What Does Solar Cost?

After 10 years of working in the solar industry, the question that we hear most often is, “What is the cost of solar?” To answer this, we must first consider a few factors. We look to see if solar is a viable option for your property. Aspects of your property that increase the efficiency of a solar system include a south/southeast facing roof with little to no shade. If you believe that your roof may not be available option or are simply opposed to having panels on your roof, you can explore other options. Ground or pole mounted systems (providing that you have the available space) are viable options and in some cases, we can build a unique structure just for solar. After determining viability for solar on their property, we will then determine what that individual’s goals and expectations are for their solar project.

If a person is seeking to reduce the cost of their electricity bill or potentially make a profit on their solar installation, we would recommend a grid-tie system. A grid-tied system involves having a solar system installed that feeds back into the power grid. All of the energy produced by this system is sold back to your local power company. In most cases, the power company will credit your bill for the kilowatt energy produced, so depending on the size of your system, you can reduce or, completely cancel out your bill. Added value occurs when you produce more energy than you consume and receive a check in the mail in place of your power bill. If a person mentions to us that they are interested in generating and storing their own energy, we would recommend an off-grid installation. With off-grid installations, you become independent of the power company, choosing instead to go with a reliable combination of solar and a battery backup system.

After determining which project style fits your energy needs, we can start to get a better idea of cost. Factors to consider include; your energy usage, material cost, city permit fees, local power company fees, labor fees, and travel cost. A rough estimate for a solar installation can be determined through the regions avg. price per watt cost towards a new system. The avg. price per watt found in our area is generally between $3.00-$4.00 per watt. For example, a 10kw (or 10,000w) grid-tie system, which could off-set a large portion of the average utility bill, would run between $30,000-$40,000 (with a buffer zone on each end of $5,000). The life expectancy of that system is between 20-40 years, paying itself off around the first 8-12 years. This means that you have the potential to see up to 20 years of profit from your system. Combining this with the current 30% federal tax credit on solar installations, you can see why it is a sound investment. Depending on certain factors, many additional incentives may be available to use with that federal credit. Additional benefits include an increase in property value and of course reduced overall environmental impact. To quote a local realtor, “If there are four equal valued homes for sale on the same street, the one with solar panels will always sell first.”

If after reading this you would like to know more about solar and see what options you may have with solar energy, please give us a call at 423-535-9350 or write in through our website at https://tennesseesolarsolutions.com/!

The Facts of the Paris Agreement

The Paris Agreement is a 2015 agreement between 147 countries with the goal of reducing global carbon dioxide emissions to prevent a global temperature increase of 35.6 degrees Fahrenheit (2 degrees Celsius) above the pre-industrial level. The agreement requires each country involved to work towards this goal through NDCs (Nationally Determined Contributions), such as, “domestic mitigation measures, with the aim of achieving the objectives of such contributions.” As of June 1st, the United States have announced that we will be backing out of this agreement.

The US is the 2nd largest carbon dioxide producer globally, contributing to 17.89% of the carbon dioxide produced by countries. To put this in perspective, the third largest contributor is India with 6.81%. The US not participating puts much more pressure on other countries to clean up a mess that we helped create in a major way. However, even though we are backing out, a group of 30 mayors, 3 governors, over 80 university presidents, and over 100 corporations have all agreed to abide by the regulations of the Paris Agreement regardless of how the US proceeds.

The main threat presented by global warming is the melting of land ice in areas like Greenland and Antarctica which each. This additional water is causing the sea levels to rise at an average rate of 1.8mm/yr. Currently, around 700,000,000 people live in areas less than 30 feet above sea level. The rising sea level is already causing devastation in flat countries like Malaysia, destroying fields and homes, driving people into cities that are not built to maintain the population increase. At the rate we our going, more communities at sea level, such as Miami, will be engulfed by the ocean. This will lead to hundreds of billions of dollars in property damage and resource loss in the united states alone. To learn more on this I highly recommend watching this documentary, available for free on YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kp6_sDiup6U

Falling Battery Prices Will Open Up a World of Innovation

Oct 26, 2016 at 6:02PM

The auto industry is just the first, and most visible, domino in a number of industries that will be upended by falling battery prices. A report by Blooimagesmberg New Energy Finance and McKinsey & Co., cited by Bloomberg, found that the average battery-pack price fell 65% from $1,000 per kWh in 2010 to $350 per kWh last year. It even came out last year that General Motors(NYSE:GM) is paying LG Chem (NASDAQOTH:LGCLF) just $145 per kWh for battery cells to make packs for the upcoming Chevy Bolt.

The massive decline in battery costs is already gaining battery-electric vehicles a share of the overall new-vehicle market. But don’t underestimate the adjacent industries that will open up as innovators learn how energy storage creates new opportunities.

The electric vehicle will drive battery prices lower

Scale is the first cost-reduction driver for batteries, and it has driven most of the 65% decline in costs in just five years. And as demand for electric vehicles grows, costs will continue to fall. According to Bloomberg New Energy Finance, just 52,000 EVs were sold in 2010; that number was up to 448,000 last year. By 2018, Tesla Motors (NASDAQ:TSLA) alone plans to sell 500,000 EVs, so the scale is becoming much bigger.

READ MORE HERE….

Lighten Your Energy Load: Reducing Energy Consumption at the 2016 Tri-State Home Show

Chattanooga, TN:  Spring will soon be upon us, along with yard projects and home renovations. But have you ever thought about adding a home improvement that saves money? Going solar on only adds value to your home, but can eliminate your electric bill.

If you have already invested in significant efficiency upgrades to its lighting and HVAC systems, you have reduced your energy load to those functions, so your plug load could equate to as much as 50 percent. So why not Go SOLAR!

Tennessee Solar Solutions  and Green’s Eco Build + Design will be at the 50th Tri-State Home Show is February 26th –12219365_10156179853240223_3344304507694279167_n28th at the Chattanooga Convention Center.  If you are planning to build or remodel your home and want to do it right stop by our booth.  Come get expert advice for your green remodeling project or new home design. Register to win great products for your home.
Admission is $8 and children 16 and under are free.  Friday seniors receive $1 off and Saturday and Sunday bring a can good to benefit the Chattanooga Food bank and receive $1 off. Discounts can not be combined.

SHOW HOURS:

Friday, February 26, 2016 10 AM-8 PM
Saturday, February 27, 2016 10 AM-8 PM
Sunday, February 28, 2016  11 AM-5 PM

 Cost: $8 Children 16 and Under are FREE

 

How Many Solar Panels Do You Need?

By: Kelsey Meyers, Modernize

Whether you’re still considering going solar or you’re ready to take the first step, you probably want to know what system size you need and how that aspect will affect the cost. Unfortunately, it’s not easy for installers to give you an estimate based just on the size of your house or the dollar signs on your utility bill. But you can use your average monthly energy usage to get an idea of the number of panels you will need.

Determine Your Monthly Electrical Use

1606950_10155702738245223_6135075260557403156_nLook at your monthly energy bills for the last year and determine the average number of kWh, or kilowatts per hour. Divide this by 30 to get your daily kWh. Conservatively assuming that one standard solar cell produces 1 kWh per day, the number you just calculated is the number of panels you would need in order to completely cover your home’s energy needs.

In the meantime, reduce your home’s energy demands by buying more energy efficient appliances—that way, you may not have to buy as many solar panels as the calculator shows. Modernize has plenty of ideas for increasing the efficiency of your home before you install a solar system.

Find Out the Average Peak Sunlight Hours

But energy use isn’t the only factor. The amount of sunlight that your panels get also affects how many you will need to install. The more sunlight they receive, the more they are able to convert that radiant heat and light into energy for your home. If parts of your roof are shaded at certain times a day, you will need more panels to make up for that. As you monitor the quality and amount of sunlight that your roof gets, keep in mind that you’re going to need to install the panels on a south-facing roof for optimum efficiency. If trees or other buildings cast shade on your roof, or if you live in an area that doesn’t receive many hours of sunlight, you’re going to need to plan accordingly.

Decide How You Want to Use Your Solar System

While many prospective solar users dream of covering all of their energy costs, covering just a percentage is also an option. You may only decide to install enough solar panels to keep you out of the higher tiers of energy consumption, or you may just want to start off with just a few panels and build from there. You can cust11889450_10155951057030223_2213302186479320315_nomize your system to your budget—just be sure to avoid making compromises where it counts. For example, you wouldn’t want to buy a cheaper inverter to save money because this will only end up costing you, but you could start off with just one panel and slowly transition to using solar.

Contact the Experts at TN Solar Solar today.

Two State-wide Solar Boards Shine Bright as Members of Local Solar Co Join Their Ranks

For Immediate Release

Local Solar Company’s President and COO to State-wide TSEA and TenneSEIA Board Positions

Chattanooga, TN/USA, November 17, 2015: Tennessee Solar Solutions President, Anthony Roden was appointed to the AnthonyBoard of Directors for Tennessee Solar Energy Association (TSEA), the state chapter American Solar Energy Society. Tennessee Solar Energy Association believes that widespread adoption of solar technology in the state of Tennessee will help create energy independence, lessen harmful environmental impacts, and result in cost savings for consumers.  Roden’s company, established in 2007, is the only solar company in the greater Chattanooga area with a sole focus on solar energy systems for the community, residential, business and Agri-business.

“I am honored to be a bigger part of TSEA. I feel we have to do our part to promote events and educational opportunities about solar energy. By sharing this knowledge we can empower our communities to generate their own electricity. Best part, we are making the world a better place than we found it.”

KincerGinny Kincer, Tennessee Solar Solutions’ Chief Operations Officer was recently elected to the Tennessee Solar Energy Industries (TenneSEIA) Association Board of Directors. TenneSEIA is the state chapter for the national Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), and represents the interest of the solar energy industry in Tennessee. The mission of TenneSEIA is to make solar energy a mainstream energy source and realize the full potential of the solar industry in Tennessee.

Kincer already is Chairwoman of the Lifetime Achievement in Solar Award for TenneSEIA. This newly established honor was the vision of TenneSEIA members that was spearheaded by Kincer this year.

“TenneSEIA is a strong voice for the solar industry here in Tennessee, as well as SEIA nationwide. As an advocate for solar energy, becoming more involved was a natural fit.”

Tennessee Solar Solutions, LLC opened its doors in 2007 with the mission to help others produce their own free, clean, earth friendly electricity! Tennessee Solar Solutions, 2015 Top Solar Contractor in North America, designs, installs and maintains solar energy systems throughout the southeast.

Contact: Ginny Kincer, 423-298-1688, ginny@tennesseesolarsolutions.com

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NOW HIRING: Seeking applicants to install grid-tied/off-grid PV systems

Tennessee Solar Solutions seeking applicants to install grid-tied/off-grid PV systems.Group-Shot

In this position, the PV Installer will provide support to the crew lead of the installation team, communicate

job status data to the operations management, and ensure the completion of installation of all solar

arrays/systems. It is the responsibility of every Installer to ensure safe work practices for the TSS

installation team.

DCIM100MEDIA

Responsibilities

• Pulling inventory for each installation job

• Pre-assemble job components in the warehouse

• Layout and assembly of solar modules / array and mounting hardware

• Mechanical/structural mounting of racking, modules and electrical equipment

• Electrical wiring of solar array/system (AC and DC)

• Document completion of completed installation

• Clean up of job site

• Attend mandatory training sessions on new products, installation methodology and safety

• Additional duties required as needed

Qualifications

• 1 year of roof work, general construction, or carpentry required

• Previous solar experience strongly preferred

• Must be able to lift 50lbs

• Ability to work in extreme environments (example: hot sun, cold, crawl spaces, ect)

• Must be willing and able to climb ladders, stairs, work on rooftops and able to work on your feet

for long periods of time

• Basic computer skills including familiarity with Microsoft Office programs

• High school diploma or GED required

• Excellent written and verbal communication skills required

• Excellent customer service skills required

• Must be able to successfully pass a pre-employment criminal, driving and drug screen

• Must have a clean driving record (example- no DUI in the last 5 years)

• Must have a valid state driver’s license

• Thrive in a team environment

Benefits for Full-Time Positions:

• Competitive compensation with many positions incentivized

• Paid training

• Career path opportunities for top performers

1907490_10155701989070223_84908534412145444_n11260519_10155928373045223_7232310701489360557_n11666160_10155713862520223_7788381598315850869_n

Tennessee Solar Solutions is a 2015 TOP SOLAR CONTRACTOR and is an Equal Opportunity / Affirmative Action employer committed to diversity in the workplace. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, disability, protected veteran status, gender identity or any other factor protected by applicable federal, state or local laws.

All inquiries, please submit cover letter, resume and references to Ginny Kincer, via email, ginny@tennesseesolarsolutions.com

Pitch Prefect

 One of the key considerations when installing an array of solar panels is the direction that the roof is tilted, as well as the angle, or pitch, of the roof.

A roof can be repaired or reinforced before installation if it’s damaged, but you can’t do much about the location, orientation, or pitch of the roof, short of moving to a new house, so knowing where and when and for how long the sun hits the potential location of the solar array is important. Because that is variable throughout the year, just as power consumption is variable throughout the day, it can be confusing when trying to pin down the ‘best’ solar panel angle and array orientation.

A home solar array is only as useful as it is appropriately sized, oriented, and installed. A poorly-matched system installed in a suboptimal location can be a big disappointment, so it’s important to pay attention to a lot of little details when planning to go solar.

All the right angles help you get the most out of your solar energy system.
All the right angles help you get the most out of your solar energy system.

We’re all pretty aware that the sun appears to move through the sky during the day, from east to west, and that the days are longer (more hours of sunlight) in the summer, with shorter days (fewer hours of sunlight) in the winter. But there’s another variable when it comes to the sun’s energy, and that is the angle of inclination that the sun takes (its ‘height’ in the sky), which also shifts gradually throughout the year, so not only do we have to capture the most energy we can from a sun that’s moving across the sky, but one that’s also moving higher or lower in the sky, depending on the season.

And all of those variables are affected by yet another one, which is the physical location on the planet, because depending on where your house is, the amount of sunlight your solar panels will receive on any given day will vary from another location, such as more to the north or south of you. All of that is to say that there is no ‘one size fits all’ solar array that can be installed the same way every time and yet produce the exact same amount of electricity throughout the year, even not accounting for individual differences in homes or neighborhoods (tree cover, tall buildings casting shade, etc.)

When evaluating your own potential solar site, most likely your roof, it’s helpful to understand the particulars of your situation, such as the pitch, or angle, of the roof, as well as the direction that the intended surface faces, and to then relate that to the path of the sun through the sky during each of the four seasons.

Depending on where and when your house was built, the angle of your roof can be anything from flat (not very common, except in some arid regions) up to 45° or more (such as in snowy locations with steeply pitched roofs), but many homes have an angle somewhere right in the middle, around 30° or so. Because the most cost-effective and efficient way to install solar panels is parallel to the roof, your roof pitch will essentially be your future solar panel angle (unless a fixed-angle racking system is added to it), so it’s an important figure to know.

The other fixed variable is the direction that the home and its roof surfaces are pointed. In the northern hemisphere, the most sun will hit the southern faces of roofs, on average, throughout the year, so a south-facing roof has been the default for most solar installations. However, the sun also lights up the eastern surfaces in the mornings, and western surfaces in the afternoons, so roof planes that aren’t facing true south aren’t necessarily out of the question for solar panels (and western-facing solar arrays may actually be more useful to the grid, as they produce optimally during times of high demand).

Because the location of the sun in the sky each day varies by geographic location, the optimal solar panel angle is usually said to be equal to the latitude of the location, although because the angle of the roof and the latitude aren’t often an exact match, the solar array is usually simply installed parallel to the roof, in a fixed position. And according to a study at EnergySage, that’s probably the best way to do it, because the additional costs of racking to get the best solar panel angle may not achieve enough of a performance gain to make a big difference. In a location with higher electricity prices, it may make the most sense to use additional racking adjust the angle of the array for optimal production, and in other locations, lower electricity costs may not justify any additional expense for racking.

For those who want to boost their solar production in the winter and the summer, and not just have their solar panel angle be fixed year-round, an adjustable racking system may allow for optimal solar electricity generation. By tilting the panels 15° steeper in the winter and 15° down in the summer, it’s possible to increase the amount of energy your system can capture during those seasons, but there are also a number of different ways of determiningwhen and how much to adjust the angle on a solar array if a default 15° isn’t enough for you.

The other major factor in a home solar array is the available roof space for a system that is sized appropriately to both your budget and your electricity needs. For some homes, with multiple-plane roofs, it may not be possible to put the entire array all together at the same angle, and so some solar panels will have to be installed at different angles from the rest, as the photo at the top illustrates.

If cost was no object, the absolute best performing solar electric array would probably be one mounted on poles, using dual axis tracking so that it can effectively track the sun through the sky and remain directly pointed at it all day long, regardless of what season it is. However, for most of us, a fixed angle rooftop solar array, pointed south, is already economically viable in most places, so there’s no need to invest the extra money to get a great return. Basically, the best solar panel angle for you is the one that either matches your roof pitch, because it’s cost-effective to install an array that way, or the one that gets you the most bang for your buck, electricity-wise, in your location, and your local solar installer can help you figure that out.

Excerpt from COST OF SOLAR, read more details here

California solar policy under construction?

California has been a state that has set records in solar production, generation, incentives and even policy. So why now does it feel like they are taking a step backwards?

In a recent article by Reem Nasr, “Utilities’ newest solar battleground: California”, 

“The California Public Utilities Commission on Monday holds hearings that could result in changes to the way that solar panel users are reimbursed for the power they generate, improbably making the Golden State the newest front in a battle between power companies and rooftop solar firms. On one side are proponents of solar energy and the companies that make the panels, while arrayed against them are utilities that want policy changes that would result in solar power being less cost-effective for homeowners and businesses that want to use it.”

Many Californians rely on net metering as a way to obtain their solar energy system. Net metering by definition from SEIA, Solar Energy industries Association,

“Net metering is a billing mechanism that credits solar energy system owners for the electricity they add to the grid. For example, if a residential customer has a PV system on the home’s rooftop, it may generate more electricity than the home uses during daylight hours. If the home is net-metered, the electricity meter will run backwards to provide a credit against what electricity is consumed at night or other periods where the home’s electricity use exceeds the system’s output. Customers are only billed for their “net” energy use. On average, only 20-40% of a solar energy system’s output ever goes into the grid. Exported solar electricity serves nearby customers’ loads.”

The current net metering policy was put into place no more than two years ago. These new proposals currently being submitted to the California Public Utilities Commission could not only restructure this policy moving forward but set new standards for states like Tennessee who is one of four states that does not have laws regulating net metering.