Below are answers to the most frequently asked questions from our customers regarding solar basics and typical solar projects.
Want to learn more about solar? System Designer Kurt Newick presents free solar photovoltaic presentations on the first Wednesday of each month, 5:30-7 p.m. at Cobalt Power Systems’ corporate office, at 2557 Wyandotte St. in Mountain View. Kurt will go over how solar PV works, what the installation process looks like, costs associated with solar and economic and environmental benefits, among other topics. He’ll also answer questions regarding system operation, maintenance, and performance. For more information or to register, call (650) 817-7791.
It’s one upgrade to your home or business that can pay for itself and add value to the property. PV systems can be a great investment, generally yielding 15 to 30 percent per year return on investment (ROI), tax free. PV systems provide a measure of energy independence and help the environment by reducing one’s reliance on fossil fuel energy sources.
The size of the solar PV system required depends on individual criteria such as your annual electricity use, the amount of space for solar panels and other environmental factors that come into play. Panels can be mounted virtually anywhere on your property if there is enough space and sunlight. Roof-mounted systems are the most common choice for homeowners. Another popular method is ground-mounted systems and carport canopy systems.
Now is the best time to install a solar PV system because as time goes on there will be less incentives available and the utilities have been known to deincentivize solar over time. We have found that even with the prices of equipment coming down, the change in rate structures and net-metering agreements with utilities require larger systems to get the same benefits we currently see. And we want to help you stop paying that high utility bill!
Depending on the scale of the project, whether residential or commercial, typically the payback period we see is between four to seven years.
Most systems are built to last at least 25 years and one could expect, with proper maintenance, a PV system can last up to 40 years or more.
This could vary depending on the type of installation and whether it is commercial or residential. Typically we see prices ranging from $3 to $6 per watt.