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Old 05-27-2016, 01:44 AM   #41
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The warranty is complete, 25 years parts and labor.
If you still can, check who actually provides the warranty.

Bankruptcies do happen, especially in this space.
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Old 05-27-2016, 09:51 AM   #42
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We've got plans for solar - but we've got about 5 years till we we're ready to replace our roof... and so we won't get panels till after the new roof.

To show you how messed up electrical billing is in our area:

Tier 1 - 0 to 281 kWh = 17cents /kWh
Tier 2 - 281 to 365 kWh = 20cents/kWh
Tier 3 - >365 kWh = 38cents/kWh

That's average... Now factor in the fact that there is winter and summer rates - which are different. My most recent bill straddled the rates - so it's even more confusing... and they pushed some of the tier 3 use into the winter rates... which is kind of bogus - because I barely go into tier 3 - so by the calendar, I didn't hit tier 3 till summer rates were in effect.

They also break down the bill in a different way - using completely different numbers, and make it impossible to correlate the two parts. The second breakdown includes numbers for generation, transmission, and distribution. The rates quoted above are for "generation". The distribution and transmission are an equally large number so I will only save half of my electrical bill if I put on panels.

We don't have AC or a pool. If we did - we would have put on solar panels a long time ago. Since we don't - we barely break into the tier 3 (38c/kWh) pricing. We're planning on adding AC in the next few years... and possibly a plug in car... when that happens, the panels will make more sense for us.
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Old 05-27-2016, 10:20 AM   #43
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This has been very informative. I've been seeing solar trucks everywhere and more and more installs in the neighborhood. The various rates discussed show why solar is popular in CA and not so much in other areas.

Should be interesting, I'll keep reporting as it goes down or up (on the roof) as will be.
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Old 05-27-2016, 02:04 PM   #44
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Tier 1 - 0 to 281 kWh = 17cents /kWh
Tier 2 - 281 to 365 kWh = 20cents/kWh
Tier 3 - >365 kWh = 38cents/kWh
For comparison, in my little corner of the world we have a choice of time-of-day rates or a flat rate:

Summer:

11PM to 10AM = $0.0464 /kWh
10AM to 2PM & 6PM to 11PM = $0.0856 /kWh
2PM to 6PM = $0.1321 /kWh

Winter:

11PM to 7AM = $0.0691 /kWh
7AM to 5PM & 7PM to 11PM = $0.0803 /kWh
5PM to 7PM = $0.0913 /kWh

- or -

You can select a flat rate of $0.0885 /kWh for anytime, year-round.

Note: In addition to the above rates we pay a $25/mo "availability charge."

The payback for solar for me is beyond my expected life span.
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Old 05-27-2016, 02:06 PM   #45
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$12.24/month of my electric bill (about 11% of my total electric bill) is a customer charge for access to the grid whether I use electricity or not. The rest is base on usage (9.8c for first 200 kwh and 21.9c for next tier).


You guys need to quit posting these high access charges and multi tier pricing schemes. I don't want my utility catching wind of this. The more I use the lower it goes and only a $7 monthly hookup fee. I prefer this pricing model.


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Old 05-27-2016, 02:08 PM   #46
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Darn! A peak summer rate of 13.21c/kWh! I am paying 22.26c/kWh on peak.

Why hasn't anybody built a long extension cord to arbitrage all this difference in prices? Must not be a real "free market" then.
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Old 05-27-2016, 02:11 PM   #47
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I managed to get a zero hookup / access fee. Specifically looked for it since I use relatively little power.

Pay about 20 ct/kwh, most of which goes to distribution and taxes. Poor generator only gets 4 cents or so but has to handle all the billing and customer contact.
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Old 05-27-2016, 02:48 PM   #48
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Darn! A peak summer rate of 13.21c/kWh! I am paying 22.26c/kWh on peak.

Why hasn't anybody built a long extension cord to arbitrage all this difference in prices? Must not be a real "free market" then.


Just a generalization but the key to areas with lower rates, are areas not rapidly growing with little need for new plants, the EPA not on their arse demanding changes, and the good ol coal plants kicking out bountiful amounts of that nice cheap electricity!


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Old 05-27-2016, 03:04 PM   #49
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Then, sell it to your neighbors, darn it.

I'd bet some powers that be say no, and do not allow it to happen.
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Old 05-27-2016, 03:06 PM   #50
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Just a generalization but the key to areas with lower rates, are areas not rapidly growing with little need for new plants, the EPA not on their arse demanding changes, and the good ol coal plants kicking out bountiful amounts of that nice cheap electricity!
Not sure how well your generalization holds up in the case of my "cheap electricity" rates.

I live in one of the fastest growing areas of the country (see this thread).

The vast majority of our power is purchased from the Lower Colorado River Authority (LCRA) with the following generating sources:

Coal - 41%
Natural gas - 46%
Hydroelectric - 7%
Wind - 6%

So certainly a big chunk of coal generation, but less than half and a declining share as new gas generating plants are being built (see LCRA link).

EDIT: Corrected math error (see below).
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Old 05-27-2016, 03:14 PM   #51
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Not sure how well your generalization holds up in the case of my "cheap electricity" rates.

I live in one of the fastest growing areas of the country (see this thread).

The vast majority of our power is purchased from the Lower Colorado River Authority (LCRA) with the following generating sources:

Coal - 41%
Natural gas - 46%
Hydroelectric - 7%
Wind - 6%

So certainly a big chunk of coal generation, but less than half and a declining share as new gas generating plants are being built (see LCRA link).

EDIT: Corrected math error (see below).
To boot according to the ERCOT site LCRA is a laggard on wind Ercot wide last year was about 18% wind energy, with solar begining to grow with solar farms being build in Pecos County (west Tx) where land is measured in acres per grazing cow.
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Old 05-27-2016, 04:33 PM   #52
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Not sure how well your generalization holds up in the case of my "cheap electricity" rates.

I live in one of the fastest growing areas of the country (see this thread).

The vast majority of our power is purchased from the Lower Colorado River Authority (LCRA) with the following generating sources:

Coal - 41%
Natural gas - 46%
Hydroelectric - 7%
Wind - 6%

So certainly a big chunk of coal generation, but less than half and a declining share as new gas generating plants are being built (see LCRA link).

EDIT: Corrected math error (see below).


I worded it poorly.. 40% coal as a staple is a good amount and about what most cheaper utilities have. Knowing what I know from our utility the reason it is cheap is because of the ability to continue using the coal plants. If they get forced to be shuttered and replaced with other sources including nat gas rates will go up... It takes bucks to build those cheap nat gas sourced plants. This is staring at them by 2030 if not earlier. All I meant was keeping the existing coal plants running that have been largely paid off is a cheap source of electricity. But then again we also benefit from a 40 year old nuke cranking out the power like a charm also. Replace it now with a new one, and we are not talking so much about cheap electricity.


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Old 05-27-2016, 05:48 PM   #53
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While traveling through Wyoming last summer I was shocked to see countless windmills in the biggest coal producing state. When I asked about the sanity about them, they replied that all the output goes to Kalifornia where renewables are mandated, and laughing all the way to the bank.

I'm sure that wind power costs greater than 18 cents/kw.
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Old 05-27-2016, 06:20 PM   #54
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I recently went to Arizona State University (ASU) campus, my alma mater. They have so many solar panels up, over parking garages, walkways, etc... I like that. Here, we have too much sun, and getting power while providing shade at the same time makes a lot of sense. And there is no worry about tree shading, suboptimal roof orientation, etc...

I think as cheap as solar has gotten, it needs to drop more for it to be a no brainer. Look at all the parking space around Walmarts or shopping centers for example. They could generate power while at the same time getting brownie points for providing shaded parking for customers. The latter is a big plus here in the Southwest, where they also do not have to worry about snow load on these panels.
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Old 05-27-2016, 06:34 PM   #55
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While traveling through Wyoming last summer I was shocked to see countless windmills in the biggest coal producing state. When I asked about the sanity about them, they replied that all the output goes to Kalifornia where renewables are mandated, and laughing all the way to the bank.

I'm sure that wind power costs greater than 18 cents/kw.
Actually recent auctions of power from new wind farms come in with a price at the receiving substation of about .025/kwh. The price of wind is actually lower than the price of natural gas. Now for CA you have to add the price to move the energy from Wy to Ca, but since most coal plants for Ca are in UT or Wy anyway that should be a wash. (It apparently is cheaper to move electricity than physical coal, plus Ca bans coal plants in state). Solar farm power is coming in around .04 /kwh. Unfortuantly Ca has placed a lot of the mohave desert area off limits, but you could surround goldstone with solar farms however.
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Old 05-27-2016, 07:02 PM   #56
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Actually recent auctions of power from new wind farms come in with a price at the receiving substation of about .025/kwh. The price of wind is actually lower than the price of natural gas....
Is that their bid price, or what they actually get paid? Producers typically bid their marginal cost of generation, which is their breakeven operating cost. But they get paid the highest winning bid price, which is usually not their own bid price. Solar, wind, and geothermal can bid into the system at very low price because it doesn't cost much more to run the plant than to let it sit idle. A gas, coal, or oil fired plant, on the other hand, must use fuel to run the plant, so their bid must be higher to include the cost of that fuel. A producer's bid price and actual sales price are almost always different. Only the highest winning bid actually gets paid his bid price.

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Old 05-27-2016, 07:13 PM   #57
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Thanks for this info, something I never knew.

Here's some more info on the Web: How Wholesale Electricity Prices Are Set.
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Old 05-27-2016, 07:21 PM   #58
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Is that their bid price, or what they actually get paid? Producers typically bid their marginal cost of generation, which is their breakeven operating cost. But they get paid the highest winning bid price, which is usually not their own bid price. Solar, wind, and geothermal can bid into the system at very low price because it doesn't cost much more to run the plant than to let it sit idle. A gas, coal, or oil fired plant, on the other hand, must use fuel to run the plant, so their bid must be higher to include the cost of that fuel. A producer's bid price and actual sales price are almost always different. Only the highest winning bid actually gets paid his bid price.

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From the NY Times in 2014 http://www.nytimes.com/2014/11/24/bu...uels.html?_r=0
Some power providers were able to buy power from generators at .021 per kwh this is in the great plains region where wind is abundant. Likewise the rate for solar power contracts is around .04/kwh.
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Old 05-27-2016, 07:39 PM   #59
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While traveling through Wyoming last summer I was shocked to see countless windmills in the biggest coal producing state. When I asked about the sanity about them, they replied that all the output goes to Kalifornia where renewables are mandated, and laughing all the way to the bank.

I'm sure that wind power costs greater than 18 cents/kw.


They are trying to do that with wind from Kansas and hook it to the grid out East. The trouble is our pesky MO farmers are not feeling so "green". Even the MO public commission voted it down.

Now only a bunch of Missouri farmers stands in the way of a $2.2 billion, 780-mile transmission line to carry wind power from the Kansas high plains to Eastern power grids.

When Illinois regulators voted recently to approve the Grain Belt Express, joining Kansas and Indiana, that left Missouri as the sole holdout.

“We’re digging in, and we’re ready to fight,” Jennifer Gatrel said last week as she and her husband worked cattle on their ranch in Caldwell County. “We beat ’em once and we’ll beat ’em again.”

Read more here: http://www.kansascity.com/news/local...#storylink=cpy



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Old 05-27-2016, 08:22 PM   #60
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They are trying to do that with wind from Kansas and hook it to the grid out East. The trouble is our pesky MO farmers are not feeling so "green". Even the MO public commission voted it down.
I liked the quote from one farmer:
Quote:
“Grain Belt is a business venture,” Pisciotta said. “Clean Line is not a public utility to serve the common good. They want wind power in the East, I understand that. But some of the best wind resources in the country are off the Atlantic coast.
“Now it might cost a little more, but who’s being selfish? People there don’t want to look at turbines, so we have to work around those things [transmission line towers] forever?”
If the folks in Kansas want to live with those "blight on the landscape" wind turbines, it doesn't mean landowners across the country should have to roll over and allow the power lines to cut across their landscape. Maybe Clean Line didn't include enough money in their business plan to make those farmers along the way see things their way. Tough.
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