Grid Scale, Solar

Home Solar System Launched in California

A new one-stop shopping system for residential solar systems has been launched in California by Green Mountain Energy Company, one of the largest suppliers of renewable energy in the United States.

SAN FRANCISCO, California, US, 2001-09-08 [SolarAccess.com] A new one-stop shopping system for residential solar systems has been launched in California by Green Mountain Energy Company, one of the largest suppliers of renewable energy in the United States. The Green Mountain Energy(SM) Home Solar system can be installed quickly on rooftops, and officials claim it can pay for itself with combined savings from reduced electric bills, state rebates and increased property value. Depending on which system is selected, the unit can provide up to 100 percent of the electricity needed to power a home. “The electricity from my solar electric panels has reduced my electric bills to virtually zero, while providing my home with reliable electricity that does not release any emissions, and protects me from rolling blackouts,” says Mike Thompson of San Jose, who has been using a 6 kW home solar system for 18 months. “In addition to providing my house with power that is always on and clean, with the solar panels, I get to watch my utility meter run backwards.” The Texas company offers three standard-sized systems, ranging from 1 to 4 kW. With incentives from the California Energy Commission (CEC) Buydown Program, a 1 kW system costs US$7,000 and a 4 kW system costs $22,000. The exact price will depend on the particular layout of each installation. In May, the CEC increased rebates from $3 to $4.50 a watt, or up to 50 percent of purchase price, whichever is lower. PV panels are made by BP Solar, one of the largest solar electric companies with 44 years of experience in the manufacture, development and marketing of PV products. A five-year warranty is provided on all parts and labour, and a limited 20 year warranty on the PV panels themselves. Green Mountain Energy Company, as a one-stop solar shop, will take care of all consumer needs, including initial consultation, system design, order processing, application for subsidies and permits, system installation and annual check-ups for the first five years. A typical 2 kW solar system can supply 50 percent of the average electricity consumption of a California home. A back-up battery costs an additional $3,000. Depending on financing, the systems are designed to recoup their investment in ten years. With the installation of a 2 kW system, a solar customer will displace the emission of 2.5 tons of CO2 each year.