Q. How do I Get Paid for Electricity?
credits your account the difference between what the system returns to the grid vs what you use from the grid. Energy is charged and credited at the same retail rate for both. If you return more that you use you are credited with Net Excess Generation (NEG). NEG credits do not have an expiration date.
Consumers Energy and TCLP have true net metering programs.
Cherryland has a "buy-all/sell-all" program that pays 10 cents per kWh for production.
Q. How long do Solar PV Systems Last?
A. The panels last at least 25 years, probably over 35 years. The inverters last from 10-20 years. Then they can be refurbished or replaced. Replacement cost is $0.20 to $0.25 per watt for inverters.
Solar panel output deteriorates about 1/2 percent per year in northern climates.
Racking components are aluminum, stainless steel, and galvanized steel.
Q. What about snow in the winter?
A. It depends on the panel tilt and local conditions. Areas exposed to wind with tilt angles 45 degrees or greater will shed most snow. Other systems will require an occasional brush-off for maximum output.
A tracking array "dumps" snow every morning before beginning its tracking routine.
Q. How big is a solar array?
A. For every 1000 DC watts, there are about 60 square feet of panels. So a 10 kw array will be about 600 square ft (20 x 30 ft)