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frenchyd
frenchyd MegaDork
1/24/23 11:44 a.m.

In reply to SVreX :

I'm sorry I don't know how to do a link. If you live in Minnesota you will be inundated with ads  for them ( although to be fair since nobody in their right mind would climb on a snow covered roof   To install panels. the ads are gone right now)

   You can contact NSP or any of the other power companies in the program.  Or contact the state of Minnesota and ask them about  solar panels.  
  They are the ones behind the program.  

GIRTHQUAKE
GIRTHQUAKE SuperDork
1/24/23 12:00 p.m.
frenchyd said:

In reply to SVreX :

I'm sorry I don't know how to do a link.

Copy and paste.

STM317
STM317 PowerDork
1/24/23 12:35 p.m.

In reply to frenchyd :

But if I google search "free solar panels in Minnesota" or some such term, I don't see anything about it.

If I go to the state's website HERE, I still don't see anything that seems like the program you're referencing.

This site also has a list of incentives for MN, but while there are some decent offerings I don't see any that match what you're describing.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
1/24/23 12:39 p.m.

I think that Minnesota "program" is the same math that we see around here. No money down, a long financing term and you pay for the panels instead of your electric bill. It's reliant on the utility giving you credit for your production so you can "store" your energy in the grid. Effectively, that's what we have.

I was going to post a report once we had a full lap of the sun done, but 9 months in we've saved about $500 overall and have something like $900 worth of credits for extra electricity use - the array is overproducing compared to estimates, and I think the shade on the roof cut my AC bill as a bonus. No money up front, and because I'm paying off a loan I know exactly what my cost will be a decade from now which is not the case for the utility. It'll take a long time before the savings equal the cost of the panels, but since my overall monthly spend has gone down with no money laid out, I call that worthwhile.

STM317
STM317 PowerDork
1/24/23 12:57 p.m.

In reply to Keith Tanner :

Yeah, I'm guessing something similar.

I do see this option for XCel customers, where they pay you per excess kwh generated for the first 10 years in exchange for them getting your REC's for the first 20 years. But that's not close to 'free', and if you're not one of the first 75 applicants then you end up on a waitlist so it's pretty limited.

 

Thanks for the update on your system by the way. Glad that seems to be working out for you!

bobzilla
bobzilla MegaDork
1/24/23 1:19 p.m.

In reply to STM317 :

Our service provider isn't currently accepting any more connections for renewable power at this time. So for us it would only be the drop in electric bill

STM317
STM317 PowerDork
1/24/23 1:35 p.m.

In reply to bobzilla :

In general, Indiana doesn't seem to be a great location for solar. The solar intensity is lacking, and the incentives that many other states/utilities offer don't seem to be nearly as enticing. It would be cool to be a bit more independent though!

bobzilla
bobzilla MegaDork
1/24/23 1:36 p.m.

In reply to STM317 :

It's why we have been wanting to add a wind generator. No one wants to sell those. They want to sell solar. 

Toebra
Toebra Dork
1/24/23 2:55 p.m.
frenchyd said:

In reply to volvoclearinghouse :

Up here where we live longer, because frozen keeps pretty well ( big silly grin)  solar won’t repay.  We have months where that rare yellow orb in the sky doesn’t  show for days even weeks. 

Plus the angle of the sun in the winter isn’t optimum for collection.  Not to mention covered with ice and snow doesn’t exactly get the meter spinning.   

 

 

 

 

If this is true: 

frenchyd said:

In reply to volvoclearinghouse :


  Here in Minnesota  if your house qualifies  ( southern exposure roof  without shade during daylight hours) you get them installed at no cost to you.  You do pay for them with your excess energy. You are paid for that excess energy at last years residential rate. So the power company still makes a slight profit.  
 

How could this be true?

Toebra
Toebra Dork
1/24/23 2:57 p.m.
volvoclearinghouse said:
Toebra said:

California has made them mandatory on new construction starting in 3 months.  This includes rebuilding homes damaged by fire.  I personally know at least a dozen people that lost their homes in the fires last year in Paradise, CA that will not be able to afford to rebuild their homes.  Their insurance will cover replacing the house, but will not pay for the solar panels.  The added expense is enough that leaving makes more sense.  I guess they all could have been lying, but that seems unlikely to me.

While I'm not a fan of government mandates in most cases, and don't know the particulars of what's going on here specifically, I can say that, based on my experience, the net monthly cost to add solar was effectively $0.  This is based on the reduction in my monthly electric bill roughly equaling the monthly payment on the solar loan I took out.  So they're either lying, didn't really research the costs and reduction in power bill as a result of going solar, or simply didn't want the gubmit telling them what they had to do.  

I don't think you understood the post you were responding to.   I am not talking about reducing their electric bill.  I am talking about what their insurance would pay for after their houses burned down.

SV reX
SV reX MegaDork
1/24/23 4:16 p.m.

In reply to Toebra :

It's not true. There are LOTS more rules than he ever says:

MN Solar Incentives

bobzilla
bobzilla MegaDork
1/24/23 4:18 p.m.

In reply to Toebra :

keep in mind that the post youre responding to is almost 4 years old. lol

bobzilla
bobzilla MegaDork
1/24/23 4:19 p.m.
SV reX said:

In reply to Toebra :

It's not true. There are LOTS more rules than he ever says:

MN Solar Incentives

I'm truly shocked.

frenchyd
frenchyd MegaDork
1/24/23 10:20 p.m.

In reply to Toebra :Minnesota is a growing, prosperous,   state.  We can either centralize power production and send money out of the state for the fuel to operate it. Or we can take advantage of the sun and the wind.  We've chosen to go renewable 

   The funding for those panels is being paid up front by the money the utility companies  have in their coffers  to build a new plant.  ( it's part of the cost of electricity)   We repay it by selling our excess to the utilities at a slightly less then they charge our neighbors.  The profit while small per panel will amount to millions for the utility companies. 
  Why don't all 50 states do this?   Some states the politicians actually work for the people. The rest? Well they work for the people who contribute to their re-election. 
 Before you think this is political? We are a purple state. 
   
  Full disclosure my house does not qualify  due to large  trees shading my southern exposure.   Even if I and my neighbors removed those trees the reality is my neighbors house is an old house. It likely will be torn down to put in a new mega house. The size of every other house in the area. Result,  shade my roof. So I saw down big old trees and for a short period I have sun on my roof but not for the 20 years the panels last. 
    

frenchyd
frenchyd MegaDork
1/24/23 10:30 p.m.
SV reX said:

In reply to Toebra :

It's not true. There are LOTS more rules than he ever says:

MN Solar Incentives

Thanks;  

did you really expect me to type all this out?   You are well aware of my limited skills  including my inability to link . 

  I got a verbal outline of the program when I called. But since my house doesn't qualify  ( they pull up picture of your house on the computer )   I didn't bother checking the fine print.  
       But my neighbor does, at least their garage roof. 
    Next time I see them I'll forward this to them. 
  

bobzilla
bobzilla MegaDork
1/25/23 5:37 a.m.

It's amazing how they still make computers that can't copy and paste. Just amazing. 

frenchyd
frenchyd MegaDork
1/25/23 7:48 a.m.

In reply to bobzilla :

Oh I'm sure the new phones we got last month do that sort of thing.  Plus to be fair I've probably been shown a few times how to do it.  
  However to all those capable of doing that I acknowledge my inferiority. 
      
   

Error404
Error404 HalfDork
1/25/23 9:13 a.m.

I just read that poor Duke Power is hurting and the inly thing that will make it feel better is to raise rates another 20% to account for rising costs. This is understandable and totally fine, I'm sure work is going to give me a 20% raise this month to account for my rising costs. indecision My first and second thoughts were along the lines of "gonna make them earn that 20%angry" but arson is frowned upon for some reason so this thread is now relevant to my interests. I'm a little sad to see that the having a trees can disqualify me but that does explain why the houses in my neighborhood that are stacking Teslas are also cutting down trees. Maybe if those trees stopped freeloading and started doing something productive? 

I suppose what I'm getting at is that I find myself more and more often searching for lot listings out of the city with room to do things like put up some solar to offset the annual Duke gouging without having to clear cut my lot. Now I'm sad. 

STM317
STM317 PowerDork
1/25/23 12:39 p.m.

In reply to Error404 :

Think of how much clean energy we could generate if we clear cut those pesky trees!

RevRico
RevRico GRM+ Memberand UltimaDork
1/25/23 12:56 p.m.

Ok I'm not reading this 4 year old thread over again, especially with as much as things have changed during those four years.

But let's say you wanted a solar system JUST to offset your AC in the summer, but the only places you really have to put panels is in the yard over the leech bed, or on a flat, narrow, partially obstructed south facing wall. 

Would it be worth exploring, in this current age? Would a wind generator be more beneficial either on the roof (up high for better winds) or next to the road (with tons of semi traffic all day)?

Or would supplements like that just be extra expenses until they're paid off?

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
1/25/23 1:23 p.m.

The nice thing about using solar to offset AC use is that their peak times overlap quite nicely. No need for storage or utility cooperation, you'll be producing the most power when you're using the most AC power. So it could work. When you're doing the math, remember that there's a 30% federal tax credit for renewable power installs, so I'd make sure the system qualifies.

I'd be less sure about wind. It depends on when you get wind and how reliable it is. On our lot, we get strong winds for a couple of hours in the evening as all the air flows down off the cliffs behind us. But by the time that happens, the AC units are off duty for the day so we couldn't use wind to directly offset the AC.

Using the wind from the interstate is an interesting one. The inter-terminal train in Denver has little propellors mounted on the wall that spin when the train pushes past, which I'm going to call a proof of concept :)

bobzilla
bobzilla MegaDork
1/25/23 1:53 p.m.

In reply to RevRico :

Wind really requires a steady stream of it, using the wind speed maps helps. For us, solar isn't that great and we don't have direct access to south facing withou dropping trees. But we average 6.5-7.0m/s wind speeds, putting us in the 14-16mph range which is the sweet spot for wind generators (or used to be. haven't kept up since no one wants to sell or install one). Like most things in life, the answer varies for person to person, location to location. 

mtn
mtn MegaDork
1/25/23 2:09 p.m.

In reply to bobzilla :

A family in my hometown (Chicago suburb) put a windmill in about 20 years ago. Village made them take it down due to it violating noise ordinances. They're shockingly loud, or at least they were back then. Doubt that would be an issue for you in your rural/commercial location, but something to think about. 

bobzilla
bobzilla MegaDork
1/25/23 2:43 p.m.

In reply to mtn :

The ones from even 10 years ago (VAWG) were much quieter than the old HAWG "fan blade" style. But with all the warehouse activity around us now you'd never hear it.

frenchyd
frenchyd MegaDork
1/25/23 3:25 p.m.

In reply to mtn :

Blades make the difference.  There are 7 blade windgenerators  made in England that you can't hear right next to them. Most bigger ones you can barely hear them over s  breeze and can't hear at all in a wind. 

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