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I've been thinking about installing a solar panel farm here at the house. My neighbor runs the Beatty Sun Farm, see pics below. He has 4 Zomeworks solar tracking racks, 10KW of solar panels, and 48 Enphase microinverters. He sells all the power generated back to the power station.

The Zomeworks racks use passive tracking. There's fluid in cylinders mounted to each side and piping going between the cylinders. As the fluid heats it's passively pumped to the other side which moves weight from side to side thereby tracking the sun, pretty cool. The price per rack is $2820.00 x 4 = $11,280.00.

He has 10 KilloWatts of photovoltaic solar cells. At a price of about $0.80 per watt the price comes to around $8,000.00.

He also has 48 Enphase Microinverters at a price of around $130.00 per inverter, or $6240.00.

The grand total is $11280 + $8000 + $6240 = $25,500 (plus installation).

Here's his webpage where he tracks the energy production of his panels.

On average his setup generates around 19,250 Kw-Hr per year, and at a price of 0.11 cents per Kw-Hr to the electric company, his annual revenue is $2117.00, ROI = 8.3%, which seems okay but in reality it's much better because of the NC State incentive tax breaks and credits offered to offset solar installation costs. North Carolina offers up to a 35% cash rebate or a maximum of $10,500 against installation costs. (I need to look closer at the details), but if we assume the full 35% rebate, or $8925, that brings the installation cost down to $16575 and ups the ROI to 12.8%! Things are looking better! Smile

The Beatty Sun Farm in Fletcher NC:

Thoughts or insight???
So how much is his monthly fee for the "Solar Contracting Service"? More importantly, why does he need them? How much maintenance does the system need?
our place has 13 mature pecan trees. even the roof stays in the shade.
if you have sun, go for it

I'm attempting to get in contact with Solar Contracting Services. They provide solar installations in Western North Carolina. Other than the initial installation, I don't see them doing much, but as I learn more I'll let you know. The web page tracking output of the panels is an enphase service. As far as I can tell, the Beatty Sun Farm is an LLC put together for investors. I believe they have several installations and plans for more. All power generated is pumped into the grid. I'd probably go with a setup using a 'net' meter which would allow for my needs and excess power to be returned to the grid.


I'm awash in sunlight and land. A 10KW system will provide about half of my residential energy needs and will pay for itself in about 5 years, assuming moderate energy cost increases.
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