assume mileage improvements would be par with rising fuel costs.

                                  I know you can take the example apart because of the assumptions and
                                  simplified math, but the point was by investing in pv/ev you were displacing
                                  foreign oil payments and reducing the trade deficit, spending the money
                                  domestically and stimulating a growing industry, reducing CO2 and other
                                  climate changing emissions, encouraging distributed energy on the grid as
                                  well as saving money personally, over $15,000.

                                  As Kim alluded, the benefits aren't just financial; intangibles such as the
                                  personal pride, enjoyment and fulfillment that come from ownership have
                                  different values to different people.

                                  Kevin Conlin
                                  Heliosolar Design, Inc.
                                  13534 Quetzal Lane
                                  Houston, TX 77083
                                  C: (281) 202-9629
                                  H: (281) 530-7501
                                  F: (281) 530-7501
                                  kevin@heliosolardes ign.com



                                  -----Original Message-----
                                  From: hreg@yahoogroups. com [mailto:hreg@yahoogroups. com] On Behalf Of Garth
                                  & Kim Travis
                                  Sent: Sunday, August 02, 2009 3:40 PM
                                  To: hreg@yahoogroups. com
                                  Subject: Re: [hreg] Cost of solar PV installed.

                                  Greetings,

                                  Why would you factor 100% financing? Even mortgages require at least 5 or 10
                                  percent down. Also, a 25 year term for a mere $38,500? That is paying less
                                  than $2,000 a year in capital. Any financial adviser worth their salt would
                                  tell you that is a bit silly, a 15 year period would be pretty maximum. How
                                  many times over do you wish to pay for the system?

                                  If you are going to include all of the joys of ownership, you should also
                                  include the adjustments for the rising cost of electric, and the final value
                                  of the system when it is paid for. Especially since when you pay the grid,
                                  at the end of it all, you have nothing. It is like renting a home vs owning
                                  a home. Initially it costs more to own, but in the long run, it is soooooo
                                  much cheaper.

                                  Bright Blessings,
                                  Kim

                                  Robert Johnston wrote:
                                  >
                                  >
                                  > This doesn't factor in (1) the cost of capital or (2) increased
                                  > property insurance rates.
                                  >
                                  > (1) If you assume 100% financing at mortgage rates of 5.25% for 25
                                  > years, the monthly payment for a $38,500 system (10kW) would be
                                  > $230.71. Using Chris' estimated output for a 10kW system of 1000
                                  > kW/mo, that increases the cost to $0.23/kwh.
                                  >
                                  > (2) I was recently quoted $10 annually per $1000 coverage on Texas
                                  > Windstorm (possibly Houston is a bit less; I live in Lake Jackson,
                                  > nearer the coast). Federal flood insurance currently runs me $2.61 per
                                  > $1000 coverage. Homeowners insurance costs me $3.73 per $1000 of
                                  > coverage. Thus, for all 3 coverages, a total of $16.34 per $1000 of
                                  > coverage. Now, I don't know what exactly solar panels and controls add
                                  > compared to the cost of the rest of the house itself, but if we
                                  > conservatively assume that it incrementally increases insurance costs
                                  > only at 75% of the rate of the rest of the house, that is $12.26 per
                                  > $1000, or for a $38,500 installation (assuming we only insure for the
                                  > net cost to us after federal subsidies, not the replacement cost of
                                  > the system), then that is an extra $472 per year, or $0.039/kwh. If
                                  > insured at replacement cost, it will be correspondingly higher (I
                                  > suspect you will be required by your insurance company to cover at
                                  > replacement cost since that is what they are promising to do for you,
                                  > and no federal subsidy will help them replace your system after a
                                  > fire, hurricane, etc.). If rates are lower in your area, or you don't
                                  > carry flood coverage, then rates would be somewhat lower.
                                  >
                                  >
                                  > With the cost of financing and the cost of insurance factored in, the
                                  > cost would be approximately $0.27/kwh for a 10 kW system. Whereas
                                  > $0.128/kwh is similar to current REP rates, $0.27/kwh is not.
                                  >
                                  > Robert Johnston
                                  >
                                  > *From:* hreg@yahoogroups. com [mailto:hreg@yahoogroups. com] *On Behalf
                                  > Of *Chris Boyer
                                  > *Sent:* Saturday, August 01, 2009 10:27 PM
                                  > *To:* HREG
                                  > *Subject:* [hreg] Cost of solar PV installed.
                                  >
                                  > Here is a simple calculation showing examples of the current economics
                                  > for Solar PV in Houston. I mentioned this is the HREG meeting last
                                  > Sunday, so here are the numbers. What it shows is the "Price" of
                                  > installing a system of three sizes on a building (the upfront cash
                                  > layout), from 100 kW, to 10 kW and 1 kW; then the Federal Tax Credit
                                  > (which is now a rebate for commercial systems); and the Net cost of
                                  > the solar installation for each size. The next line is typical energy
                                  > production (kWh) that the system would produce over the life of the
                                  > system (25 years warranty). Dividing the Net cost by energy produced
                                  > gives the Cost of electricity with a solar PV system on a building:
                                  > less than 12 cents/kWh for larger systems and nearly 15 cents/kWh for
                                  > very small systems.
                                  >
                                  > Size
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  > 100 kW
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  > 10 kW
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  > 1 kW
                                  >
                                  > Price
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  > $500,000.00
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  > $55,000.00
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  > $6,500.00
                                  >
                                  > Fed
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  > $150,000.00
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  > $16,500.00
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  > $1,950.00
                                  >
                                  > Net
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  > $350,000.00
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  > $38,500.00
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  > $4,550.00
                                  >
                                  > Production
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  > kWh/25yr
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  > 3,000,000
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  > 300,000
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  > 30,000
                                  >
                                  > Electricity
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  > Cost
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  > $ 0.117
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  > $ 0.128
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  > $ 0.152
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >

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                                • jay.ring@ymail.com
                                  I assure you, that is how it is performed :) I know it might seem a little strange to someone who is unfamiliar with it, but it is sound in theory and in
                                  Message 17 of 29 , Aug 3, 2009
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                                    I assure you, that is how it is performed :) I know it might seem a little strange to someone who is unfamiliar with it, but it is sound in theory and in practice.

                                    Well anyway I agree that 25 years is probably not the true life of the panels. Most of them provide a warranty at least that long, so that is more of a minimum. I didn't pick the numbers so I don't need to defend them. But you take a realistic lifetime estimate and use that.

                                    What you don't do is use an end of life value. You just use a longer term. Again, think of it like a ceertificate of deposit. You buy a system for $38,500 and it pays you every month for 25 years, 30 years, whatever. Now you compare it to, say, a savings account. You put $38,500 in a savings account and it pays you interest every month.

                                    Imagine two people. One buys a PV system, the other puts the money in a savings account. The question then becomes, what interest rate does the savings account have to pay so that both people are getting the same amount of money back every month.

                                    If the answer is 5%, and you can't find a savings account paying back that sort of interest, then you are better off getting the PV system. If, on the other hand, you -can- find a savings account paying that much, you are better off using the interest to buy clean power off the grid. If you are buying it on a loan, if the answer is 5%, and you can get a loan for less than 5%, then you are better off getting the PV.

                                    That's all there is too it :) Again, I hope it helps.

                                    And I completely agree with all those that say there is more to it than simple return on investment. Financial calculations are only a tiny part of a purchase decision. I just want to be sure makes a fully informed decision.

                                    Have a good one!




                                    --- In hreg@yahoogroups.com, Garth & Kim Travis <gartht@...> wrote:
                                    >
                                    > Greetings,
                                    > With that kind of thinking, no wonder we are in the financial mess we
                                    > are. There is no mention of end value. I have panels that are over 20
                                    > years old that are working just fine. I am not sure how old exactly,
                                    > but Kevin knows. I can tell you that they are going to last more than
                                    > 25 years. There also is no value included to replace batteries, which
                                    > do not last 25 years. A bit of reality in the investment analysis would
                                    > be nice.
                                    >
                                    > If I am looking at it as an investment, I would love to know where the
                                    > 5.25% came from. I would love to be able to get that kind of interest
                                    > on my money.
                                    >
                                    > Bright Blessings,
                                    > Kim
                                    >
                                    > jay.ring@... wrote:
                                    > > Well you probably wouldn't get 100% financing over 25 years, but a ROI calculation would assume you do. Financially speaking, a PV system is like a certificate of deposit (CD) where you pay, say, a $38,500 up front, but then get back, say, $120 each month.
                                    > >
                                    > > You set the term to the useful life of the investment. So if the system survives 25 years you get 25 years of payments, and you evaluate it over a 25 year interval. You don't actually have to get a 25 year loan.
                                    > >
                                    > > In fact, you don't even have to get a loan at all. You could pay cash and the analysis doesn't change. You don't think of an investment costs a month; you think of what it produces each month.
                                    > >
                                    > > I hope that helps!
                                    > >
                                    > >
                                    > >
                                    > >
                                    > >
                                    >
                                  • jay.ring@ymail.com
                                    Hey Otto, You know I really agree with your vision. CSP is a fantastic technology for powering the grid. Combined with electric cars, it s a nearly complete
                                    Message 18 of 29 , Aug 3, 2009
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                                      Hey Otto,

                                      You know I really agree with your vision. CSP is a fantastic technology for powering the grid. Combined with electric cars, it's a nearly complete energy solution.

                                      I also agree with the dangers of the subsidy. I think that is a great point and many people overlook it. (Although if it must exist I am not above taking advantage of it). I would hope people interested in sustainability would see the dangers of the unsustainable subsidy.

                                      But I still think residential PV has a real place in out energy future, despite the higher cost of PV and even though CSP could do it alone if necessary. My reasoning is simple: Residential roof tops are "dead space". There is near-zero ecological impact from putting PV up there.

                                      In my vision for the future, PV handles maybe 25% of the load, CSP handles the remainder and provides the energy storage.

                                      Have a good one!




                                      --- In hreg@yahoogroups.com, "Otto Glaser" <oglaser@...> wrote:
                                      >
                                      > There are a few things that are not being considered. The US Government has to borrow the money to give the owner of a PV system the tax credit. Based on past history, the government will borrow this money forever. The government will be paying interest on this money long after the PV system is gone.If a large number of people installed a PV system where would the government get the money to pay the tax credit? The cost of a back up system to supply electricity when the sun is not shining. The local utility is required to supply electricity when ever needed, so they would have to build generating plants to cover the demand when the sun was not shining. What source of power would they use to generate electricity? Coal or nuclear? Having the extra capacity that was little used would substantially increase the cost of electricity from the utility. Guess who would pay for that. The tax credit would mostly go to higher income people as poor people would not have enough income to use the tax credit. What that does is take money from poor people and give it to rich people. The poor would have to pay those higher rates. It is more expensive to install PV on each house than to install a Solar Power Tower central system. I was told that a PV system costs about $8 per watt to install. A central system costs about $1.00 per watt. If Rice University gets there nano tech wire perfected it would eliminate enough line loss to enable us to shut down 30% of our present generating capacity. I believe that when we get to mass producing Solar Power Tower electric generating plants, the cost will come down enough that it will be the cheapest form of generation. Presently, a SPT plant costs 1/2 as much to build as a nuclear plant-has no fuel cost and is much cheaper to operate.
                                      > Otto Glaser
                                      > 12111 Medina Bend Lane
                                      > Houston, TX 77041-6694
                                      > Phone and Fax 713-896-9935
                                      > Email oglaser@...
                                      >
                                      > ----- Original Message -----
                                      > From: Robert Johnston
                                      > To: hreg@yahoogroups.com
                                      > Sent: Sunday, August 02, 2009 7:43 PM
                                      > Subject: RE: [hreg] A different way to look at PV investment... cost vs. value
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                      > Yes, but you are pointing to the intangibles. How many people purchase PV because it is fun or sexy or anything like that? A few enthusiasts do. But most people are interested simply in getting electrical power; they don't care how. As for the environment, climate change, etc.-remember that this is all available "on the grid" through renewable sources (windpower etc.). So it isn't a choice between PV and climate change etc. The question is whether distributed power in the form of residential PV is cost competitive with renewable power distributed over the grid. The answer, I believe the analysis shows (if you factor in cost of capital), is "no". Again, that doesn't mean folks who get a thrill watching electrons chase holes in their PV panels won't enjoy having them.
                                      >
                                      >
                                      > Robert
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                      > From: hreg@yahoogroups.com [mailto:hreg@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Kevin Conlin
                                      > Sent: Sunday, August 02, 2009 7:12 PM
                                      > To: hreg@yahoogroups.com
                                      > Subject: [hreg] A different way to look at PV investment... cost vs. value
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                      > Yes, I can't argue against a realistic financial perspective, but I also think that distorts the true value of the investment. We seldom apply those rules to most of the other major purchases in our lives.
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                      > We never think about the return on a set of golf clubs, a beautiful home, a sleek car or a granite countertop, but those investments make for a more fulfilling life, and we personally justify the extra expense by the satisfaction and enjoyment we get from using those items. How many people reading this bought their car because it was the cheapest and most economical one you could find? It more likely came down to personal choice and preference.
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                      > If climate change, dwindling resources, environmental degradation, threatened wildlife, future generations, a sustainable society and lifestyle or any other issues are close to your heart, then you can make the right decision without regard for ROI, payback, cost of opportunity, etc...and feel real good about it.
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                      > How many people use life cycle costing when buying a big screen TV, a stainless steel refrigerator, BBQ grill or new furniture? Then why do we always insist on imposing those rules on solar?
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                      > If we only made decisions based on economics, this would be one empty, desolate planet....and we would do many things for the very wrong reasons.
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                      > Value is so much more than just cost.....and I admire the people who make the right decisions for the "wrong" reasons.
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                      > Kevin Conlin
                                      >
                                      > Heliosolar Design, Inc.
                                      >
                                      > 13534 Quetzal Lane
                                      >
                                      > Houston, TX 77083
                                      >
                                      > C: (281) 202-9629
                                      >
                                      > H: (281) 530-7501
                                      >
                                      > F: (281) 530-7501
                                      >
                                      > kevin@...
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                      > ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                      >
                                      > From: hreg@yahoogroups.com [mailto:hreg@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Robert Johnston
                                      > Sent: Sunday, August 02, 2009 5:40 PM
                                      > To: hreg@yahoogroups.com
                                      > Subject: RE: [hreg] A different way to look at PV investment...
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                      > I see you posted while I was composing my last post. Just a quick comment.
                                      >
                                      > Your last paragraph is the key one-for some people, the intangibles make it worth it. That's fine, so long as the true financial cost isn't obscured. Using the example of an electric vehicle just creates a mental image of something green and neat-free transportation fuel! But from a financial perspective, one would want to do the comparison on the basis of the cost of metered electricity from the grid vs. the cost of electricity from PV-regardless of whether it is used for an electric car or for anything else you wanted it for. In that case, the calculation must still factor in cost of capital etc. as I argued. i.e., regardless of the use, one should just make the calculation on the basis of cost per kwh.
                                      >
                                      > Robert
                                      >
                                      > From: hreg@yahoogroups.com [mailto:hreg@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Kevin Conlin
                                      > Sent: Sunday, August 02, 2009 5:13 PM
                                      > To: hreg@yahoogroups.com
                                      > Subject: [hreg] A different way to look at PV investment...
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                      > Good points all.
                                      >
                                      > At the Solar 2009 conference a few months ago I heard a very interesting
                                      > analogy made. The premise was that if you invested in a 1.5 kw PV system and
                                      > drove an electric vehicle for the next 30 years, you would essentially have
                                      > paid for 30 years worth of fuel with the PV system. I don't remember all the
                                      > specific assumptions, but it assumed a useful life of 30 years for the pv.
                                      >
                                      > 1.5KW @ $10,000 x .7 Federal Tax Credit = $7,000/30 years = $233/year.
                                      > Compared to a 25 mpg vehicle, current gasoline costs would be at least
                                      > $800/year, and aren't likely to decline over 30 years time, but you could
                                      > also assume mileage improvements would be par with rising fuel costs.
                                      >
                                      > I know you can take the example apart because of the assumptions and
                                      > simplified math, but the point was by investing in pv/ev you were displacing
                                      > foreign oil payments and reducing the trade deficit, spending the money
                                      > domestically and stimulating a growing industry, reducing CO2 and other
                                      > climate changing emissions, encouraging distributed energy on the grid as
                                      > well as saving money personally, over $15,000.
                                      >
                                      > As Kim alluded, the benefits aren't just financial; intangibles such as the
                                      > personal pride, enjoyment and fulfillment that come from ownership have
                                      > different values to different people.
                                      >
                                      > Kevin Conlin
                                      > Heliosolar Design, Inc.
                                      > 13534 Quetzal Lane
                                      > Houston, TX 77083
                                      > C: (281) 202-9629
                                      > H: (281) 530-7501
                                      > F: (281) 530-7501
                                      > kevin@...
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                      > -----Original Message-----
                                      > From: hreg@yahoogroups.com [mailto:hreg@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Garth
                                      > & Kim Travis
                                      > Sent: Sunday, August 02, 2009 3:40 PM
                                      > To: hreg@yahoogroups.com
                                      > Subject: Re: [hreg] Cost of solar PV installed.
                                      >
                                      > Greetings,
                                      >
                                      > Why would you factor 100% financing? Even mortgages require at least 5 or 10
                                      > percent down. Also, a 25 year term for a mere $38,500? That is paying less
                                      > than $2,000 a year in capital. Any financial adviser worth their salt would
                                      > tell you that is a bit silly, a 15 year period would be pretty maximum. How
                                      > many times over do you wish to pay for the system?
                                      >
                                      > If you are going to include all of the joys of ownership, you should also
                                      > include the adjustments for the rising cost of electric, and the final value
                                      > of the system when it is paid for. Especially since when you pay the grid,
                                      > at the end of it all, you have nothing. It is like renting a home vs owning
                                      > a home. Initially it costs more to own, but in the long run, it is soooooo
                                      > much cheaper.
                                      >
                                      > Bright Blessings,
                                      > Kim
                                      >
                                      > Robert Johnston wrote:
                                      > >
                                      > >
                                      > > This doesn't factor in (1) the cost of capital or (2) increased
                                      > > property insurance rates.
                                      > >
                                      > > (1) If you assume 100% financing at mortgage rates of 5.25% for 25
                                      > > years, the monthly payment for a $38,500 system (10kW) would be
                                      > > $230.71. Using Chris' estimated output for a 10kW system of 1000
                                      > > kW/mo, that increases the cost to $0.23/kwh.
                                      > >
                                      > > (2) I was recently quoted $10 annually per $1000 coverage on Texas
                                      > > Windstorm (possibly Houston is a bit less; I live in Lake Jackson,
                                      > > nearer the coast). Federal flood insurance currently runs me $2.61 per
                                      > > $1000 coverage. Homeowners insurance costs me $3.73 per $1000 of
                                      > > coverage. Thus, for all 3 coverages, a total of $16.34 per $1000 of
                                      > > coverage. Now, I don't know what exactly solar panels and controls add
                                      > > compared to the cost of the rest of the house itself, but if we
                                      > > conservatively assume that it incrementally increases insurance costs
                                      > > only at 75% of the rate of the rest of the house, that is $12.26 per
                                      > > $1000, or for a $38,500 installation (assuming we only insure for the
                                      > > net cost to us after federal subsidies, not the replacement cost of
                                      > > the system), then that is an extra $472 per year, or $0.039/kwh. If
                                      > > insured at replacement cost, it will be correspondingly higher (I
                                      > > suspect you will be required by your insurance company to cover at
                                      > > replacement cost since that is what they are promising to do for you,
                                      > > and no federal subsidy will help them replace your system after a
                                      > > fire, hurricane, etc.). If rates are lower in your area, or you don't
                                      > > carry flood coverage, then rates would be somewhat lower.
                                      > >
                                      > >
                                      > > With the cost of financing and the cost of insurance factored in, the
                                      > > cost would be approximately $0.27/kwh for a 10 kW system. Whereas
                                      > > $0.128/kwh is similar to current REP rates, $0.27/kwh is not.
                                      > >
                                      > > Robert Johnston
                                      > >
                                      > > *From:* hreg@yahoogroups.com [mailto:hreg@yahoogroups.com] *On Behalf
                                      > > Of *Chris Boyer
                                      > > *Sent:* Saturday, August 01, 2009 10:27 PM
                                      > > *To:* HREG
                                      > > *Subject:* [hreg] Cost of solar PV installed.
                                      > >
                                      > > Here is a simple calculation showing examples of the current economics
                                      > > for Solar PV in Houston. I mentioned this is the HREG meeting last
                                      > > Sunday, so here are the numbers. What it shows is the "Price" of
                                      > > installing a system of three sizes on a building (the upfront cash
                                      > > layout), from 100 kW, to 10 kW and 1 kW; then the Federal Tax Credit
                                      > > (which is now a rebate for commercial systems); and the Net cost of
                                      > > the solar installation for each size. The next line is typical energy
                                      > > production (kWh) that the system would produce over the life of the
                                      > > system (25 years warranty). Dividing the Net cost by energy produced
                                      > > gives the Cost of electricity with a solar PV system on a building:
                                      > > less than 12 cents/kWh for larger systems and nearly 15 cents/kWh for
                                      > > very small systems.
                                      > >
                                      > > Size
                                      > >
                                      > >
                                      > >
                                      > > 100 kW
                                      > >
                                      > >
                                      > >
                                      > > 10 kW
                                      > >
                                      > >
                                      > >
                                      > > 1 kW
                                      > >
                                      > > Price
                                      > >
                                      > >
                                      > >
                                      > > $500,000.00
                                      > >
                                      > >
                                      > >
                                      > > $55,000.00
                                      > >
                                      > >
                                      > >
                                      > > $6,500.00
                                      > >
                                      > > Fed
                                      > >
                                      > >
                                      > >
                                      > > $150,000.00
                                      > >
                                      > >
                                      > >
                                      > > $16,500.00
                                      > >
                                      > >
                                      > >
                                      > > $1,950.00
                                      > >
                                      > > Net
                                      > >
                                      > >
                                      > >
                                      > > $350,000.00
                                      > >
                                      > >
                                      > >
                                      > > $38,500.00
                                      > >
                                      > >
                                      > >
                                      > > $4,550.00
                                      > >
                                      > > Production
                                      > >
                                      > >
                                      > >
                                      > >
                                      > >
                                      > > kWh/25yr
                                      > >
                                      > >
                                      > >
                                      > > 3,000,000
                                      > >
                                      > >
                                      > >
                                      > > 300,000
                                      > >
                                      > >
                                      > >
                                      > > 30,000
                                      > >
                                      > > Electricity
                                      > >
                                      > >
                                      > >
                                      > >
                                      > >
                                      > > Cost
                                      > >
                                      > >
                                      > >
                                      > > $ 0.117
                                      > >
                                      > >
                                      > >
                                      > > $ 0.128
                                      > >
                                      > >
                                      > >
                                      > > $ 0.152
                                      > >
                                      > >
                                      > >
                                      > >
                                      >
                                      > ------------------------------------
                                      >
                                      > Yahoo! Groups Links
                                      >
                                      > No virus found in this incoming message.
                                      > Checked by AVG - www.avg.com
                                      > Version: 8.5.392 / Virus Database: 270.13.41/2277 - Release Date: 08/02/09
                                      > 05:56:00
                                      >
                                      > No virus found in this incoming message.
                                      > Checked by AVG - www.avg.com
                                      > Version: 8.5.392 / Virus Database: 270.13.41/2277 - Release Date: 08/02/09 05:56:00
                                      >
                                    • Bill or Dorothy Swann
                                      Here is the electric vehicle math. My small EV consumes 200 watt hours per mile. With 1.5 kWatt of panels, you can harvest 2376 kWatt-hr per year or 6.5
                                      Message 19 of 29 , Aug 3, 2009
                                      • 0 Attachment
                                            Here is the electric vehicle math. My small EV consumes 200 watt hours per mile. With 1.5 kWatt of panels, you can harvest 2376 kWatt-hr per year or 6.5 kWatt-hr per day. 6500/200 = 32 miles per day.
                                            The source of energy harvested per year is <http://rredc.nrel.gov/solar/codes_algs/PVWATTS/version1/US/> Choose Texas, click on Houston, and enter the data. I have used tracking solar arrays.
                                         
                                        Thanks,Bill S
                                        Ph 832-338-3080
                                        www.promotingevs.com



                                        From: Russell Warren <rrwarren@...>
                                        To: hreg@yahoogroups.com
                                        Sent: Monday, August 3, 2009 7:53:18 AM
                                        Subject: RE: [hreg] A different way to look at PV investment...

                                         

                                        I think this is a nice example except for the fact that there is a huge assumption being made in that a 1.5 kW solar system could power an electric vehicle for the same amount of miles as the gas listed in the explanation.
                                        Needless to say I have my doubts that you could run a vehicle on even 20 kWh a day.
                                         
                                         
                                         
                                        -----Original Message-----
                                        From: hreg@yahoogroups. com [mailto:hreg@ yahoogroups. com]On Behalf Of Kevin Conlin
                                        Sent: Sunday, August 02, 2009 5:13 PM
                                        To: hreg@yahoogroups. com
                                        Subject: [hreg] A different way to look at PV investment.. .

                                         

                                        Good points all.

                                        At the Solar 2009 conference a few months ago I heard a very interesting
                                        analogy made. The premise was that if you invested in a 1.5 kw PV system and
                                        drove an electric vehicle for the next 30 years, you would essentially have
                                        paid for 30 years worth of fuel with the PV system. I don't remember all the
                                        specific assumptions, but it assumed a useful life of 30 years for the pv.

                                        1.5KW @ $10,000 x .7 Federal Tax Credit = $7,000/30 years = $233/year.
                                        Compared to a 25 mpg vehicle, current gasoline costs would be at least
                                        $800/year, and aren't likely to decline over 30 years time, but you could
                                        also assume mileage improvements would be par with rising fuel costs.

                                        I know you can take the example apart because of the assumptions and
                                        simplified math, but the point was by investing in pv/ev you were displacing
                                        foreign oil payments and reducing the trade deficit, spending the money
                                        domestically and stimulating a growing industry, reducing CO2 and other
                                        climate changing emissions, encouraging distributed energy on the grid as
                                        well as saving money personally, over $15,000.

                                        As Kim alluded, the benefits aren't just financial; intangibles such as the
                                        personal pride, enjoyment and fulfillment that come from ownership have
                                        different values to different people.

                                        Kevin Conlin
                                        Heliosolar Design, Inc.
                                        13534 Quetzal Lane
                                        Houston, TX 77083
                                        C: (281) 202-9629
                                        H: (281) 530-7501
                                        F: (281) 530-7501
                                        kevin@heliosolardes ign.com



                                        -----Original Message-----
                                        From: hreg@yahoogroups. com [mailto:hreg@yahoogroups. com] On Behalf Of Garth
                                        & Kim Travis
                                        Sent: Sunday, August 02, 2009 3:40 PM
                                        To: hreg@yahoogroups. com
                                        Subject: Re: [hreg] Cost of solar PV installed.

                                        Greetings,

                                        Why would you factor 100% financing? Even mortgages require at least 5 or 10
                                        percent down. Also, a 25 year term for a mere $38,500? That is paying less
                                        than $2,000 a year in capital. Any financial adviser worth their salt would
                                        tell you that is a bit silly, a 15 year period would be pretty maximum. How
                                        many times over do you wish to pay for the system?

                                        If you are going to include all of the joys of ownership, you should also
                                        include the adjustments for the rising cost of electric, and the final value
                                        of the system when it is paid for. Especially since when you pay the grid,
                                        at the end of it all, you have nothing. It is like renting a home vs owning
                                        a home. Initially it costs more to own, but in the long run, it is soooooo
                                        much cheaper.

                                        Bright Blessings,
                                        Kim

                                        Robert Johnston wrote:
                                        >
                                        >
                                        > This doesn't factor in (1) the cost of capital or (2) increased
                                        > property insurance rates.
                                        >
                                        > (1) If you assume 100% financing at mortgage rates of 5.25% for 25
                                        > years, the monthly payment for a $38,500 system (10kW) would be
                                        > $230.71. Using Chris' estimated output for a 10kW system of 1000
                                        > kW/mo, that increases the cost to $0.23/kwh.
                                        >
                                        > (2) I was recently quoted $10 annually per $1000 coverage on Texas
                                        > Windstorm (possibly Houston is a bit less; I live in Lake Jackson,
                                        > nearer the coast). Federal flood insurance currently runs me $2.61 per
                                        > $1000 coverage. Homeowners insurance costs me $3.73 per $1000 of
                                        > coverage. Thus, for all 3 coverages, a total of $16.34 per $1000 of
                                        > coverage. Now, I don't know what exactly solar panels and controls add
                                        > compared to the cost of the rest of the house itself, but if we
                                        > conservatively assume that it incrementally increases insurance costs
                                        > only at 75% of the rate of the rest of the house, that is $12.26 per
                                        > $1000, or for a $38,500 installation (assuming we only insure for the
                                        > net cost to us after federal subsidies, not the replacement cost of
                                        > the system), then that is an extra $472 per year, or $0.039/kwh. If
                                        > insured at replacement cost, it will be correspondingly higher (I
                                        > suspect you will be required by your insurance company to cover at
                                        > replacement cost since that is what they are promising to do for you,
                                        > and no federal subsidy will help them replace your system after a
                                        > fire, hurricane, etc.). If rates are lower in your area, or you don't
                                        > carry flood coverage, then rates would be somewhat lower.
                                        >
                                        >
                                        > With the cost of financing and the cost of insurance factored in, the
                                        > cost would be approximately $0.27/kwh for a 10 kW system. Whereas
                                        > $0.128/kwh is similar to current REP rates, $0.27/kwh is not.
                                        >
                                        > Robert Johnston
                                        >
                                        > *From:* hreg@yahoogroups. com [mailto:hreg@yahoogroups. com] *On Behalf
                                        > Of *Chris Boyer
                                        > *Sent:* Saturday, August 01, 2009 10:27 PM
                                        > *To:* HREG
                                        > *Subject:* [hreg] Cost of solar PV installed.
                                        >
                                        > Here is a simple calculation showing examples of the current economics
                                        > for Solar PV in Houston. I mentioned this is the HREG meeting last
                                        > Sunday, so here are the numbers. What it shows is the "Price" of
                                        > installing a system of three sizes on a building (the upfront cash
                                        > layout), from 100 kW, to 10 kW and 1 kW; then the Federal Tax Credit
                                        > (which is now a rebate for commercial systems); and the Net cost of
                                        > the solar installation for each size. The next line is typical energy
                                        > production (kWh) that the system would produce over the life of the
                                        > system (25 years warranty). Dividing the Net cost by energy produced
                                        > gives the Cost of electricity with a solar PV system on a building:
                                        > less than 12 cents/kWh for larger systems and nearly 15 cents/kWh for
                                        > very small systems.
                                        >
                                        > Size
                                        >
                                        >
                                        >
                                        > 100 kW
                                        >
                                        >
                                        >
                                        > 10 kW
                                        >
                                        >
                                        >
                                        > 1 kW
                                        >
                                        > Price
                                        >
                                        >
                                        >
                                        > $500,000.00
                                        >
                                        >
                                        >
                                        > $55,000.00
                                        >
                                        >
                                        >
                                        > $6,500.00
                                        >
                                        > Fed
                                        >
                                        >
                                        >
                                        > $150,000.00
                                        >
                                        >
                                        >
                                        > $16,500.00
                                        >
                                        >
                                        >
                                        > $1,950.00
                                        >
                                        > Net
                                        >
                                        >
                                        >
                                        > $350,000.00
                                        >
                                        >
                                        >
                                        > $38,500.00
                                        >
                                        >
                                        >
                                        > $4,550.00
                                        >
                                        > Production
                                        >
                                        >
                                        >
                                        >
                                        >
                                        > kWh/25yr
                                        >
                                        >
                                        >
                                        > 3,000,000
                                        >
                                        >
                                        >
                                        > 300,000
                                        >
                                        >
                                        >
                                        > 30,000
                                        >
                                        > Electricity
                                        >
                                        >
                                        >
                                        >
                                        >
                                        > Cost
                                        >
                                        >
                                        >
                                        > $ 0.117
                                        >
                                        >
                                        >
                                        > $ 0.128
                                        >
                                        >
                                        >
                                        > $ 0.152
                                        >
                                        >
                                        >
                                        >

                                        ------------ --------- --------- ------

                                        Yahoo! Groups Links

                                        No virus found in this incoming message.
                                        Checked by AVG - www.avg.com
                                        Version: 8.5.392 / Virus Database: 270.13.41/2277 - Release Date: 08/02/09
                                        05:56:00

                                      • James McKethen
                                        There is no question that there isnt a financial incentive to install PV right now in Houston. However there is an intangible value to doing the right thing,
                                        Message 20 of 29 , Aug 3, 2009
                                        • 0 Attachment
                                          There is no question that there isnt a financial incentive to install PV right now in Houston.
                                          However there is an intangible value to doing the right thing, 
                                          If you have the expendable capital, Instead of buying that shiny new BMW. Lets put up $30k of panels, Install a high efficiency heatpump. Replace our lighting and lighting controls for CFL. Install light tubes for high traffic locations, and increase the efficacy of our insulation. And last but not least install a sexy solar hot water panel.
                                           
                                          Then wait on car purchase for some of the new truely electric cars coming out.
                                           
                                          YMMV
                                           
                                          Mac
                                           
                                           
                                           
                                           


                                          From: hreg@yahoogroups.com [mailto:hreg@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Bill or Dorothy Swann
                                          Sent: Monday, August 03, 2009 9:19 AM
                                          To: hreg@yahoogroups.com
                                          Subject: Re: [hreg] A different way to look at PV investment...

                                           

                                              Here is the electric vehicle math. My small EV consumes 200 watt hours per mile. With 1.5 kWatt of panels, you can harvest 2376 kWatt-hr per year or 6.5 kWatt-hr per day. 6500/200 = 32 miles per day.
                                              The source of energy harvested per year is <http://rredc. nrel.gov/ solar/codes_ algs/PVWATTS/ version1/ US/> Choose Texas, click on Houston, and enter the data. I have used tracking solar arrays.
                                           
                                          Thanks,Bill S
                                          Ph 832-338-3080
                                          www.promotingevs. com



                                          From: Russell Warren <rrwarren@earthlink. net>
                                          To: hreg@yahoogroups. com
                                          Sent: Monday, August 3, 2009 7:53:18 AM
                                          Subject: RE: [hreg] A different way to look at PV investment.. .

                                           

                                          I think this is a nice example except for the fact that there is a huge assumption being made in that a 1.5 kW solar system could power an electric vehicle for the same amount of miles as the gas listed in the explanation.
                                          Needless to say I have my doubts that you could run a vehicle on even 20 kWh a day.
                                           
                                           
                                           
                                          -----Original Message-----
                                          From: hreg@yahoogroups. com [mailto:hreg@ yahoogroups. com]On Behalf Of Kevin Conlin
                                          Sent: Sunday, August 02, 2009 5:13 PM
                                          To: hreg@yahoogroups. com
                                          Subject: [hreg] A different way to look at PV investment.. .

                                           

                                          Good points all.

                                          At the Solar 2009 conference a few months ago I heard a very interesting
                                          analogy made. The premise was that if you invested in a 1.5 kw PV system and
                                          drove an electric vehicle for the next 30 years, you would essentially have
                                          paid for 30 years worth of fuel with the PV system. I don't remember all the
                                          specific assumptions, but it assumed a useful life of 30 years for the pv.

                                          1.5KW @ $10,000 x .7 Federal Tax Credit = $7,000/30 years = $233/year.
                                          Compared to a 25 mpg vehicle, current gasoline costs would be at least
                                          $800/year, and aren't likely to decline over 30 years time, but you could
                                          also assume mileage improvements would be par with rising fuel costs.

                                          I know you can take the example apart because of the assumptions and
                                          simplified math, but the point was by investing in pv/ev you were displacing
                                          foreign oil payments and reducing the trade deficit, spending the money
                                          domestically and stimulating a growing industry, reducing CO2 and other
                                          climate changing emissions, encouraging distributed energy on the grid as
                                          well as saving money personally, over $15,000.

                                          As Kim alluded, the benefits aren't just financial; intangibles such as the
                                          personal pride, enjoyment and fulfillment that come from ownership have
                                          different values to different people.

                                          Kevin Conlin
                                          Heliosolar Design, Inc.
                                          13534 Quetzal Lane
                                          Houston, TX 77083
                                          C: (281) 202-9629
                                          H: (281) 530-7501
                                          F: (281) 530-7501
                                          kevin@heliosolardes ign.com



                                          -----Original Message-----
                                          From: hreg@yahoogroups. com [mailto:hreg@yahoogroups. com] On Behalf Of Garth
                                          & Kim Travis
                                          Sent: Sunday, August 02, 2009 3:40 PM
                                          To: hreg@yahoogroups. com
                                          Subject: Re: [hreg] Cost of solar PV installed.

                                          Greetings,

                                          Why would you factor 100% financing? Even mortgages require at least 5 or 10
                                          percent down. Also, a 25 year term for a mere $38,500? That is paying less
                                          than $2,000 a year in capital. Any financial adviser worth their salt would
                                          tell you that is a bit silly, a 15 year period would be pretty maximum. How
                                          many times over do you wish to pay for the system?

                                          If you are going to include all of the joys of ownership, you should also
                                          include the adjustments for the rising cost of electric, and the final value
                                          of the system when it is paid for. Especially since when you pay the grid,
                                          at the end of it all, you have nothing. It is like renting a home vs owning
                                          a home. Initially it costs more to own, but in the long run, it is soooooo
                                          much cheaper.

                                          Bright Blessings,
                                          Kim

                                          Robert Johnston wrote:
                                          >
                                          >
                                          > This doesn't factor in (1) the cost of capital or (2) increased
                                          > property insurance rates.
                                          >
                                          > (1) If you assume 100% financing at mortgage rates of 5.25% for 25
                                          > years, the monthly payment for a $38,500 system (10kW) would be
                                          > $230.71. Using Chris' estimated output for a 10kW system of 1000
                                          > kW/mo, that increases the cost to $0.23/kwh.
                                          >
                                          > (2) I was recently quoted $10 annually per $1000 coverage on Texas
                                          > Windstorm (possibly Houston is a bit less; I live in Lake Jackson,
                                          > nearer the coast). Federal flood insurance currently runs me $2.61 per
                                          > $1000 coverage. Homeowners insurance costs me $3.73 per $1000 of
                                          > coverage. Thus, for all 3 coverages, a total of $16.34 per $1000 of
                                          > coverage. Now, I don't know what exactly solar panels and controls add
                                          > compared to the cost of the rest of the house itself, but if we
                                          > conservatively assume that it incrementally increases insurance costs
                                          > only at 75% of the rate of the rest of the house, that is $12.26 per
                                          > $1000, or for a $38,500 installation (assuming we only insure for the
                                          > net cost to us after federal subsidies, not the replacement cost of
                                          > the system), then that is an extra $472 per year, or $0.039/kwh. If
                                          > insured at replacement cost, it will be correspondingly higher (I
                                          > suspect you will be required by your insurance company to cover at
                                          > replacement cost since that is what they are promising to do for you,
                                          > and no federal subsidy will help them replace your system after a
                                          > fire, hurricane, etc.). If rates are lower in your area, or you don't
                                          > carry flood coverage, then rates would be somewhat lower.
                                          >
                                          >
                                          > With the cost of financing and the cost of insurance factored in, the
                                          > cost would be approximately $0.27/kwh for a 10 kW system. Whereas
                                          > $0.128/kwh is similar to current REP rates, $0.27/kwh is not.
                                          >
                                          > Robert Johnston
                                          >
                                          > *From:* hreg@yahoogroups. com [mailto:hreg@yahoogroups. com] *On Behalf
                                          > Of *Chris Boyer
                                          > *Sent:* Saturday, August 01, 2009 10:27 PM
                                          > *To:* HREG
                                          > *Subject:* [hreg] Cost of solar PV installed.
                                          >
                                          > Here is a simple calculation showing examples of the current economics
                                          > for Solar PV in Houston. I mentioned this is the HREG meeting last
                                          > Sunday, so here are the numbers. What it shows is the "Price" of
                                          > installing a system of three sizes on a building (the upfront cash
                                          > layout), from 100 kW, to 10 kW and 1 kW; then the Federal Tax Credit
                                          > (which is now a rebate for commercial systems); and the Net cost of
                                          > the solar installation for each size. The next line is typical energy
                                          > production (kWh) that the system would produce over the life of the
                                          > system (25 years warranty). Dividing the Net cost by energy produced
                                          > gives the Cost of electricity with a solar PV system on a building:
                                          > less than 12 cents/kWh for larger systems and nearly 15 cents/kWh for
                                          > very small systems.
                                          >
                                          > Size
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >
                                          > 100 kW
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >
                                          > 10 kW
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >
                                          > 1 kW
                                          >
                                          > Price
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >
                                          > $500,000.00
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >
                                          > $55,000.00
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >
                                          > $6,500.00
                                          >
                                          > Fed
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >
                                          > $150,000.00
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >
                                          > $16,500.00
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >
                                          > $1,950.00
                                          >
                                          > Net
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >
                                          > $350,000.00
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >
                                          > $38,500.00
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >
                                          > $4,550.00
                                          >
                                          > Production
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >
                                          > kWh/25yr
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >
                                          > 3,000,000
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >
                                          > 300,000
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >
                                          > 30,000
                                          >
                                          > Electricity
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >
                                          > Cost
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >
                                          > $ 0.117
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >
                                          > $ 0.128
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >
                                          > $ 0.152
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >

                                          ------------ --------- --------- ------

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                                        • Kevin Conlin
                                          Thanks, Bill, I assumed 250W/hr per mile, approx. what a Toyota Prius uses. I wasn t trying to present the perfect example, merely pointing out a different
                                          Message 21 of 29 , Aug 3, 2009
                                          • 0 Attachment
                                            Thanks, Bill, I assumed 250W/hr per mile, approx. what a Toyota Prius uses.
                                             
                                            I wasn't trying to present the perfect example, merely pointing out a different perspective.
                                             
                                            I am very familiar with the practical aspects of the technology, but I also think the best decision making doesn't just look at one aspect.
                                             
                                            You can sure simplify the decision that way, but that doesn't make it right for everyone.
                                             
                                            Kevin Conlin
                                            Heliosolar Design, Inc.
                                            13534 Quetzal Lane
                                            Houston, TX 77083
                                            C:  (281) 202-9629
                                            H:  (281) 530-7501
                                            F:  (281) 530-7501
                                             
                                             
                                             


                                            From: hreg@yahoogroups.com [mailto:hreg@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Bill or Dorothy Swann
                                            Sent: Monday, August 03, 2009 9:19 AM
                                            To: hreg@yahoogroups.com
                                            Subject: Re: [hreg] A different way to look at PV investment...

                                             

                                                Here is the electric vehicle math. My small EV consumes 200 watt hours per mile. With 1.5 kWatt of panels, you can harvest 2376 kWatt-hr per year or 6.5 kWatt-hr per day. 6500/200 = 32 miles per day.
                                                The source of energy harvested per year is <http://rredc. nrel.gov/ solar/codes_ algs/PVWATTS/ version1/ US/> Choose Texas, click on Houston, and enter the data. I have used tracking solar arrays.
                                             
                                            Thanks,Bill S
                                            Ph 832-338-3080
                                            www.promotingevs. com



                                            From: Russell Warren <rrwarren@earthlink. net>
                                            To: hreg@yahoogroups. com
                                            Sent: Monday, August 3, 2009 7:53:18 AM
                                            Subject: RE: [hreg] A different way to look at PV investment.. .

                                             

                                            I think this is a nice example except for the fact that there is a huge assumption being made in that a 1.5 kW solar system could power an electric vehicle for the same amount of miles as the gas listed in the explanation.
                                            Needless to say I have my doubts that you could run a vehicle on even 20 kWh a day.
                                             
                                             
                                             
                                            -----Original Message-----
                                            From: hreg@yahoogroups. com [mailto:hreg@ yahoogroups. com]On Behalf Of Kevin Conlin
                                            Sent: Sunday, August 02, 2009 5:13 PM
                                            To: hreg@yahoogroups. com
                                            Subject: [hreg] A different way to look at PV investment.. .

                                             

                                            Good points all.

                                            At the Solar 2009 conference a few months ago I heard a very interesting
                                            analogy made. The premise was that if you invested in a 1.5 kw PV system and
                                            drove an electric vehicle for the next 30 years, you would essentially have
                                            paid for 30 years worth of fuel with the PV system. I don't remember all the
                                            specific assumptions, but it assumed a useful life of 30 years for the pv.

                                            1.5KW @ $10,000 x .7 Federal Tax Credit = $7,000/30 years = $233/year.
                                            Compared to a 25 mpg vehicle, current gasoline costs would be at least
                                            $800/year, and aren't likely to decline over 30 years time, but you could
                                            also assume mileage improvements would be par with rising fuel costs.

                                            I know you can take the example apart because of the assumptions and
                                            simplified math, but the point was by investing in pv/ev you were displacing
                                            foreign oil payments and reducing the trade deficit, spending the money
                                            domestically and stimulating a growing industry, reducing CO2 and other
                                            climate changing emissions, encouraging distributed energy on the grid as
                                            well as saving money personally, over $15,000.

                                            As Kim alluded, the benefits aren't just financial; intangibles such as the
                                            personal pride, enjoyment and fulfillment that come from ownership have
                                            different values to different people.

                                            Kevin Conlin
                                            Heliosolar Design, Inc.
                                            13534 Quetzal Lane
                                            Houston, TX 77083
                                            C: (281) 202-9629
                                            H: (281) 530-7501
                                            F: (281) 530-7501
                                            kevin@heliosolardes ign.com



                                            -----Original Message-----
                                            From: hreg@yahoogroups. com [mailto:hreg@yahoogroups. com] On Behalf Of Garth
                                            & Kim Travis
                                            Sent: Sunday, August 02, 2009 3:40 PM
                                            To: hreg@yahoogroups. com
                                            Subject: Re: [hreg] Cost of solar PV installed.

                                            Greetings,

                                            Why would you factor 100% financing? Even mortgages require at least 5 or 10
                                            percent down. Also, a 25 year term for a mere $38,500? That is paying less
                                            than $2,000 a year in capital. Any financial adviser worth their salt would
                                            tell you that is a bit silly, a 15 year period would be pretty maximum. How
                                            many times over do you wish to pay for the system?

                                            If you are going to include all of the joys of ownership, you should also
                                            include the adjustments for the rising cost of electric, and the final value
                                            of the system when it is paid for. Especially since when you pay the grid,
                                            at the end of it all, you have nothing. It is like renting a home vs owning
                                            a home. Initially it costs more to own, but in the long run, it is soooooo
                                            much cheaper.

                                            Bright Blessings,
                                            Kim

                                            Robert Johnston wrote:
                                            >
                                            >
                                            > This doesn't factor in (1) the cost of capital or (2) increased
                                            > property insurance rates.
                                            >
                                            > (1) If you assume 100% financing at mortgage rates of 5.25% for 25
                                            > years, the monthly payment for a $38,500 system (10kW) would be
                                            > $230.71. Using Chris' estimated output for a 10kW system of 1000
                                            > kW/mo, that increases the cost to $0.23/kwh.
                                            >
                                            > (2) I was recently quoted $10 annually per $1000 coverage on Texas
                                            > Windstorm (possibly Houston is a bit less; I live in Lake Jackson,
                                            > nearer the coast). Federal flood insurance currently runs me $2.61 per
                                            > $1000 coverage. Homeowners insurance costs me $3.73 per $1000 of
                                            > coverage. Thus, for all 3 coverages, a total of $16.34 per $1000 of
                                            > coverage. Now, I don't know what exactly solar panels and controls add
                                            > compared to the cost of the rest of the house itself, but if we
                                            > conservatively assume that it incrementally increases insurance costs
                                            > only at 75% of the rate of the rest of the house, that is $12.26 per
                                            > $1000, or for a $38,500 installation (assuming we only insure for the
                                            > net cost to us after federal subsidies, not the replacement cost of
                                            > the system), then that is an extra $472 per year, or $0.039/kwh. If
                                            > insured at replacement cost, it will be correspondingly higher (I
                                            > suspect you will be required by your insurance company to cover at
                                            > replacement cost since that is what they are promising to do for you,
                                            > and no federal subsidy will help them replace your system after a
                                            > fire, hurricane, etc.). If rates are lower in your area, or you don't
                                            > carry flood coverage, then rates would be somewhat lower.
                                            >
                                            >
                                            > With the cost of financing and the cost of insurance factored in, the
                                            > cost would be approximately $0.27/kwh for a 10 kW system. Whereas
                                            > $0.128/kwh is similar to current REP rates, $0.27/kwh is not.
                                            >
                                            > Robert Johnston
                                            >
                                            > *From:* hreg@yahoogroups. com [mailto:hreg@yahoogroups. com] *On Behalf
                                            > Of *Chris Boyer
                                            > *Sent:* Saturday, August 01, 2009 10:27 PM
                                            > *To:* HREG
                                            > *Subject:* [hreg] Cost of solar PV installed.
                                            >
                                            > Here is a simple calculation showing examples of the current economics
                                            > for Solar PV in Houston. I mentioned this is the HREG meeting last
                                            > Sunday, so here are the numbers. What it shows is the "Price" of
                                            > installing a system of three sizes on a building (the upfront cash
                                            > layout), from 100 kW, to 10 kW and 1 kW; then the Federal Tax Credit
                                            > (which is now a rebate for commercial systems); and the Net cost of
                                            > the solar installation for each size. The next line is typical energy
                                            > production (kWh) that the system would produce over the life of the
                                            > system (25 years warranty). Dividing the Net cost by energy produced
                                            > gives the Cost of electricity with a solar PV system on a building:
                                            > less than 12 cents/kWh for larger systems and nearly 15 cents/kWh for
                                            > very small systems.
                                            >
                                            > Size
                                            >
                                            >
                                            >
                                            > 100 kW
                                            >
                                            >
                                            >
                                            > 10 kW
                                            >
                                            >
                                            >
                                            > 1 kW
                                            >
                                            > Price
                                            >
                                            >
                                            >
                                            > $500,000.00
                                            >
                                            >
                                            >
                                            > $55,000.00
                                            >
                                            >
                                            >
                                            > $6,500.00
                                            >
                                            > Fed
                                            >
                                            >
                                            >
                                            > $150,000.00
                                            >
                                            >
                                            >
                                            > $16,500.00
                                            >
                                            >
                                            >
                                            > $1,950.00
                                            >
                                            > Net
                                            >
                                            >
                                            >
                                            > $350,000.00
                                            >
                                            >
                                            >
                                            > $38,500.00
                                            >
                                            >
                                            >
                                            > $4,550.00
                                            >
                                            > Production
                                            >
                                            >
                                            >
                                            >
                                            >
                                            > kWh/25yr
                                            >
                                            >
                                            >
                                            > 3,000,000
                                            >
                                            >
                                            >
                                            > 300,000
                                            >
                                            >
                                            >
                                            > 30,000
                                            >
                                            > Electricity
                                            >
                                            >
                                            >
                                            >
                                            >
                                            > Cost
                                            >
                                            >
                                            >
                                            > $ 0.117
                                            >
                                            >
                                            >
                                            > $ 0.128
                                            >
                                            >
                                            >
                                            > $ 0.152
                                            >
                                            >
                                            >
                                            >

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                                            05:56:00

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                                          • Gary Beck
                                            Great approach. Once you have enough solar PVs on your roof, and an electric car, you ve turned the corner towards grid and oil based fuel* independency. Gary
                                            Message 22 of 29 , Aug 3, 2009
                                            • 0 Attachment

                                              Great approach.  Once you have enough solar PVs on your roof, and an electric car, you've turned the corner towards grid and oil based fuel* independency.

                                               

                                              Gary

                                               

                                              * still need oil for fertilizer, plastics, and adhesives

                                               

                                               

                                              From: hreg@yahoogroups.com [mailto:hreg@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of James McKethen
                                              Sent: Monday, August 03, 2009 10:44 AM
                                              To: hreg@yahoogroups.com
                                              Subject: [hreg] A holistically different point to look at PV investment.

                                               

                                               

                                              There is no question that there isnt a financial incentive to install PV right now in Houston.

                                              However there is an intangible value to doing the right thing, 

                                              If you have the expendable capital, Instead of buying that shiny new BMW. Lets put up $30k of panels, Install a high efficiency heatpump. Replace our lighting and lighting controls for CFL. Install light tubes for high traffic locations, and increase the efficacy of our insulation. And last but not least install a sexy solar hot water panel.

                                               

                                              Then wait on car purchase for some of the new truely electric cars coming out.

                                               

                                              YMMV

                                               

                                              Mac

                                               

                                               

                                               

                                               

                                               


                                              From: hreg@yahoogroups.com [mailto:hreg@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Bill or Dorothy Swann
                                              Sent: Monday, August 03, 2009 9:19 AM
                                              To: hreg@yahoogroups.com
                                              Subject: Re: [hreg] A different way to look at PV investment...

                                               

                                                  Here is the electric vehicle math. My small EV consumes 200 watt hours per mile. With 1.5 kWatt of panels, you can harvest 2376 kWatt-hr per year or 6.5 kWatt-hr per day. 6500/200 = 32 miles per day.
                                                  The source of energy harvested per year is <http://rredc.nrel.gov/solar/codes_algs/PVWATTS/version1/US/> Choose Texas, click on Houston, and enter the data. I have used tracking solar arrays.

                                               

                                              Thanks,Bill S
                                              Ph 832-338-3080
                                              www.promotingevs.com

                                               

                                               


                                              From: Russell Warren <rrwarren@...>
                                              To: hreg@yahoogroups.com
                                              Sent: Monday, August 3, 2009 7:53:18 AM
                                              Subject: RE: [hreg] A different way to look at PV investment...

                                               

                                              I think this is a nice example except for the fact that there is a huge assumption being made in that a 1.5 kW solar system could power an electric vehicle for the same amount of miles as the gas listed in the explanation.

                                              Needless to say I have my doubts that you could run a vehicle on even 20 kWh a day.

                                               

                                               

                                               

                                              -----Original Message-----
                                              From: hreg@yahoogroups. com [mailto:hreg@ yahoogroups. com]On Behalf Of Kevin Conlin
                                              Sent: Sunday, August 02, 2009 5:13 PM
                                              To: hreg@yahoogroups. com
                                              Subject: [hreg] A different way to look at PV investment.. .

                                               

                                              Good points all.

                                              At the Solar 2009 conference a few months ago I heard a very interesting
                                              analogy made. The premise was that if you invested in a 1.5 kw PV system and
                                              drove an electric vehicle for the next 30 years, you would essentially have
                                              paid for 30 years worth of fuel with the PV system. I don't remember all the
                                              specific assumptions, but it assumed a useful life of 30 years for the pv.

                                              1.5KW @ $10,000 x .7 Federal Tax Credit = $7,000/30 years = $233/year.
                                              Compared to a 25 mpg vehicle, current gasoline costs would be at least
                                              $800/year, and aren't likely to decline over 30 years time, but you could
                                              also assume mileage improvements would be par with rising fuel costs.

                                              I know you can take the example apart because of the assumptions and
                                              simplified math, but the point was by investing in pv/ev you were displacing
                                              foreign oil payments and reducing the trade deficit, spending the money
                                              domestically and stimulating a growing industry, reducing CO2 and other
                                              climate changing emissions, encouraging distributed energy on the grid as
                                              well as saving money personally, over $15,000.

                                              As Kim alluded, the benefits aren't just financial; intangibles such as the
                                              personal pride, enjoyment and fulfillment that come from ownership have
                                              different values to different people.

                                              Kevin Conlin
                                              Heliosolar Design, Inc.
                                              13534 Quetzal Lane
                                              Houston, TX 77083
                                              C: (281) 202-9629
                                              H: (281) 530-7501
                                              F: (281) 530-7501
                                              kevin@heliosolardes ign.com



                                              -----Original Message-----
                                              From: hreg@yahoogroups. com [mailto:hreg@yahoogroups. com] On Behalf Of Garth
                                              & Kim Travis
                                              Sent: Sunday, August 02, 2009 3:40 PM
                                              To: hreg@yahoogroups. com
                                              Subject: Re: [hreg] Cost of solar PV installed.

                                              Greetings,

                                              Why would you factor 100% financing? Even mortgages require at least 5 or 10
                                              percent down. Also, a 25 year term for a mere $38,500? That is paying less
                                              than $2,000 a year in capital. Any financial adviser worth their salt would
                                              tell you that is a bit silly, a 15 year period would be pretty maximum. How
                                              many times over do you wish to pay for the system?

                                              If you are going to include all of the joys of ownership, you should also
                                              include the adjustments for the rising cost of electric, and the final value
                                              of the system when it is paid for. Especially since when you pay the grid,
                                              at the end of it all, you have nothing. It is like renting a home vs owning
                                              a home. Initially it costs more to own, but in the long run, it is soooooo
                                              much cheaper.

                                              Bright Blessings,
                                              Kim

                                              Robert Johnston wrote:
                                              >
                                              >
                                              > This doesn't factor in (1) the cost of capital or (2) increased
                                              > property insurance rates.
                                              >
                                              > (1) If you assume 100% financing at mortgage rates of 5.25% for 25
                                              > years, the monthly payment for a $38,500 system (10kW) would be
                                              > $230.71. Using Chris' estimated output for a 10kW system of 1000
                                              > kW/mo, that increases the cost to $0.23/kwh.
                                              >
                                              > (2) I was recently quoted $10 annually per $1000 coverage on Texas
                                              > Windstorm (possibly Houston is a bit less; I live in Lake Jackson,
                                              > nearer the coast). Federal flood insurance currently runs me $2.61 per
                                              > $1000 coverage. Homeowners insurance costs me $3.73 per $1000 of
                                              > coverage. Thus, for all 3 coverages, a total of $16.34 per $1000 of
                                              > coverage. Now, I don't know what exactly solar panels and controls add
                                              > compared to the cost of the rest of the house itself, but if we
                                              > conservatively assume that it incrementally increases insurance costs
                                              > only at 75% of the rate of the rest of the house, that is $12.26 per
                                              > $1000, or for a $38,500 installation (assuming we only insure for the
                                              > net cost to us after federal subsidies, not the replacement cost of
                                              > the system), then that is an extra $472 per year, or $0.039/kwh. If
                                              > insured at replacement cost, it will be correspondingly higher (I
                                              > suspect you will be required by your insurance company to cover at
                                              > replacement cost since that is what they are promising to do for you,
                                              > and no federal subsidy will help them replace your system after a
                                              > fire, hurricane, etc.). If rates are lower in your area, or you don't
                                              > carry flood coverage, then rates would be somewhat lower.
                                              >
                                              >
                                              > With the cost of financing and the cost of insurance factored in, the
                                              > cost would be approximately $0.27/kwh for a 10 kW system. Whereas
                                              > $0.128/kwh is similar to current REP rates, $0.27/kwh is not.
                                              >
                                              > Robert Johnston
                                              >
                                              > *From:* hreg@yahoogroups. com [mailto:hreg@yahoogroups. com] *On Behalf
                                              > Of *Chris Boyer
                                              > *Sent:* Saturday, August 01, 2009 10:27 PM
                                              > *To:* HREG
                                              > *Subject:* [hreg] Cost of solar PV installed.
                                              >
                                              > Here is a simple calculation showing examples of the current economics
                                              > for Solar PV in Houston. I mentioned this is the HREG meeting last
                                              > Sunday, so here are the numbers. What it shows is the "Price" of
                                              > installing a system of three sizes on a building (the upfront cash
                                              > layout), from 100 kW, to 10 kW and 1 kW; then the Federal Tax Credit
                                              > (which is now a rebate for commercial systems); and the Net cost of
                                              > the solar installation for each size. The next line is typical energy
                                              > production (kWh) that the system would produce over the life of the
                                              > system (25 years warranty). Dividing the Net cost by energy produced
                                              > gives the Cost of electricity with a solar PV system on a building:
                                              > less than 12 cents/kWh for larger systems and nearly 15 cents/kWh for
                                              > very small systems.
                                              >
                                              > Size
                                              >
                                              >
                                              >
                                              > 100 kW
                                              >
                                              >
                                              >
                                              > 10 kW
                                              >
                                              >
                                              >
                                              > 1 kW
                                              >
                                              > Price
                                              >
                                              >
                                              >
                                              > $500,000.00
                                              >
                                              >
                                              >
                                              > $55,000.00
                                              >
                                              >
                                              >
                                              > $6,500.00
                                              >
                                              > Fed
                                              >
                                              >
                                              >
                                              > $150,000.00
                                              >
                                              >
                                              >
                                              > $16,500.00
                                              >
                                              >
                                              >
                                              > $1,950.00
                                              >
                                              > Net
                                              >
                                              >
                                              >
                                              > $350,000.00
                                              >
                                              >
                                              >
                                              > $38,500.00
                                              >
                                              >
                                              >
                                              > $4,550.00
                                              >
                                              > Production
                                              >
                                              >
                                              >
                                              >
                                              >
                                              > kWh/25yr
                                              >
                                              >
                                              >
                                              > 3,000,000
                                              >
                                              >
                                              >
                                              > 300,000
                                              >
                                              >
                                              >
                                              > 30,000
                                              >
                                              > Electricity
                                              >
                                              >
                                              >
                                              >
                                              >
                                              > Cost
                                              >
                                              >
                                              >
                                              > $ 0.117
                                              >
                                              >
                                              >
                                              > $ 0.128
                                              >
                                              >
                                              >
                                              > $ 0.152
                                              >
                                              >
                                              >
                                              >

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                                            • Tyra Rankin
                                              Hello Jay and Otto: I agree with you both - we need both, residential PV on rooftops and large utility scale solar such as concentrated solar thermal (CSP) or
                                              Message 23 of 29 , Aug 3, 2009
                                              • 0 Attachment

                                                Hello Jay and Otto:

                                                 

                                                I agree with you both – we need both, residential PV on rooftops and large utility scale solar such as concentrated solar thermal (CSP) or combined CSP and PV – CPV. 

                                                 

                                                As to incentives, I say use them and ask Congress for more!  I don’t care how the government gets the money to pay for them.   Solar technology needs a leg up to gain access to the market and be fully deployed.  As I’ve said before – solar battles a deeply entrenched energy infrastructure with a 100 year market lead.  If you think of bringing new technology to market – those are impossible odds for an emergent technology.   On top of that, conventional energy enjoys a 100 year history of incentives including today!  Fossil fuels have many more types of incentives than solar, types not available to solar projects.  So use the incentives.  It is a way of compensating for the external costs not borne by conventional energy providers.  

                                                 

                                                External costs not paid by the consumer of conventional energy include police costs – ie- use of military in wars over resources, pollution costs and costs of climate change just to name a few. 

                                                 

                                                Best,

                                                Tyra

                                                 


                                                From: hreg@yahoogroups.com [mailto: hreg@yahoogroups.com ] On Behalf Of jay.ring@...
                                                Sent: Monday, August 03, 2009 9:00 AM
                                                To: hreg@yahoogroups.com
                                                Subject: [hreg] Re: A different way to look at PV investment... cost vs. value

                                                 

                                                 

                                                Hey Otto,

                                                You know I really agree with your vision. CSP is a fantastic technology for powering the grid. Combined with electric cars, it's a nearly complete energy solution.

                                                I also agree with the dangers of the subsidy. I think that is a great point and many people overlook it. (Although if it must exist I am not above taking advantage of it). I would hope people interested in sustainability would see the dangers of the unsustainable subsidy.

                                                But I still think residential PV has a real place in out energy future, despite the higher cost of PV and even though CSP could do it alone if necessary. My reasoning is simple: Residential roof tops are "dead space". There is near-zero ecological impact from putting PV up there.

                                                In my vision for the future, PV handles maybe 25% of the load, CSP handles the remainder and provides the energy storage.

                                                Have a good one!

                                                --- In hreg@yahoogroups. com, "Otto Glaser" <oglaser@... > wrote:

                                                >
                                                > There are a few things that are not being considered. The US Government
                                                has to borrow the money to give the owner of a PV system the tax credit. Based on past history, the government will borrow this money forever. The government will be paying interest on this money long after the PV system is gone.If a large number of people installed a PV system where would the government get the money to pay the tax credit? The cost of a back up system to supply electricity when the sun is not shining. The local utility is required to supply electricity when ever needed, so they would have to build generating plants to cover the demand when the sun was not shining. What source of power would they use to generate electricity? Coal or nuclear? Having the extra capacity that was little used would substantially increase the cost of electricity from the utility. Guess who would pay for that. The tax credit would mostly go to higher income people as poor people would not have enough income to use the tax credit. What that does is take money from poor people and give it to rich people. The poor would have to pay those higher rates. It is more expensive to install PV on each house than to install a Solar Power Tower central system. I was told that a PV system costs about $8 per watt to install. A central system costs about $1.00 per watt. If Rice University gets there nano tech wire perfected it would eliminate enough line loss to enable us to shut down 30% of our present generating capacity. I believe that when we get to mass producing Solar Power Tower electric generating plants, the cost will come down enough that it will be the cheapest form of generation. Presently, a SPT plant costs 1/2 as much to build as a nuclear plant-has no fuel cost and is much cheaper to operate.
                                                > Otto Glaser
                                                > 12111 Medina Bend Lane
                                                > Houston ,
                                                w:st="on">TX 77041-6694
                                                > Phone and Fax 713-896-9935
                                                > Email oglaser@...
                                                >
                                                > ----- Original Message -----
                                                > From: Robert Johnston
                                                > To: hreg@yahoogroups. com
                                                > Sent: Sunday, August 02, 2009 7:43 PM
                                                > Subject: RE: [hreg] A different way to look at PV investment.. . cost
                                                vs. value
                                                >
                                                >
                                                >
                                                > Yes, but you are pointing to the intangibles. How many people purchase PV
                                                because it is fun or sexy or anything like that? A few enthusiasts do. But most people are interested simply in getting electrical power; they don't care how. As for the environment, climate change, etc.-remember that this is all available "on the grid" through renewable sources (windpower etc.). So it isn't a choice between PV and climate change etc. The question is whether distributed power in the form of residential PV is cost competitive with renewable power distributed over the grid. The answer, I believe the analysis shows (if you factor in cost of capital), is "no". Again, that doesn't mean folks who get a thrill watching electrons chase holes in their PV panels won't enjoy having them.
                                                >
                                                >
                                                > Robert
                                                >
                                                >
                                                >
                                                >
                                                >
                                                > From: hreg@yahoogroups. com
                                                [mailto:hreg@yahoogroups. com] On Behalf Of Kevin Conlin
                                                > Sent: Sunday, August 02, 2009 7:12 PM
                                                > To: hreg@yahoogroups. com
                                                > Subject: [hreg] A different way to look at PV investment.. . cost vs.
                                                value
                                                >
                                                >
                                                >
                                                >
                                                >
                                                > Yes, I can't argue against a realistic financial perspective, but I also
                                                think that distorts the true value of the investment. We seldom apply those rules to most of the other major purchases in our lives.
                                                >
                                                >
                                                >
                                                > We never think about the return on a set of golf clubs, a beautiful home,
                                                a sleek car or a granite countertop, but those investments make for a more fulfilling life, and we personally justify the extra expense by the satisfaction and enjoyment we get from using those items. How many people reading this bought their car because it was the cheapest and most economical one you could find? It more likely came down to personal choice and preference.
                                                >
                                                >
                                                >
                                                > If climate change, dwindling resources, environmental degradation,
                                                threatened wildlife, future generations, a sustainable society and lifestyle or any other issues are close to your heart, then you can make the right decision without regard for ROI, payback, cost of opportunity, etc...and feel real good about it.
                                                >
                                                >
                                                >
                                                > How many people use life cycle costing when buying a big screen TV, a
                                                stainless steel refrigerator, BBQ grill or new furniture? Then why do we always insist on imposing those rules on solar?
                                                >
                                                >
                                                >
                                                > If we only made decisions based on economics, this would be one empty,
                                                desolate planet....and we would do many things for the very wrong reasons.
                                                >
                                                >
                                                >
                                                > Value is so much more than just cost.....and I admire the people who make
                                                the right decisions for the "wrong" reasons.
                                                >
                                                >
                                                >
                                                >
                                                >
                                                >
                                                >
                                                > Kevin Conlin
                                                >
                                                > Heliosolar Design, Inc.
                                                >
                                                > 13534 Quetzal Lane
                                                >
                                                > Houston ,
                                                w:st="on">TX 77083
                                                >
                                                > C: (281) 202-9629
                                                >
                                                > H: (281) 530-7501
                                                >
                                                > F: (281) 530-7501
                                                >
                                                > kevin@...
                                                >
                                                >
                                                >
                                                >
                                                >
                                                >
                                                >
                                                >
                                                >
                                                >
                                                > ------------ --------- --------- --------- --------- --------- -
                                                >
                                                > From: hreg@yahoogroups. com
                                                [mailto:hreg@yahoogroups. com] On Behalf Of Robert Johnston
                                                > Sent: Sunday, August 02, 2009 5:40 PM
                                                > To: hreg@yahoogroups. com
                                                > Subject: RE: [hreg] A different way to look at PV investment.. .
                                                >
                                                >
                                                >
                                                > I see you posted while I was composing my last post. Just a quick comment.
                                                >
                                                > Your last paragraph is the key one-for some people, the intangibles make
                                                it worth it. That's fine, so long as the true financial cost isn't obscured. Using the example of an electric vehicle just creates a mental image of something green and neat-free transportation fuel! But from a financial perspective, one would want to do the comparison on the basis of the cost of metered electricity from the grid vs. the cost of electricity from PV-regardless of whether it is used for an electric car or for anything else you wanted it for. In that case, the calculation must still factor in cost of capital etc. as I argued. i.e., regardless of the use, one should just make the calculation on the basis of cost per kwh.
                                                >
                                                > Robert
                                                >
                                                > From: hreg@yahoogroups. com
                                                [mailto:hreg@yahoogroups. com] On Behalf Of Kevin Conlin
                                                > Sent: Sunday, August 02, 2009 5:13 PM
                                                > To: hreg@yahoogroups. com
                                                > Subject: [hreg] A different way to look at PV investment.. .
                                                >
                                                >
                                                >
                                                > Good points all.
                                                >
                                                > At the Solar 2009 conference a few months ago I heard a very interesting
                                                > analogy made. The premise was that if you invested in a 1.5 kw PV system
                                                and
                                                > drove an electric vehicle for the next 30 years, you would essentially
                                                have
                                                > paid for 30 years worth of fuel with the PV system. I don't remember all
                                                the
                                                > specific assumptions, but it assumed a useful life of 30 years for the pv.
                                                >
                                                > 1.5KW @ $10,000 x .7 Federal Tax Credit = $7,000/30 years = $233/year.
                                                > Compared to a 25 mpg vehicle, current gasoline costs would be at least
                                                > $800/year, and aren't likely to decline over 30 years time, but you could
                                                > also assume mileage improvements would be par with rising fuel costs.
                                                >
                                                > I know you can take the example apart because of the assumptions and
                                                > simplified math, but the point was by investing in pv/ev you were
                                                displacing
                                                > foreign oil payments and reducing the trade deficit, spending the money
                                                > domestically and stimulating a growing industry, reducing CO2 and other
                                                > climate changing emissions, encouraging distributed energy on the grid as
                                                > well as saving money personally, over $15,000.
                                                >
                                                > As Kim alluded, the benefits aren't just financial; intangibles such as
                                                the
                                                > personal pride, enjoyment and fulfillment that come from ownership have
                                                > different values to different people.
                                                >
                                                > Kevin Conlin
                                                > Heliosolar Design, Inc.
                                                > 13534 Quetzal Lane
                                                > Houston ,
                                                w:st="on">TX 77083
                                                > C: (281) 202-9629
                                                > H: (281) 530-7501
                                                > F: (281) 530-7501
                                                > kevin@...
                                                >
                                                >
                                                >
                                                > -----Original Message-----
                                                > From: hreg@yahoogroups. com
                                                [mailto:hreg@yahoogroups. com] On Behalf Of Garth
                                                > & Kim Travis
                                                > Sent: Sunday, August 02, 2009 3:40 PM
                                                > To: hreg@yahoogroups. com
                                                > Subject: Re: [hreg] Cost of solar PV installed.
                                                >
                                                > Greetings,
                                                >
                                                > Why would you factor 100% financing? Even mortgages require at least 5 or
                                                10
                                                > percent down. Also, a 25 year term for a mere $38,500? That is paying less
                                                > than $2,000 a year in capital. Any financial adviser worth their salt
                                                would
                                                > tell you that is a bit silly, a 15 year period would be pretty maximum.
                                                How
                                                > many times over do you wish to pay for the system?
                                                >
                                                > If you are going to include all of the joys of ownership, you should also
                                                > include the adjustments for the rising cost of electric, and the final
                                                value
                                                > of the system when it is paid for. Especially since when you pay the grid,
                                                > at the end of it all, you have nothing. It is like renting a home vs
                                                owning
                                                > a home. Initially it costs more to own, but in the long run, it is soooooo
                                                > much cheaper.
                                                >
                                                > Bright Blessings,
                                                > Kim
                                                >
                                                > Robert Johnston wrote:
                                                > >
                                                > >
                                                > > This doesn't factor in (1) the cost of capital or (2) increased
                                                > > property insurance rates.
                                                > >
                                                > > (1) If you assume 100% financing at mortgage rates of 5.25% for 25
                                                > > years, the monthly payment for a $38,500 system (10kW) would be
                                                > > $230.71. Using Chris' estimated output for a 10kW system of 1000
                                                > > kW/mo, that increases the cost to $0.23/kwh.
                                                > >
                                                > > (2) I was recently quoted $10 annually per $1000 coverage on
                                                w:st="on">Texas
                                                > > Windstorm (possibly Houston is a bit
                                                less; I live in Lake Jackson ,
                                                > > nearer the coast). Federal flood insurance currently runs me $2.61
                                                per
                                                > > $1000 coverage. Homeowners insurance costs me $3.73 per $1000 of
                                                > > coverage. Thus, for all 3 coverages, a total of $16.34 per $1000 of
                                                > > coverage. Now, I don't know what exactly solar panels and controls
                                                add
                                                > > compared to the cost of the rest of the house itself, but if we
                                                > > conservatively assume that it incrementally increases insurance costs
                                                > > only at 75% of the rate of the rest of the house, that is $12.26 per
                                                > > $1000, or for a $38,500 installation (assuming we only insure for the
                                                > > net cost to us after federal subsidies, not the replacement cost of
                                                > > the system), then that is an extra $472 per year, or $0.039/kwh. If
                                                > > insured at replacement cost, it will be correspondingly higher (I
                                                > > suspect you will be required by your insurance company to cover at
                                                > > replacement cost since that is what they are promising to do for you,
                                                > > and no federal subsidy will help them replace your system after a
                                                > > fire, hurricane, etc.). If rates are lower in your area, or you don't
                                                > > carry flood coverage, then rates would be somewhat lower.
                                                > >
                                                > >
                                                > > With the cost of financing and the cost of insurance factored in, the
                                                > > cost would be approximately $0.27/kwh for a 10 kW system. Whereas
                                                > > $0.128/kwh is similar to current REP rates, $0.27/kwh is not.
                                                > >
                                                > > Robert Johnston
                                                > >
                                                > > *From:* hreg@yahoogroups. com
                                                [mailto:hreg@yahoogroups. com] *On Behalf
                                                > > Of *Chris Boyer
                                                > > *Sent:* Saturday, August 01, 2009 10:27 PM
                                                > > *To:* HREG
                                                > > *Subject:* [hreg] Cost of solar PV installed.
                                                > >
                                                > > Here is a simple calculation showing examples of the current
                                                economics
                                                > > for Solar PV in Houston .
                                                I mentioned this is the HREG meeting last
                                                > > Sunday, so here are the numbers. What it shows is the
                                                "Price" of
                                                > > installing a system of three sizes on a building (the upfront cash
                                                > > layout), from 100 kW, to 10 kW and 1 kW; then the Federal Tax Credit
                                                > > (which is now a rebate for commercial systems); and the Net cost of
                                                > > the solar installation for each size. The next line is typical energy
                                                > > production (kWh) that the system would produce over the life of the
                                                > > system (25 years warranty). Dividing the Net cost by energy produced
                                                > > gives the Cost of electricity with a solar PV system on a building:
                                                > > less than 12 cents/kWh for larger systems and nearly 15 cents/kWh for
                                                > > very small systems.
                                                > >
                                                > > Size
                                                > >
                                                > >
                                                > >
                                                > > 100 kW
                                                > >
                                                > >
                                                > >
                                                > > 10 kW
                                                > >
                                                > >
                                                > >
                                                > > 1 kW
                                                > >
                                                > > Price
                                                > >
                                                > >
                                                > >
                                                > > $500,000.00
                                                > >
                                                > >
                                                > >
                                                > > $55,000.00
                                                > >
                                                > >
                                                > >
                                                > > $6,500.00
                                                > >
                                                > > Fed
                                                > >
                                                > >
                                                > >
                                                > > $150,000.00
                                                > >
                                                > >
                                                > >
                                                > > $16,500.00
                                                > >
                                                > >
                                                > >
                                                > > $1,950.00
                                                > >
                                                > > Net
                                                > >
                                                > >
                                                > >
                                                > > $350,000.00
                                                > >
                                                > >
                                                > >
                                                > > $38,500.00
                                                > >
                                                > >
                                                > >
                                                > > $4,550.00
                                                > >
                                                > > Production
                                                > >
                                                > >
                                                > >
                                                > >
                                                > >
                                                > > kWh/25yr
                                                > >
                                                > >
                                                > >
                                                > > 3,000,000
                                                > >
                                                > >
                                                > >
                                                > > 300,000
                                                > >
                                                > >
                                                > >
                                                > > 30,000
                                                > >
                                                > > Electricity
                                                > >
                                                > >
                                                > >
                                                > >
                                                > >
                                                > > Cost
                                                > >
                                                > >
                                                > >
                                                > > $ 0.117
                                                > >
                                                > >
                                                > >
                                                > > $ 0.128
                                                > >
                                                > >
                                                > >
                                                > > $ 0.152
                                                > >
                                                > >
                                                > >
                                                > >
                                                >
                                                > ------------ --------- --------- ------
                                                >
                                                > Yahoo! Groups Links
                                                >
                                                > No virus found in this incoming message.
                                                > Checked by AVG - www.avg.com
                                                > Version: 8.5.392 / Virus Database: 270.13.41/2277 - Release Date: 08/02/09
                                                > 05:56:00
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                                                > No virus found in this incoming message.
                                                > Checked by AVG - www.avg.com
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                                                05:56:00
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                                              • JERRY BEETZ
                                                agreed. *except from a composter, the need for oil for fertilizer is a negative. jerry b. pearland ________________________________ From: Gary Beck
                                                Message 24 of 29 , Aug 3, 2009
                                                • 0 Attachment
                                                  agreed.
                                                  *except from a composter, the need for "oil for fertilizer" is a negative.
                                                   
                                                  jerry b.
                                                  pearland


                                                  From: Gary Beck <eco@...>
                                                  To: hreg@yahoogroups.com
                                                  Sent: Monday, August 3, 2009 2:03:55 PM
                                                  Subject: RE: [hreg] A holistically different point to look at PV investment.

                                                   

                                                  Great approach.  Once you have enough solar PVs on your roof, and an electric car, you've turned the corner towards grid and oil based fuel* independency.

                                                   

                                                  Gary

                                                   

                                                  * still need oil for fertilizer, plastics, and adhesives

                                                   

                                                   

                                                  From: hreg@yahoogroups. com [mailto:hreg@ yahoogroups. com] On Behalf Of James McKethen
                                                  Sent: Monday, August 03, 2009 10:44 AM
                                                  To: hreg@yahoogroups. com
                                                  Subject: [hreg] A holistically different point to look at PV investment.

                                                   

                                                   

                                                  There is no question that there isnt a financial incentive to install PV right now in Houston.

                                                  However there is an intangible value to doing the right thing, 

                                                  If you have the expendable capital, Instead of buying that shiny new BMW. Lets put up $30k of panels, Install a high efficiency heatpump. Replace our lighting and lighting controls for CFL. Install light tubes for high traffic locations, and increase the efficacy of our insulation. And last but not least install a sexy solar hot water panel.

                                                   

                                                  Then wait on car purchase for some of the new truely electric cars coming out.

                                                   

                                                  YMMV

                                                   

                                                  Mac

                                                   

                                                   

                                                   

                                                   

                                                   


                                                  From: hreg@yahoogroups. com [mailto:hreg@ yahoogroups. com] On Behalf Of Bill or Dorothy Swann
                                                  Sent: Monday, August 03, 2009 9:19 AM
                                                  To: hreg@yahoogroups. com
                                                  Subject: Re: [hreg] A different way to look at PV investment.. .

                                                   

                                                      Here is the electric vehicle math. My small EV consumes 200 watt hours per mile. With 1.5 kWatt of panels, you can harvest 2376 kWatt-hr per year or 6.5 kWatt-hr per day. 6500/200 = 32 miles per day.
                                                      The source of energy harvested per year is <http://rredc. nrel.gov/ solar/codes_ algs/PVWATTS/ version1/ US/> Choose Texas, click on Houston, and enter the data. I have used tracking solar arrays.

                                                   

                                                  Thanks,Bill S
                                                  Ph 832-338-3080
                                                  www.promotingevs. com

                                                   

                                                   


                                                  From: Russell Warren <rrwarren@earthlink. net>
                                                  To: hreg@yahoogroups. com
                                                  Sent: Monday, August 3, 2009 7:53:18 AM
                                                  Subject: RE: [hreg] A different way to look at PV investment.. .

                                                   

                                                  I think this is a nice example except for the fact that there is a huge assumption being made in that a 1.5 kW solar system could power an electric vehicle for the same amount of miles as the gas listed in the explanation.

                                                  Needless to say I have my doubts that you could run a vehicle on even 20 kWh a day.

                                                   

                                                   

                                                   

                                                  -----Original Message-----
                                                  From: hreg@yahoogroups. com [mailto:hreg@ yahoogroups. com]On Behalf Of Kevin Conlin
                                                  Sent: Sunday, August 02, 2009 5:13 PM
                                                  To: hreg@yahoogroups. com
                                                  Subject: [hreg] A different way to look at PV investment.. .

                                                   

                                                  Good points all.

                                                  At the Solar 2009 conference a few months ago I heard a very interesting
                                                  analogy made. The premise was that if you invested in a 1.5 kw PV system and
                                                  drove an electric vehicle for the next 30 years, you would essentially have
                                                  paid for 30 years worth of fuel with the PV system. I don't remember all the
                                                  specific assumptions, but it assumed a useful life of 30 years for the pv.

                                                  1.5KW @ $10,000 x .7 Federal Tax Credit = $7,000/30 years = $233/year.
                                                  Compared to a 25 mpg vehicle, current gasoline costs would be at least
                                                  $800/year, and aren't likely to decline over 30 years time, but you could
                                                  also assume mileage improvements would be par with rising fuel costs.

                                                  I know you can take the example apart because of the assumptions and
                                                  simplified math, but the point was by investing in pv/ev you were displacing
                                                  foreign oil payments and reducing the trade deficit, spending the money
                                                  domestically and stimulating a growing industry, reducing CO2 and other
                                                  climate changing emissions, encouraging distributed energy on the grid as
                                                  well as saving money personally, over $15,000.

                                                  As Kim alluded, the benefits aren't just financial; intangibles such as the
                                                  personal pride, enjoyment and fulfillment that come from ownership have
                                                  different values to different people.

                                                  Kevin Conlin
                                                  Heliosolar Design, Inc.
                                                  13534 Quetzal Lane
                                                  Houston, TX 77083
                                                  C: (281) 202-9629
                                                  H: (281) 530-7501
                                                  F: (281) 530-7501
                                                  kevin@heliosolardes ign.com



                                                  -----Original Message-----
                                                  From: hreg@yahoogroups. com [mailto:hreg@yahoogroups. com] On Behalf Of Garth
                                                  & Kim Travis
                                                  Sent: Sunday, August 02, 2009 3:40 PM
                                                  To: hreg@yahoogroups. com
                                                  Subject: Re: [hreg] Cost of solar PV installed.

                                                  Greetings,

                                                  Why would you factor 100% financing? Even mortgages require at least 5 or 10
                                                  percent down. Also, a 25 year term for a mere $38,500? That is paying less
                                                  than $2,000 a year in capital. Any financial adviser worth their salt would
                                                  tell you that is a bit silly, a 15 year period would be pretty maximum. How
                                                  many times over do you wish to pay for the system?

                                                  If you are going to include all of the joys of ownership, you should also
                                                  include the adjustments for the rising cost of electric, and the final value
                                                  of the system when it is paid for. Especially since when you pay the grid,
                                                  at the end of it all, you have nothing. It is like renting a home vs owning
                                                  a home. Initially it costs more to own, but in the long run, it is soooooo
                                                  much cheaper.

                                                  Bright Blessings,
                                                  Kim

                                                  Robert Johnston wrote:
                                                  >
                                                  >
                                                  > This doesn't factor in (1) the cost of capital or (2) increased
                                                  > property insurance rates.
                                                  >
                                                  > (1) If you assume 100% financing at mortgage rates of 5.25% for 25
                                                  > years, the monthly payment for a $38,500 system (10kW) would be
                                                  > $230.71. Using Chris' estimated output for a 10kW system of 1000
                                                  > kW/mo, that increases the cost to $0.23/kwh.
                                                  >
                                                  > (2) I was recently quoted $10 annually per $1000 coverage on Texas
                                                  > Windstorm (possibly Houston is a bit less; I live in Lake Jackson,
                                                  > nearer the coast). Federal flood insurance currently runs me $2.61 per
                                                  > $1000 coverage. Homeowners insurance costs me $3.73 per $1000 of
                                                  > coverage. Thus, for all 3 coverages, a total of $16.34 per $1000 of
                                                  > coverage. Now, I don't know what exactly solar panels and controls add
                                                  > compared to the cost of the rest of the house itself, but if we
                                                  > conservatively assume that it incrementally increases insurance costs
                                                  > only at 75% of the rate of the rest of the house, that is $12.26 per
                                                  > $1000, or for a $38,500 installation (assuming we only insure for the
                                                  > net cost to us after federal subsidies, not the replacement cost of
                                                  > the system), then that is an extra $472 per year, or $0.039/kwh. If
                                                  > insured at replacement cost, it will be correspondingly higher (I
                                                  > suspect you will be required by your insurance company to cover at
                                                  > replacement cost since that is what they are promising to do for you,
                                                  > and no federal subsidy will help them replace your system after a
                                                  > fire, hurricane, etc.). If rates are lower in your area, or you don't
                                                  > carry flood coverage, then rates would be somewhat lower.
                                                  >
                                                  >
                                                  > With the cost of financing and the cost of insurance factored in, the
                                                  > cost would be approximately $0.27/kwh for a 10 kW system. Whereas
                                                  > $0.128/kwh is similar to current REP rates, $0.27/kwh is not.
                                                  >
                                                  > Robert Johnston
                                                  >
                                                  > *From:* hreg@yahoogroups. com [mailto:hreg@yahoogroups. com] *On Behalf
                                                  > Of *Chris Boyer
                                                  > *Sent:* Saturday, August 01, 2009 10:27 PM
                                                  > *To:* HREG
                                                  > *Subject:* [hreg] Cost of solar PV installed.
                                                  >
                                                  > Here is a simple calculation showing examples of the current economics
                                                  > for Solar PV in Houston. I mentioned this is the HREG meeting last
                                                  > Sunday, so here are the numbers. What it shows is the "Price" of
                                                  > installing a system of three sizes on a building (the upfront cash
                                                  > layout), from 100 kW, to 10 kW and 1 kW; then the Federal Tax Credit
                                                  > (which is now a rebate for commercial systems); and the Net cost of
                                                  > the solar installation for each size. The next line is typical energy
                                                  > production (kWh) that the system would produce over the life of the
                                                  > system (25 years warranty). Dividing the Net cost by energy produced
                                                  > gives the Cost of electricity with a solar PV system on a building:
                                                  > less than 12 cents/kWh for larger systems and nearly 15 cents/kWh for
                                                  > very small systems.
                                                  >
                                                  > Size
                                                  >
                                                  >
                                                  >
                                                  > 100 kW
                                                  >
                                                  >
                                                  >
                                                  > 10 kW
                                                  >
                                                  >
                                                  >
                                                  > 1 kW
                                                  >
                                                  > Price
                                                  >
                                                  >
                                                  >
                                                  > $500,000.00
                                                  >
                                                  >
                                                  >
                                                  > $55,000.00
                                                  >
                                                  >
                                                  >
                                                  > $6,500.00
                                                  >
                                                  > Fed
                                                  >
                                                  >
                                                  >
                                                  > $150,000.00
                                                  >
                                                  >
                                                  >
                                                  > $16,500.00
                                                  >
                                                  >
                                                  >
                                                  > $1,950.00
                                                  >
                                                  > Net
                                                  >
                                                  >
                                                  >
                                                  > $350,000.00
                                                  >
                                                  >
                                                  >
                                                  > $38,500.00
                                                  >
                                                  >
                                                  >
                                                  > $4,550.00
                                                  >
                                                  > Production
                                                  >
                                                  >
                                                  >
                                                  >
                                                  >
                                                  > kWh/25yr
                                                  >
                                                  >
                                                  >
                                                  > 3,000,000
                                                  >
                                                  >
                                                  >
                                                  > 300,000
                                                  >
                                                  >
                                                  >
                                                  > 30,000
                                                  >
                                                  > Electricity
                                                  >
                                                  >
                                                  >
                                                  >
                                                  >
                                                  > Cost
                                                  >
                                                  >
                                                  >
                                                  > $ 0.117
                                                  >
                                                  >
                                                  >
                                                  > $ 0.128
                                                  >
                                                  >
                                                  >
                                                  > $ 0.152
                                                  >
                                                  >
                                                  >
                                                  >

                                                  ------------ --------- --------- ------

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                                                  05:56:00

                                                • Tyra Rankin
                                                  Great plan, James! That is exactly what they are doing in Europe right now - lots of new homes are built totally without AC/Heating systems by using PV, air
                                                  Message 25 of 29 , Aug 3, 2009
                                                  • 0 Attachment

                                                    Great plan, James!  That is exactly what they are doing in Europe right now – lots of new homes are built totally without AC/Heating systems by using PV, air envelopes, heat pumps and the other things you mention.  But in many European countries, they get incentives too!  It makes things happen much faster.

                                                     

                                                    In Texas we are stubbornly tied to the “free market” mantra, forgetting that with respect to energy, it is an illusion preventing us adopting these technologies and making change.

                                                     

                                                    Best,

                                                    Tyra

                                                     


                                                    From: hreg@yahoogroups.com [mailto: hreg@yahoogroups.com ] On Behalf Of James McKethen
                                                    Sent: Monday, August 03, 2009 10:44 AM
                                                    To: hreg@yahoogroups.com
                                                    Subject: [hreg] A holistically different point to look at PV investment.

                                                     

                                                     

                                                    There is no question that there isnt a financial incentive to install PV right now in Houston .

                                                    However there is an intangible value to doing the right thing, 

                                                    If you have the expendable capital, Instead of buying that shiny new BMW. Lets put up $30k of panels, Install a high efficiency heatpump. Replace our lighting and lighting controls for CFL. Install light tubes for high traffic locations, and increase the efficacy of our insulation. And last but not least install a sexy solar hot water panel.

                                                     

                                                    Then wait on car purchase for some of the new truely electric cars coming out.

                                                     

                                                    YMMV

                                                     

                                                    Mac

                                                     

                                                     

                                                     

                                                     

                                                     


                                                    From: hreg@yahoogroups. com [mailto: hreg@ yahoogroups. com ] On Behalf Of Bill or Dorothy Swann
                                                    Sent: Monday, August 03, 2009 9:19 AM
                                                    To: hreg@yahoogroups. com
                                                    Subject: Re: [hreg] A different way to look at PV investment.. .

                                                     

                                                        Here is the electric vehicle math. My small EV consumes 200 watt hours per mile. With 1.5 kWatt of panels, you can harvest 2376 kWatt-hr per year or 6.5 kWatt-hr per day. 6500/200 = 32 miles per day.
                                                        The source of energy harvested per year is <http://rredc. nrel.gov/ solar/codes_ algs/PVWATTS/ version1/ US/> Choose Texas , click on Houston , and enter the data. I have used tracking solar arrays.

                                                     

                                                    Thanks,Bill S
                                                    Ph 832-338-3080
                                                    www.promotingevs. com

                                                     

                                                     


                                                    From: Russell Warren <rrwarren@earthlink. net>
                                                    To: hreg@yahoogroups. com
                                                    Sent: Monday, August 3, 2009 7:53:18 AM
                                                    Subject: RE: [hreg] A different way to look at PV investment.. .

                                                     

                                                    I think this is a nice example except for the fact that there is a huge assumption being made in that a 1.5 kW solar system could power an electric vehicle for the same amount of miles as the gas listed in the explanation.

                                                    Needless to say I have my doubts that you could run a vehicle on even 20 kWh a day.

                                                     

                                                     

                                                     

                                                    -----Original Message-----
                                                    From: hreg@yahoogroups. com [mailto:hreg@ yahoogroups. com]On Behalf Of Kevin Conlin
                                                    Sent: Sunday, August 02, 2009 5:13 PM
                                                    To: hreg@yahoogroups. com
                                                    Subject: [hreg] A different way to look at PV investment.. .

                                                     

                                                    Good points all.

                                                    At the Solar 2009 conference a few months ago I heard a very interesting
                                                    analogy made. The premise was that if you invested in a 1.5 kw PV system and
                                                    drove an electric vehicle for the next 30 years, you would essentially have
                                                    paid for 30 years worth of fuel with the PV system. I don't remember all the
                                                    specific assumptions, but it assumed a useful life of 30 years for the pv.

                                                    1.5KW @ $10,000 x .7 Federal Tax Credit = $7,000/30 years = $233/year.
                                                    Compared to a 25 mpg vehicle, current gasoline costs would be at least
                                                    $800/year, and aren't likely to decline over 30 years time, but you could
                                                    also assume mileage improvements would be par with rising fuel costs.

                                                    I know you can take the example apart because of the assumptions and
                                                    simplified math, but the point was by investing in pv/ev you were displacing
                                                    foreign oil payments and reducing the trade deficit, spending the money
                                                    domestically and stimulating a growing industry, reducing CO2 and other
                                                    climate changing emissions, encouraging distributed energy on the grid as
                                                    well as saving money personally, over $15,000.

                                                    As Kim alluded, the benefits aren't just financial; intangibles such as the
                                                    personal pride, enjoyment and fulfillment that come from ownership have
                                                    different values to different people.

                                                    Kevin Conlin
                                                    Heliosolar Design, Inc.
                                                    13534 Quetzal Lane
                                                    Houston , TX 77083
                                                    C: (281) 202-9629
                                                    H: (281) 530-7501
                                                    F: (281) 530-7501
                                                    kevin@heliosolardes ign.com



                                                    -----Original Message-----
                                                    From: hreg@yahoogroups. com [mailto:hreg@yahoogroups. com] On Behalf Of Garth
                                                    & Kim Travis
                                                    Sent: Sunday, August 02, 2009 3:40 PM
                                                    To: hreg@yahoogroups. com
                                                    Subject: Re: [hreg] Cost of solar PV installed.

                                                    Greetings,

                                                    Why would you factor 100% financing? Even mortgages require at least 5 or 10
                                                    percent down. Also, a 25 year term for a mere $38,500? That is paying less
                                                    than $2,000 a year in capital. Any financial adviser worth their salt would
                                                    tell you that is a bit silly, a 15 year period would be pretty maximum. How
                                                    many times over do you wish to pay for the system?

                                                    If you are going to include all of the joys of ownership, you should also
                                                    include the adjustments for the rising cost of electric, and the final value
                                                    of the system when it is paid for. Especially since when you pay the grid,
                                                    at the end of it all, you have nothing. It is like renting a home vs owning
                                                    a home. Initially it costs more to own, but in the long run, it is soooooo
                                                    much cheaper.

                                                    Bright Blessings,
                                                    Kim

                                                    Robert Johnston wrote:
                                                    >
                                                    >
                                                    > This doesn't factor in (1) the cost of capital or (2) increased
                                                    > property insurance rates.
                                                    >
                                                    > (1) If you assume 100% financing at mortgage rates of 5.25% for 25
                                                    > years, the monthly payment for a $38,500 system (10kW) would be
                                                    > $230.71. Using Chris' estimated output for a 10kW system of 1000
                                                    > kW/mo, that increases the cost to $0.23/kwh.
                                                    >
                                                    > (2) I was recently quoted $10 annually per $1000 coverage on Texas
                                                    > Windstorm (possibly Houston is a bit less; I live in Lake Jackson ,
                                                    > nearer the coast). Federal flood insurance currently runs me $2.61 per
                                                    > $1000 coverage. Homeowners insurance costs me $3.73 per $1000 of
                                                    > coverage. Thus, for all 3 coverages, a total of $16.34 per $1000 of
                                                    > coverage. Now, I don't know what exactly solar panels and controls add
                                                    > compared to the cost of the rest of the house itself, but if we
                                                    > conservatively assume that it incrementally increases insurance costs
                                                    > only at 75% of the rate of the rest of the house, that is $12.26 per
                                                    > $1000, or for a $38,500 installation (assuming we only insure for the
                                                    > net cost to us after federal subsidies, not the replacement cost of
                                                    > the system), then that is an extra $472 per year, or $0.039/kwh. If
                                                    > insured at replacement cost, it will be correspondingly higher (I
                                                    > suspect you will be required by your insurance company to cover at
                                                    > replacement cost since that is what they are promising to do for you,
                                                    > and no federal subsidy will help them replace your system after a
                                                    > fire, hurricane, etc.). If rates are lower in your area, or you don't
                                                    > carry flood coverage, then rates would be somewhat lower.
                                                    >
                                                    >
                                                    > With the cost of financing and the cost of insurance factored in, the
                                                    > cost would be approximately $0.27/kwh for a 10 kW system. Whereas
                                                    > $0.128/kwh is similar to current REP rates, $0.27/kwh is not.
                                                    >
                                                    > Robert Johnston
                                                    >
                                                    > *From:* hreg@yahoogroups. com [mailto:hreg@yahoogroups. com] *On Behalf
                                                    > Of *Chris Boyer
                                                    > *Sent:* Saturday, August 01, 2009 10:27 PM
                                                    > *To:* HREG
                                                    > *Subject:* [hreg] Cost of solar PV installed.
                                                    >
                                                    > Here is a simple calculation showing examples of the current economics
                                                    > for Solar PV in Houston . I mentioned this is the HREG meeting last
                                                    > Sunday, so here are the numbers. What it shows is the "Price" of
                                                    > installing a system of three sizes on a building (the upfront cash
                                                    > layout), from 100 kW, to 10 kW and 1 kW; then the Federal Tax Credit
                                                    > (which is now a rebate for commercial systems); and the Net cost of
                                                    > the solar installation for each size. The next line is typical energy
                                                    > production (kWh) that the system would produce over the life of the
                                                    > system (25 years warranty). Dividing the Net cost by energy produced
                                                    > gives the Cost of electricity with a solar PV system on a building:
                                                    > less than 12 cents/kWh for larger systems and nearly 15 cents/kWh for
                                                    > very small systems.
                                                    >
                                                    > Size
                                                    >
                                                    >
                                                    >
                                                    > 100 kW
                                                    >
                                                    >
                                                    >
                                                    > 10 kW
                                                    >
                                                    >
                                                    >
                                                    > 1 kW
                                                    >
                                                    > Price
                                                    >
                                                    >
                                                    >
                                                    > $500,000.00
                                                    >
                                                    >
                                                    >
                                                    > $55,000.00
                                                    >
                                                    >
                                                    >
                                                    > $6,500.00
                                                    >
                                                    > Fed
                                                    >
                                                    >
                                                    >
                                                    > $150,000.00
                                                    >
                                                    >
                                                    >
                                                    > $16,500.00
                                                    >
                                                    >
                                                    >
                                                    > $1,950.00
                                                    >
                                                    > Net
                                                    >
                                                    >
                                                    >
                                                    > $350,000.00
                                                    >
                                                    >
                                                    >
                                                    > $38,500.00
                                                    >
                                                    >
                                                    >
                                                    > $4,550.00
                                                    >
                                                    > Production
                                                    >
                                                    >
                                                    >
                                                    >
                                                    >
                                                    > kWh/25yr
                                                    >
                                                    >
                                                    >
                                                    > 3,000,000
                                                    >
                                                    >
                                                    >
                                                    > 300,000
                                                    >
                                                    >
                                                    >
                                                    > 30,000
                                                    >
                                                    > Electricity
                                                    >
                                                    >
                                                    >
                                                    >
                                                    >
                                                    > Cost
                                                    >
                                                    >
                                                    >
                                                    > $ 0.117
                                                    >
                                                    >
                                                    >
                                                    > $ 0.128
                                                    >
                                                    >
                                                    >
                                                    > $ 0.152
                                                    >
                                                    >
                                                    >
                                                    >

                                                    ------------ --------- --------- ------

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                                                    05:56:00

                                                  • Tyra Rankin
                                                    Very well said, Kevin. Tyra _____ From: hreg@yahoogroups.com [mailto:hreg@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Kevin Conlin Sent: Sunday, August 02, 2009 7:12 PM To:
                                                    Message 26 of 29 , Aug 3, 2009
                                                    • 0 Attachment

                                                      Very well said, Kevin. 

                                                      Tyra


                                                      From: hreg@yahoogroups.com [mailto: hreg@yahoogroups.com ] On Behalf Of Kevin Conlin
                                                      Sent: Sunday, August 02, 2009 7:12 PM
                                                      To: hreg@yahoogroups.com
                                                      Subject: [hreg] A different way to look at PV investment... cost vs. value

                                                       

                                                       

                                                      Yes, I can't argue against a realistic financial perspective, but I also think that distorts the true value of the investment.  We seldom apply those rules to most of the other major purchases in our lives.

                                                       

                                                      We never think about the return on a set of golf clubs, a beautiful home, a sleek car or a granite countertop, but those investments make for a more fulfilling life, and we personally justify the extra expense by the satisfaction and enjoyment we get from using those items. How many people reading this bought their car because it was the cheapest and most economical one you could find?  It more likely came down to personal choice and preference.

                                                       

                                                      If climate change, dwindling resources, environmental degradation, threatened wildlife, future generations, a sustainable society and lifestyle or any other issues are close to your heart, then you can make the right decision without regard for ROI, payback, cost of opportunity, etc...and feel real good about it.

                                                       

                                                      How many people use life cycle costing when buying a big screen TV, a stainless steel refrigerator, BBQ grill or new furniture?  Then why do we always insist on imposing those rules on solar?

                                                       

                                                      If we only made decisions based on economics, this would be one empty, desolate planet....and we would do many things for the very wrong reasons.

                                                       

                                                      Value is so much more than just cost.....and I admire the people who make the right decisions for the "wrong" reasons.

                                                       

                                                       

                                                       

                                                      Kevin Conlin

                                                      Heliosolar Design, Inc.

                                                      13534 Quetzal Lane

                                                      Houston, TX 77083

                                                      C:  (281) 202-9629

                                                      H:  (281) 530-7501

                                                      F:  (281) 530-7501

                                                      kevin@heliosolardes ign.com

                                                       

                                                       

                                                       

                                                       


                                                      From: hreg@yahoogroups. com [mailto: hreg@ yahoogroups. com ] On Behalf Of Robert Johnston
                                                      Sent: Sunday, August 02, 2009 5:40 PM
                                                      To: hreg@yahoogroups. com
                                                      Subject: RE: [hreg] A different way to look at PV investment.. .

                                                       

                                                      I see you posted while I was composing my last post.  Just a quick comment…

                                                      Your last paragraph is the key one—for some people, the intangibles make it worth it.  That’s fine, so long as the true financial cost isn’t obscured.  Using the example of an electric vehicle just creates a mental image of something green and neat—free transportation fuel!  But from a financial perspective, one would want to do the comparison on the basis of the cost of metered electricity from the grid vs. the cost of electricity from PV—regardless of whether it is used for an electric car or for anything else you wanted it for.  In that case, the calculation must still factor in cost of capital etc. as I argued.  i.e., regardless of the use, one should just make the calculation on the basis of cost per kwh.

                                                      Robert

                                                      From: hreg@yahoogroups. com [mailto: hreg@ yahoogroups. com ] On Behalf Of Kevin Conlin
                                                      Sent: Sunday, August 02, 2009 5:13 PM
                                                      To: hreg@yahoogroups. com
                                                      Subject: [hreg] A different way to look at PV investment.. .

                                                       

                                                      Good points all.

                                                      At the Solar 2009 conference a few months ago I heard a very interesting
                                                      analogy made. The premise was that if you invested in a 1.5 kw PV system and
                                                      drove an electric vehicle for the next 30 years, you would essentially have
                                                      paid for 30 years worth of fuel with the PV system. I don't remember all the
                                                      specific assumptions, but it assumed a useful life of 30 years for the pv.

                                                      1.5KW @ $10,000 x .7 Federal Tax Credit = $7,000/30 years = $233/year.
                                                      Compared to a 25 mpg vehicle, current gasoline costs would be at least
                                                      $800/year, and aren't likely to decline over 30 years time, but you could
                                                      also assume mileage improvements would be par with rising fuel costs.

                                                      I know you can take the example apart because of the assumptions and
                                                      simplified math, but the point was by investing in pv/ev you were displacing
                                                      foreign oil payments and reducing the trade deficit, spending the money
                                                      domestically and stimulating a growing industry, reducing CO2 and other
                                                      climate changing emissions, encouraging distributed energy on the grid as
                                                      well as saving money personally, over $15,000.

                                                      As Kim alluded, the benefits aren't just financial; intangibles such as the
                                                      personal pride, enjoyment and fulfillment that come from ownership have
                                                      different values to different people.

                                                      Kevin Conlin
                                                      Heliosolar Design, Inc.
                                                      13534 Quetzal Lane
                                                      Houston , TX 77083
                                                      C: (281) 202-9629
                                                      H: (281) 530-7501
                                                      F: (281) 530-7501
                                                      kevin@heliosolardes ign.com



                                                      -----Original Message-----
                                                      From: hreg@yahoogroups. com [mailto:hreg@yahoogroups. com] On Behalf Of Garth
                                                      & Kim Travis
                                                      Sent: Sunday, August 02, 2009 3:40 PM
                                                      To: hreg@yahoogroups. com
                                                      Subject: Re: [hreg] Cost of solar PV installed.

                                                      Greetings,

                                                      Why would you factor 100% financing? Even mortgages require at least 5 or 10
                                                      percent down. Also, a 25 year term for a mere $38,500? That is paying less
                                                      than $2,000 a year in capital. Any financial adviser worth their salt would
                                                      tell you that is a bit silly, a 15 year period would be pretty maximum. How
                                                      many times over do you wish to pay for the system?

                                                      If you are going to include all of the joys of ownership, you should also
                                                      include the adjustments for the rising cost of electric, and the final value
                                                      of the system when it is paid for. Especially since when you pay the grid,
                                                      at the end of it all, you have nothing. It is like renting a home vs owning
                                                      a home. Initially it costs more to own, but in the long run, it is soooooo
                                                      much cheaper.

                                                      Bright Blessings,
                                                      Kim

                                                      Robert Johnston wrote:

                                                      >
                                                      >
                                                      > This doesn't factor in (1) the cost of capital or (2) increased
                                                      > property insurance rates.
                                                      >
                                                      > (1) If you assume 100% financing at mortgage rates of 5.25% for 25
                                                      > years, the monthly payment for a $38,500 system (10kW) would be
                                                      > $230.71. Using Chris' estimated output for a 10kW system of 1000
                                                      > kW/mo, that increases the cost to $0.23/kwh.
                                                      >
                                                      > (2) I was recently quoted $10 annually per $1000 coverage on
                                                      w:st="on">Texas
                                                      > Windstorm (possibly Houston is a bit less;
                                                      I live in Lake Jackson ,
                                                      > nearer the coast). Federal flood insurance currently runs me $2.61 per
                                                      > $1000 coverage. Homeowners insurance costs me $3.73 per $1000 of
                                                      > coverage. Thus, for all 3 coverages, a total of $16.34 per $1000 of
                                                      > coverage. Now, I don't know what exactly solar panels and controls add
                                                      > compared to the cost of the rest of the house itself, but if we
                                                      > conservatively assume that it incrementally increases insurance costs
                                                      > only at 75% of the rate of the rest of the house, that is $12.26 per
                                                      > $1000, or for a $38,500 installation (assuming we only insure for the
                                                      > net cost to us after federal subsidies, not the replacement cost of
                                                      > the system), then that is an extra $472 per year, or $0.039/kwh. If
                                                      > insured at replacement cost, it will be correspondingly higher (I
                                                      > suspect you will be required by your insurance company to cover at
                                                      > replacement cost since that is what they are promising to do for you,
                                                      > and no federal subsidy will help them replace your system after a
                                                      > fire, hurricane, etc.). If rates are lower in your area, or you don't
                                                      > carry flood coverage, then rates would be somewhat lower.
                                                      >
                                                      >
                                                      > With the cost of financing and the cost of insurance factored in, the
                                                      > cost would be approximately $0.27/kwh for a 10 kW system. Whereas
                                                      > $0.128/kwh is similar to current REP rates, $0.27/kwh is not.
                                                      >
                                                      > Robert Johnston
                                                      >
                                                      > *From:* hreg@yahoogroups. com
                                                      [mailto:hreg@yahoogroups. com] *On Behalf
                                                      > Of *Chris Boyer
                                                      > *Sent:* Saturday, August 01, 2009 10:27 PM
                                                      > *To:* HREG
                                                      > *Subject:* [hreg] Cost of solar PV installed.
                                                      >
                                                      > Here is a simple calculation showing examples of the current economics
                                                      > for Solar PV in Houston .
                                                      I mentioned this is the HREG meeting last
                                                      > Sunday, so here are the numbers. What it shows is the "Price" of
                                                      > installing a system of three sizes on a building (the upfront cash
                                                      > layout), from 100 kW, to 10 kW and 1 kW; then the Federal Tax Credit
                                                      > (which is now a rebate for commercial systems); and the Net cost of
                                                      > the solar installation for each size. The next line is typical energy
                                                      > production (kWh) that the system would produce over the life of the
                                                      > system (25 years warranty). Dividing the Net cost by energy produced
                                                      > gives the Cost of electricity with a solar PV system on a building:
                                                      > less than 12 cents/kWh for larger systems and nearly 15 cents/kWh for
                                                      > very small systems.
                                                      >
                                                      > Size
                                                      >
                                                      >
                                                      >
                                                      > 100 kW
                                                      >
                                                      >
                                                      >
                                                      > 10 kW
                                                      >
                                                      >
                                                      >
                                                      > 1 kW
                                                      >
                                                      > Price
                                                      >
                                                      >
                                                      >
                                                      > $500,000.00
                                                      >
                                                      >
                                                      >
                                                      > $55,000.00
                                                      >
                                                      >
                                                      >
                                                      > $6,500.00
                                                      >
                                                      > Fed
                                                      >
                                                      >
                                                      >
                                                      > $150,000.00
                                                      >
                                                      >
                                                      >
                                                      > $16,500.00
                                                      >
                                                      >
                                                      >
                                                      > $1,950.00
                                                      >
                                                      > Net
                                                      >
                                                      >
                                                      >
                                                      > $350,000.00
                                                      >
                                                      >
                                                      >
                                                      > $38,500.00
                                                      >
                                                      >
                                                      >
                                                      > $4,550.00
                                                      >
                                                      > Production
                                                      >
                                                      >
                                                      >
                                                      >
                                                      >
                                                      > kWh/25yr
                                                      >
                                                      >
                                                      >
                                                      > 3,000,000
                                                      >
                                                      >
                                                      >
                                                      > 300,000
                                                      >
                                                      >
                                                      >
                                                      > 30,000
                                                      >
                                                      > Electricity
                                                      >
                                                      >
                                                      >
                                                      >
                                                      >
                                                      > Cost
                                                      >
                                                      >
                                                      >
                                                      > $ 0.117
                                                      >
                                                      >
                                                      >
                                                      > $ 0.128
                                                      >
                                                      >
                                                      >
                                                      > $ 0.152
                                                      >
                                                      >
                                                      >
                                                      >

                                                      ------------ --------- --------- ------

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                                                      Version: 8.5.392 / Virus Database: 270.13.41/2277 - Release Date: 08/02/09
                                                      05:56:00

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                                                    • Kevin Conlin
                                                      Robert, Yes I am talking about the intangibles, but it s the intangibles in our lives that make and define us, not tangible assets. It s not the car, the bank
                                                      Message 27 of 29 , Aug 3, 2009
                                                      • 0 Attachment
                                                        Robert, Yes I am talking about the intangibles, but it's the intangibles in our lives that make and define us, not tangible assets.  It's not the car, the bank account or the house..
                                                         
                                                        The most important decisions in our lives are about intangibles; love of friends and family, our social conscience, our life partner, our religion, our fear of death,  belief in an afterlife, how we conduct our daily lives.........the things that make us happy and fulfilled.
                                                         
                                                        My point is you unfairly discount the very things that mean the most to us because they don't have a $ sign.
                                                         
                                                        Silas Marner was not a happy camper.
                                                         
                                                        I promise this is my last post on this topic......
                                                         
                                                        Kevin Conlin
                                                        Heliosolar Design, Inc.
                                                        13534 Quetzal Lane
                                                        Houston, TX 77083
                                                        C:  (281) 202-9629
                                                        H:  (281) 530-7501
                                                        F:  (281) 530-7501
                                                         
                                                         
                                                         


                                                        From: hreg@yahoogroups.com [mailto:hreg@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Robert Johnston
                                                        Sent: Sunday, August 02, 2009 7:44 PM
                                                        To: hreg@yahoogroups.com
                                                        Subject: RE: [hreg] A different way to look at PV investment... cost vs. value

                                                         

                                                        Yes, but you are pointing to the intangibles.  How many people purchase PV because it is fun or sexy or anything like that?  A few enthusiasts do.  But most people are interested simply in getting electrical power; they don’t care how.  As for the environment, climate change, etc.—remember that this is all available “on the grid” through renewable sources (windpower etc.).  So it isn’t a choice between PV and climate change etc.  The question is whether distributed power in the form of residential PV is cost competitive with renewable power distributed over the grid.  The answer, I believe the analysis shows (if you factor in cost of capital), is “no”.  Again, that doesn’t mean folks who get a thrill watching electrons chase holes in their PV panels won’t enjoy having them.


                                                        Robert

                                                        From: hreg@yahoogroups. com [mailto:hreg@ yahoogroups. com] On Behalf Of Kevin Conlin
                                                        Sent: Sunday, August 02, 2009 7:12 PM
                                                        To: hreg@yahoogroups. com
                                                        Subject: [hreg] A different way to look at PV investment.. . cost vs. value

                                                         

                                                        Yes, I can't argue against a realistic financial perspective, but I also think that distorts the true value of the investment.  We seldom apply those rules to most of the other major purchases in our lives.

                                                        We never think about the return on a set of golf clubs, a beautiful home, a sleek car or a granite countertop, but those investments make for a more fulfilling life, and we personally justify the extra expense by the satisfaction and enjoyment we get from using those items. How many people reading this bought their car because it was the cheapest and most economical one you could find?  It more likely came down to personal choice and preference.

                                                        If climate change, dwindling resources, environmental degradation, threatened wildlife, future generations, a sustainable society and lifestyle or any other issues are close to your heart, then you can make the right decision without regard for ROI, payback, cost of opportunity, etc...and feel real good about it.

                                                        How many people use life cycle costing when buying a big screen TV, a stainless steel refrigerator, BBQ grill or new furniture?  Then why do we always insist on imposing those rules on solar?

                                                        If we only made decisions based on economics, this would be one empty, desolate planet....and we would do many things for the very wrong reasons.

                                                        Value is so much more than just cost.....and I admire the people who make the right decisions for the "wrong" reasons.

                                                        Kevin Conlin

                                                        Heliosolar Design, Inc.

                                                        13534 Quetzal Lane

                                                        Houston, TX 77083

                                                        C:  (281) 202-9629

                                                        H:  (281) 530-7501

                                                        F:  (281) 530-7501

                                                        kevin@heliosolardes ign.com


                                                        From: hreg@yahoogroups. com [mailto:hreg@ yahoogroups. com] On Behalf Of Robert Johnston
                                                        Sent: Sunday, August 02, 2009 5:40 PM
                                                        To: hreg@yahoogroups. com
                                                        Subject: RE: [hreg] A different way to look at PV investment.. .

                                                         

                                                        I see you posted while I was composing my last post.  Just a quick comment…

                                                        Your last paragraph is the key one—for some people, the intangibles make it worth it.  That’s fine, so long as the true financial cost isn’t obscured.  Using the example of an electric vehicle just creates a mental image of something green and neat—free transportation fuel!  But from a financial perspective, one would want to do the comparison on the basis of the cost of metered electricity from the grid vs. the cost of electricity from PV—regardless of whether it is used for an electric car or for anything else you wanted it for.  In that case, the calculation must still factor in cost of capital etc. as I argued.  i.e., regardless of the use, one should just make the calculation on the basis of cost per kwh.

                                                        Robert

                                                        From: hreg@yahoogroups. com [mailto:hreg@ yahoogroups. com] On Behalf Of Kevin Conlin
                                                        Sent: Sunday, August 02, 2009 5:13 PM
                                                        To: hreg@yahoogroups. com
                                                        Subject: [hreg] A different way to look at PV investment.. .

                                                         

                                                        Good points all.

                                                        At the Solar 2009 conference a few months ago I heard a very interesting
                                                        analogy made. The premise was that if you invested in a 1.5 kw PV system and
                                                        drove an electric vehicle for the next 30 years, you would essentially have
                                                        paid for 30 years worth of fuel with the PV system. I don't remember all the
                                                        specific assumptions, but it assumed a useful life of 30 years for the pv.

                                                        1.5KW @ $10,000 x .7 Federal Tax Credit = $7,000/30 years = $233/year.
                                                        Compared to a 25 mpg vehicle, current gasoline costs would be at least
                                                        $800/year, and aren't likely to decline over 30 years time, but you could
                                                        also assume mileage improvements would be par with rising fuel costs.

                                                        I know you can take the example apart because of the assumptions and
                                                        simplified math, but the point was by investing in pv/ev you were displacing
                                                        foreign oil payments and reducing the trade deficit, spending the money
                                                        domestically and stimulating a growing industry, reducing CO2 and other
                                                        climate changing emissions, encouraging distributed energy on the grid as
                                                        well as saving money personally, over $15,000.

                                                        As Kim alluded, the benefits aren't just financial; intangibles such as the
                                                        personal pride, enjoyment and fulfillment that come from ownership have
                                                        different values to different people.

                                                        Kevin Conlin
                                                        Heliosolar Design, Inc.
                                                        13534 Quetzal Lane
                                                        Houston, TX 77083
                                                        C: (281) 202-9629
                                                        H: (281) 530-7501
                                                        F: (281) 530-7501
                                                        kevin@heliosolardes ign.com



                                                        -----Original Message-----
                                                        From: hreg@yahoogroups. com [mailto:hreg@yahoogroups. com] On Behalf Of Garth
                                                        & Kim Travis
                                                        Sent: Sunday, August 02, 2009 3:40 PM
                                                        To: hreg@yahoogroups. com
                                                        Subject: Re: [hreg] Cost of solar PV installed.

                                                        Greetings,

                                                        Why would you factor 100% financing? Even mortgages require at least 5 or 10
                                                        percent down. Also, a 25 year term for a mere $38,500? That is paying less
                                                        than $2,000 a year in capital. Any financial adviser worth their salt would
                                                        tell you that is a bit silly, a 15 year period would be pretty maximum. How
                                                        many times over do you wish to pay for the system?

                                                        If you are going to include all of the joys of ownership, you should also
                                                        include the adjustments for the rising cost of electric, and the final value
                                                        of the system when it is paid for. Especially since when you pay the grid,
                                                        at the end of it all, you have nothing. It is like renting a home vs owning
                                                        a home. Initially it costs more to own, but in the long run, it is soooooo
                                                        much cheaper.

                                                        Bright Blessings,
                                                        Kim

                                                        Robert Johnston wrote:

                                                        >
                                                        >
                                                        > This
                                                        doesn't factor in (1) the cost of capital or (2) increased
                                                        > property
                                                        insurance rates.
                                                        >
                                                        > (1) If you assume 100% financing at mortgage
                                                        rates of 5.25% for 25
                                                        > years, the monthly payment for a $38,500 system
                                                        (10kW) would be
                                                        > $230.71. Using Chris' estimated output for a 10kW
                                                        system of 1000
                                                        > kW/mo, that increases the cost to
                                                        $0.23/kwh.
                                                        >
                                                        > (2) I was recently quoted $10 annually per $1000
                                                        coverage on Texas
                                                        > Windstorm (possibly Houston is a bit less; I live in
                                                        Lake Jackson,
                                                        > nearer the coast). Federal flood insurance currently runs
                                                        me $2.61 per
                                                        > $1000 coverage. Homeowners insurance costs me $3.73 per
                                                        $1000 of
                                                        > coverage. Thus, for all 3 coverages, a total of $16.34 per
                                                        $1000 of
                                                        > coverage. Now, I don't know what exactly solar panels and
                                                        controls add
                                                        > compared to the cost of the rest of the house itself, but
                                                        if we
                                                        > conservatively assume that it incrementally increases insurance
                                                        costs
                                                        > only at 75% of the rate of the rest of the house, that is $12.26
                                                        per
                                                        > $1000, or for a $38,500 installation (assuming we only insure for
                                                        the
                                                        > net cost to us after federal subsidies, not the replacement cost of
                                                        > the system), then that is an extra $472 per year, or $0.039/kwh. If
                                                        > insured at replacement cost, it will be correspondingly higher (I
                                                        > suspect you will be required by your insurance company to cover at
                                                        > replacement cost since that is what they are promising to do for you,
                                                        > and no federal subsidy will help them replace your system after a
                                                        > fire, hurricane, etc.). If rates are lower in your area, or you don't
                                                        > carry flood coverage, then rates would be somewhat
                                                        lower.
                                                        >
                                                        >
                                                        > With the cost of financing and the cost of
                                                        insurance factored in, the
                                                        > cost would be approximately $0.27/kwh for a
                                                        10 kW system. Whereas
                                                        > $0.128/kwh is similar to current REP rates,
                                                        $0.27/kwh is not.
                                                        >
                                                        > Robert Johnston
                                                        >
                                                        > *From:*
                                                        href="mailto:hreg%40yahoogroups.com">hreg@yahoogroups. com [mailto:hreg@yahoogroups. com] *On Behalf
                                                        > Of *Chris Boyer
                                                        > *Sent:* Saturday, August 01, 2009 10:27
                                                        PM
                                                        > *To:* HREG
                                                        > *Subject:* [hreg] Cost of solar PV
                                                        installed.
                                                        >
                                                        > Here is a simple calculation showing examples of the
                                                        current economics
                                                        > for Solar PV in Houston. I mentioned this is the HREG
                                                        meeting last
                                                        > Sunday, so here are the numbers. What it shows is the
                                                        "Price" of
                                                        > installing a system of three sizes on a building (the
                                                        upfront cash
                                                        > layout), from 100 kW, to 10 kW and 1 kW; then the Federal
                                                        Tax Credit
                                                        > (which is now a rebate for commercial systems); and the Net
                                                        cost of
                                                        > the solar installation for each size. The next line is typical
                                                        energy
                                                        > production (kWh) that the system would produce over the life of
                                                        the
                                                        > system (25 years warranty). Dividing the Net cost by energy
                                                        produced
                                                        > gives the Cost of electricity with a solar PV system on a
                                                        building:
                                                        > less than 12 cents/kWh for larger systems and nearly 15
                                                        cents/kWh for
                                                        > very small systems.
                                                        >
                                                        > Size
                                                        >
                                                        >
                                                        >
                                                        > 100 kW
                                                        >
                                                        >
                                                        >
                                                        > 10 kW
                                                        >
                                                        >
                                                        >
                                                        > 1 kW
                                                        >
                                                        > Price
                                                        >
                                                        >
                                                        >
                                                        >
                                                        $500,000.00
                                                        >
                                                        >
                                                        >
                                                        > $55,000.00
                                                        >
                                                        >
                                                        >
                                                        > $6,500.00
                                                        >
                                                        > Fed
                                                        >
                                                        >
                                                        >
                                                        >
                                                        $150,000.00
                                                        >
                                                        >
                                                        >
                                                        > $16,500.00
                                                        >
                                                        >
                                                        >
                                                        > $1,950.00
                                                        >
                                                        > Net
                                                        >
                                                        >
                                                        >
                                                        >
                                                        $350,000.00
                                                        >
                                                        >
                                                        >
                                                        > $38,500.00
                                                        >
                                                        >
                                                        >
                                                        > $4,550.00
                                                        >
                                                        > Production
                                                        >
                                                        >
                                                        >
                                                        >
                                                        >
                                                        > kWh/25yr
                                                        >
                                                        >
                                                        >
                                                        >
                                                        3,000,000
                                                        >
                                                        >
                                                        >
                                                        > 300,000
                                                        >
                                                        >
                                                        >
                                                        > 30,000
                                                        >
                                                        > Electricity
                                                        >
                                                        >
                                                        >
                                                        >
                                                        >
                                                        > Cost
                                                        >
                                                        >
                                                        >
                                                        > $
                                                        0.117
                                                        >
                                                        >
                                                        >
                                                        > $ 0.128
                                                        >
                                                        >
                                                        >
                                                        >
                                                        $ 0.152
                                                        >
                                                        >
                                                        >
                                                        >

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                                                      • Garth & Kim Travis
                                                        Greetings, Once again, urban vs rural and this list does serve surrounding areas. In the rural areas, you pay to get hooked up to the grid, depending on how
                                                        Message 28 of 29 , Aug 3, 2009
                                                        • 0 Attachment
                                                          Greetings,

                                                          Once again, urban vs rural and this list does serve surrounding areas.
                                                          In the rural areas, you pay to get hooked up to the grid, depending on
                                                          how far they need to run the lines, it can be thousands.

                                                          I use the words 'home ownership' to mean actually owning a home. Not in
                                                          the process of buying one, which is what having a mortgage is. When I
                                                          teach finances, I point out how many times over you are going to pay for
                                                          that house if you run your mortgage out, at least 3 or 4 times. Home
                                                          ownership is great if you pay the place off ASAP, then life's little
                                                          disasters aren't so bad to live with. Many people don't understand that
                                                          they are renting when they opt for a mortgage of the type that just pays
                                                          the interest. They will never own the place. And yes, buying at the
                                                          top of the market hurts, you can wind up owing more than the house is worth.

                                                          But with all things, the costs depend on circumstances. I know many
                                                          people that are off grid since it was cheaper than having the grid
                                                          connected. I use PV in my out buildings for the same reason, it is
                                                          cheaper.

                                                          Your comments about: " For me personally, PV should be a trouble-free
                                                          system with costs equal to renewable energy purchased on the grid with
                                                          the full support of professionalcrews/maintenance included." Are
                                                          funny. I wish the grid was that dependable. We purchased our first
                                                          large inverter [powered by our tractor running on waste veggie oil] to
                                                          be able to power the freezers and fridges when the grid is down.
                                                          Renewable energy grid is not an option here.

                                                          Self Sufficiency will cut costs of everything, if you are willing to do
                                                          the work. Maybe this is why some of us find PV affordable and others do not.

                                                          Bright Blessings,
                                                          Kim



                                                          Robert Johnston wrote:
                                                          > Kim, you've raised some interesting points. I'll try to address each below.
                                                          >
                                                          >
                                                          >
                                                          >
                                                          >
                                                        • Russell Warren
                                                          Thanks Bill, That is less than I would have assumed they use. Russ ... From: hreg@yahoogroups.com [mailto:hreg@yahoogroups.com]On Behalf Of Bill or Dorothy
                                                          Message 29 of 29 , Aug 3, 2009
                                                          • 0 Attachment
                                                            Thanks Bill,
                                                            That is less than I would have assumed they use.
                                                             
                                                            Russ
                                                             
                                                            -----Original Message-----
                                                            From: hreg@yahoogroups.com [mailto:hreg@yahoogroups.com]On Behalf Of Bill or Dorothy Swann
                                                            Sent: Monday, August 03, 2009 9:19 AM
                                                            To: hreg@yahoogroups.com
                                                            Subject: Re: [hreg] A different way to look at PV investment...

                                                             

                                                                Here is the electric vehicle math. My small EV consumes 200 watt hours per mile. With 1.5 kWatt of panels, you can harvest 2376 kWatt-hr per year or 6.5 kWatt-hr per day. 6500/200 = 32 miles per day.
                                                                The source of energy harvested per year is <http://rredc. nrel.gov/ solar/codes_ algs/PVWATTS/ version1/ US/> Choose Texas, click on Houston, and enter the data. I have used tracking solar arrays.
                                                             
                                                            Thanks,Bill S
                                                            Ph 832-338-3080
                                                            www.promotingevs. com



                                                            From: Russell Warren <rrwarren@earthlink. net>
                                                            To: hreg@yahoogroups. com
                                                            Sent: Monday, August 3, 2009 7:53:18 AM
                                                            Subject: RE: [hreg] A different way to look at PV investment.. .

                                                             

                                                            I think this is a nice example except for the fact that there is a huge assumption being made in that a 1.5 kW solar system could power an electric vehicle for the same amount of miles as the gas listed in the explanation.
                                                            Needless to say I have my doubts that you could run a vehicle on even 20 kWh a day.
                                                             
                                                             
                                                             
                                                            -----Original Message-----
                                                            From: hreg@yahoogroups. com [mailto:hreg@ yahoogroups. com]On Behalf Of Kevin Conlin
                                                            Sent: Sunday, August 02, 2009 5:13 PM
                                                            To: hreg@yahoogroups. com
                                                            Subject: [hreg] A different way to look at PV investment.. .

                                                             

                                                            Good points all.

                                                            At the Solar 2009 conference a few months ago I heard a very interesting
                                                            analogy made. The premise was that if you invested in a 1.5 kw PV system and
                                                            drove an electric vehicle for the next 30 years, you would essentially have
                                                            paid for 30 years worth of fuel with the PV system. I don't remember all the
                                                            specific assumptions, but it assumed a useful life of 30 years for the pv.

                                                            1.5KW @ $10,000 x .7 Federal Tax Credit = $7,000/30 years = $233/year.
                                                            Compared to a 25 mpg vehicle, current gasoline costs would be at least
                                                            $800/year, and aren't likely to decline over 30 years time, but you could
                                                            also assume mileage improvements would be par with rising fuel costs.

                                                            I know you can take the example apart because of the assumptions and
                                                            simplified math, but the point was by investing in pv/ev you were displacing
                                                            foreign oil payments and reducing the trade deficit, spending the money
                                                            domestically and stimulating a growing industry, reducing CO2 and other
                                                            climate changing emissions, encouraging distributed energy on the grid as
                                                            well as saving money personally, over $15,000.

                                                            As Kim alluded, the benefits aren't just financial; intangibles such as the
                                                            personal pride, enjoyment and fulfillment that come from ownership have
                                                            different values to different people.

                                                            Kevin Conlin
                                                            Heliosolar Design, Inc.
                                                            13534 Quetzal Lane
                                                            Houston, TX 77083
                                                            C: (281) 202-9629
                                                            H: (281) 530-7501
                                                            F: (281) 530-7501
                                                            kevin@heliosolardes ign.com



                                                            -----Original Message-----
                                                            From: hreg@yahoogroups. com [mailto:hreg@yahoogroups. com] On Behalf Of Garth
                                                            & Kim Travis
                                                            Sent: Sunday, August 02, 2009 3:40 PM
                                                            To: hreg@yahoogroups. com
                                                            Subject: Re: [hreg] Cost of solar PV installed.

                                                            Greetings,

                                                            Why would you factor 100% financing? Even mortgages require at least 5 or 10
                                                            percent down. Also, a 25 year term for a mere $38,500? That is paying less
                                                            than $2,000 a year in capital. Any financial adviser worth their salt would
                                                            tell you that is a bit silly, a 15 year period would be pretty maximum. How
                                                            many times over do you wish to pay for the system?

                                                            If you are going to include all of the joys of ownership, you should also
                                                            include the adjustments for the rising cost of electric, and the final value
                                                            of the system when it is paid for. Especially since when you pay the grid,
                                                            at the end of it all, you have nothing. It is like renting a home vs owning
                                                            a home. Initially it costs more to own, but in the long run, it is soooooo
                                                            much cheaper.

                                                            Bright Blessings,
                                                            Kim

                                                            Robert Johnston wrote:
                                                            >
                                                            >
                                                            > This doesn't factor in (1) the cost of capital or (2) increased
                                                            > property insurance rates.
                                                            >
                                                            > (1) If you assume 100% financing at mortgage rates of 5.25% for 25
                                                            > years, the monthly payment for a $38,500 system (10kW) would be
                                                            > $230.71. Using Chris' estimated output for a 10kW system of 1000
                                                            > kW/mo, that increases the cost to $0.23/kwh.
                                                            >
                                                            > (2) I was recently quoted $10 annually per $1000 coverage on Texas
                                                            > Windstorm (possibly Houston is a bit less; I live in Lake Jackson,
                                                            > nearer the coast). Federal flood insurance currently runs me $2.61 per
                                                            > $1000 coverage. Homeowners insurance costs me $3.73 per $1000 of
                                                            > coverage. Thus, for all 3 coverages, a total of $16.34 per $1000 of
                                                            > coverage. Now, I don't know what exactly solar panels and controls add
                                                            > compared to the cost of the rest of the house itself, but if we
                                                            > conservatively assume that it incrementally increases insurance costs
                                                            > only at 75% of the rate of the rest of the house, that is $12.26 per
                                                            > $1000, or for a $38,500 installation (assuming we only insure for the
                                                            > net cost to us after federal subsidies, not the replacement cost of
                                                            > the system), then that is an extra $472 per year, or $0.039/kwh. If
                                                            > insured at replacement cost, it will be correspondingly higher (I
                                                            > suspect you will be required by your insurance company to cover at
                                                            > replacement cost since that is what they are promising to do for you,
                                                            > and no federal subsidy will help them replace your system after a
                                                            > fire, hurricane, etc.). If rates are lower in your area, or you don't
                                                            > carry flood coverage, then rates would be somewhat lower.
                                                            >
                                                            >
                                                            > With the cost of financing and the cost of insurance factored in, the
                                                            > cost would be approximately $0.27/kwh for a 10 kW system. Whereas
                                                            > $0.128/kwh is similar to current REP rates, $0.27/kwh is not.
                                                            >
                                                            > Robert Johnston
                                                            >
                                                            > *From:* hreg@yahoogroups. com [mailto:hreg@yahoogroups. com] *On Behalf
                                                            > Of *Chris Boyer
                                                            > *Sent:* Saturday, August 01, 2009 10:27 PM
                                                            > *To:* HREG
                                                            > *Subject:* [hreg] Cost of solar PV installed.
                                                            >
                                                            > Here is a simple calculation showing examples of the current economics
                                                            > for Solar PV in Houston. I mentioned this is the HREG meeting last
                                                            > Sunday, so here are the numbers. What it shows is the "Price" of
                                                            > installing a system of three sizes on a building (the upfront cash
                                                            > layout), from 100 kW, to 10 kW and 1 kW; then the Federal Tax Credit
                                                            > (which is now a rebate for commercial systems); and the Net cost of
                                                            > the solar installation for each size. The next line is typical energy
                                                            > production (kWh) that the system would produce over the life of the
                                                            > system (25 years warranty). Dividing the Net cost by energy produced
                                                            > gives the Cost of electricity with a solar PV system on a building:
                                                            > less than 12 cents/kWh for larger systems and nearly 15 cents/kWh for
                                                            > very small systems.
                                                            >
                                                            > Size
                                                            >
                                                            >
                                                            >
                                                            > 100 kW
                                                            >
                                                            >
                                                            >
                                                            > 10 kW
                                                            >
                                                            >
                                                            >
                                                            > 1 kW
                                                            >
                                                            > Price
                                                            >
                                                            >
                                                            >
                                                            > $500,000.00
                                                            >
                                                            >
                                                            >
                                                            > $55,000.00
                                                            >
                                                            >
                                                            >
                                                            > $6,500.00
                                                            >
                                                            > Fed
                                                            >
                                                            >
                                                            >
                                                            > $150,000.00
                                                            >
                                                            >
                                                            >
                                                            > $16,500.00
                                                            >
                                                            >
                                                            >
                                                            > $1,950.00
                                                            >
                                                            > Net
                                                            >
                                                            >
                                                            >
                                                            > $350,000.00
                                                            >
                                                            >
                                                            >
                                                            > $38,500.00
                                                            >
                                                            >
                                                            >
                                                            > $4,550.00
                                                            >
                                                            > Production
                                                            >
                                                            >
                                                            >
                                                            >
                                                            >
                                                            > kWh/25yr
                                                            >
                                                            >
                                                            >
                                                            > 3,000,000
                                                            >
                                                            >
                                                            >
                                                            > 300,000
                                                            >
                                                            >
                                                            >
                                                            > 30,000
                                                            >
                                                            > Electricity
                                                            >
                                                            >
                                                            >
                                                            >
                                                            >
                                                            > Cost
                                                            >
                                                            >
                                                            >
                                                            > $ 0.117
                                                            >
                                                            >
                                                            >
                                                            > $ 0.128
                                                            >
                                                            >
                                                            >
                                                            > $ 0.152
                                                            >
                                                            >
                                                            >
                                                            >

                                                            ------------ --------- --------- ------

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                                                            No virus found in this incoming message.
                                                            Checked by AVG - www.avg.com
                                                            Version: 8.5.392 / Virus Database: 270.13.41/2277 - Release Date: 08/02/09
                                                            05:56:00

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