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New York Grid Tie Solar Electric

It is actually more cost-effective to install a Solar Panel System in New York than it is in traditional solar energy hot-spots like Southern California. Currently, New York has the third highest electric prices in the United States, far above the national average price – and continuing to increase at alarmingly high rates.

Because of the weather patterns, the cost of electricity and current laws in New York for Renewable Energy, the most cost-effective and efficient type of Solar Panel System to purchase and install is a Grid-Tie Solar Panel System. These systems maintain a connection to the electric grid (where you purchase all of your electricity from right now), and allow for a two way flow of electricity; you can draw electricity from the grid as needed to meet your demand, and you can contribute excess electricity back to the electric grid as available, which the Electric Company is required to purchase from you at retail rate. This is known as net-metering, and it is one of the largest advantages that Grid-Tie Solar Panel Systems in New York have over Off-Grid Solar Panel Systems.

 

These huge advantages, and the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of Grid-Tie Solar Panel Systems are made possible because of the cost of electricity in New York. The charts below illustrate the historic electric prices in NY (5 year intervals from 1990 to 2005 - and 1 year intervals from 2005 to 2010) to demonstrate the current electric price increases, and how this trend could effect prices through the end of the decade.

This chart illustrates the trend in electric prices in New York. Data for 2008 - 2010 is extrapolatedThis chart illustrates an annual electric bill in New York based on the national average consumption of 8900kwh per year. Data for 2008 - 2010 is extrapolated

When you work out the math following the historic and current electric price increase trends, New Yorkers could easily be paying more than $0.20 per kwh for electricity by the year 2010. This, however, does not account for accelerated price increases due to politically instabilities around the world, increased demand and decreased supply, or the devaluation of the US Dollar in the world market.

If these trends hold true, the average New Yorker could have their electric bill increase by over 70% between 1990 and 2010 – just two decades. This 20-Year trend shows just how fast the cost-of-living in New York is increasing, and explains why New Yorkers, like millions of Americans are becoming increasingly in debt and cash strapped.

However, in New York, a Grid-Tie Solar Panel System can help homeowners alleviate some of their electrical costs over the coming years. And, Grid-Tie Solar Panel Systems are not nearly as expensive as they once were, and, on top of that, there are Federal and State incentives and credits to help offset some of the cost of a Grid-Tie Solar Panel System in New York, and lenders throughout the nation who offer low or no interest home loans and mortgages to pay for the installation and purchase of a Grid-Tie Solar Panel System.

What is a Grid-Tie Solar Panel System?

Grid-Tie Solar Panel Systems are specially designed solar electric systems that are designed to maintain connection to the Electric Grid (this is where you purchase your electricity from currently). This connection is bi-directional (power can be drawn from and put on the electric grid from your home), which has many benefits over Off-Grid Solar Panel Systems which do not have an electric grid connection.

What are the Benefits of a Grid-Tie Solar Panel System?

There are many benefits to a Grid-Tie Solar Panel System. Many of these benefits are financial, and help homeowners more quickly recoup their initial investment, and provide higher lifetime returns on their investment.

Constant Backup – with a Grid-Tie Solar Panel System the Electric Grid (a constant and uninterrupted source of electricity) is used as your backup power system. Off-Grid Solar Panel Systems do not have this connection, and require expensive battery backups and fuel powered generators to operate as a backup and ensure uninterrupted operation. A Grid-Tie Solar Panel System draws backup power directly from the electric grid and does not need these expensive additional components – though they can be added to provide further autonomy and sustainability.

System Size Flexibility – Because of the connection to the electric grid, and an unending source of backup power, Grid-Tie Solar Panel Systems can be sized to offset any percentage of your electrical needs. An Off-Grid Solar Panel System must supply 100% of your electrical needs (and must be oversized to accommodate cloudy days and electrical demand spikes), but a Grid-Tie Solar Panel System can be sized to offset 1 to 100% of your electrical needs – allowing you, the homeowner, the flexibility to purchase a great Solar Panel System and stay within your budget limits.

Net Metering Laws – New York is one of the many states around the country that has net-metering laws in effect to help homeowners offset more of the cost of their Grid-Tie Solar Panel Systems. Net-Metering allows you to contribute any excess electricity your Grid-Tie Solar Panel System creates to electric grid, and requires the electric company to purchase this electricity from you at the same retail rate you pay for electricity when you use it as a backup. Essentially, you can turn your electric meter backwards with a properly sized Grid-Tie Solar Panel System by contributing more electricity to the grid than you draw in downtimes. This is a great way to recoup your initial investment – and like incentives and credits that are valid for 1, or a few, year(s), net-metering never expires.

Federal & NY State Incentives & Tax Credits – The Federal Government provides a 30% tax credit to New Yorkers for the purchase and installation of a Grid-Tie Solar Panel System with a maximum incentive of $3,000.00. NY State offers residents a 25% tax credit (up to a maximum of $5,000) for the purchase of a Grid-Tie Solar Panel System. Additionally, NYSERDA offers New Yorkers a cash rebate of $4.00 / Watt DC to further offset the cost of a Grid-Tie Solar Panel System. Combined with electrical savings and net-metering gains, these Federal and State Solar Incentives and Tax Credits can provide several thousands of dollars in funding for New York Homeowners looking to purchase and install a Grid-Tie Solar Panel System.

Federal Tax Credit
30% ($3,000 max)
NYS Tax Credit
25% ($5,000 max)
NYSERDA Rebate
$4.00 / Watt DC

What are the Components in a Grid-Tie Solar Panel System?

Grid-Tie Solar Panel Systems have a number of very specific components that are required to make them work properly and efficiently, and provide short payback periods and high returns on your investment. Any good Grid-Tie Solar Panel System that you purchase will have these components included so that you do not have to peck and hunt from company to company trying to locate the parts that you need to get your Grid-Tie Solar Panel System installed and running.

  • Solar Panels – the basis of any Grid-Tie Solar Panel System is the solar panels, obviously. Each Grid-Tie Solar Panel System has a specific number of solar panels, rated at certain wattages, which, when combined together provide enough power to meet the electrical needs of your household, or the percentage of your electrical needs that you intended to offset with your Solar Panel System. Typically, Crystalline Solar Panels are used in Grid-Tie Solar Panel Systems because they have a higher overall efficiency than Amorphous Solar Panels – and the Solar Panels are typically higher in wattage than Solar Panels for other applications – in the 100 to 200 (or higher) range. Your location, solar profile, and electrical demand needs will determine large your solar panel array will be.

  • Solar Panel Mounting Hardware – In order to mount your solar panels securely, it is recommended that you use certified Solar Panel Mounting Hardware for your Grid-Tie Solar Panel System. Mounting Hardware Kits are available for almost every solar panel on the market, and different kits will mount your solar panels in different ways, at different locations depending on your needs, budget, and other factors. Silicon Solar offers the following types of Solar Panel Mounting Hardware:
  Roof Flush Mounting Hardware – these mounting hardware kits are specially built and tested rails that will mount the solar panels from you Grid-Tie Solar Panel System flush with your roof. This type of mounting is the most aesthetically pleasing type – the solar panels appear to be no more than an extension of your roof, as they are flat, and only a few inches above the level of your roof.
  Top/Side of Pole Mounting Hardware – in many cases it is beneficial (or necessary) to mount your Solar Panels to the top or side of a new (or existing) steel pole. These hardware kits are great for residences with limited roof space, a roof that is not rated to handle the additional weight of a Solar Panel Array, or where sunny locations are available on the property, but not on the roof.
  Roof/Ground Tilt Mounting Hardware – these mounting hardware kits are used to mount your Solar Panels at a tilt that is different than that of your roof. When mounting Solar Panels, they should typically be mounted at the latitude plus 15 degrees. If your roof is shallower than this angle, you can use Tilt Mounting Hardware to compensate and mount your solar panels at the correct angle to provide maximum performance and efficiency.

  • DC to AC Inverter – depending on the size of your Grid-Tie Solar Panel System, you will have 1 or more DC to AC Inverters included in your package. These DC to AC Inverters are extremely important to ensure that you are able to use the power generated by your Grid-Tie Solar Panel System in your home. Solar Panels produce DC (Direct Current) Power, which is used for charging batteries, and running DC Specific appliances. However, the majority of the appliances in your home, including your lights, TVs, stereos, computers, etc use AC (Alternating Current) Power to operate. The DC to AC Inverter converts the DC Power generated by your Solar Panels into AC Power that can be used by appliances throughout your home.
  • Electric Meter – in order for your Grid-Tie Solar Panel System to be connected to the electric grid, you must have an electric meter hooked up to the system, like any other home that uses the electricity grid. The Electric Meter for your Grid-Tie Solar Panel System will be able to read the electricity that you use from the grid, and also the electricity that sell back to the electric company through your two-way connection.
  • Other smaller components are also critical when purchasing a Grid-Tie Solar Panel System, but are not always included in a kit when purchased. These components include DC Combiner Boxes, DC Disconnects, Wiring, Fuses, Fuse Boxes, and Shut-Off Switches.
  • There are also components that can be used with a Grid-Tie Solar Panel System, but are not required to make the system work properly. The main optional component for a Grid-Tie Solar Panel System is a battery backup. Off-Grid Solar Panel Systems use large battery backups to store power that is generated for use when it is needed. Because a Grid-Tie Solar Panel System can use the electric grid as a backup, this is not necessary, but is often chosen by homeowners to provide more energy independence and sustainability. Additionally, if you choose to have a battery backup, you must also install 1 or more charge controllers. Charge Controllers regulate the power being sent from your Solar Panels to the Batteries to prevent them from being overcharged, which can damage or destroy the batteries.

The illustration below shows a typical Grid-Tie Solar Panel System in New York.

This is just a typical system layout for demonstration and illustration purposes, and your own system layout will likely vary from this diagram based on your home layout, power needs, and the other specifications of you site.

What Financial Assistance is Available for New Yorkers?

Despite the obvious financial and ecological benefits of a Grid-Tie Solar Panel System, they are still quite expensive, and require a rather significant initial investment to purchase and install before you can begin saving money. Luckily, there are tax credits and tax incentives available to help offset the costs of New Yorkers, and a number of federally-funded lenders who offer low, or no interest mortgages and home loans to help pay for your Grid-Tie Solar Panel System.

The following lenders have federally allocated funds available to provide home loans and mortgages to help homeowners in New York pay for their Grid-Tie Solar Panel System. These loans are often available at low, or no interest rate. You may contact the individual lenders for additional information on their programs.

   
 
Fannie Mae Corporation
 
Federal Home Mortgage Loan Corporation
 
US Department of Agriculture
 
US Department of Housing and Urban Development
 
US Department of Veterans Affairs
 
US Environmental Protection Agency
 
US Small Business Administration
 
US Department of Energy
 

The US Federal Government currently offers a federal income tax credit to help homeowners purchase and install a Grid-Tie Solar Panel System. In December 2007, the tax credit was extended (it was slated to expire in 2008) until December 2016, and expanded to pay for a higher percentage of the purchase and installation price.

  
 
Incentive Amount - 30% (After State Incentives)
 
Maximum Incentive - $3,000
 
Expires - December 31, 2016
  

New York State also offers its residents who purchase a Grid-Tie Solar Panel System an income tax credit to help offset the costs of purchase and installation. On top of this tax credit, NYSERDA offers New Yorkers a cash rebate based on the size of the Grid-Tie Solar Panel System they are installing.

  
 
Tax Credit Amount - 25%
 
Maximum Tax Credit - $5,000
 
NYSERDA Rebate - $4.00 / Watt DC
  

New York is also one of the states around the country that has net-metering laws in place. This requires the electric company to pay you for any excess electricity generated by your Grid-Tie Solar Panel System at the same retail rate that you buy your electricity at.

  
 
Applicable Sectors - Residential, Agricultural
 
Maximum System Size - 10kw for Solar
 
Repayment - Credited monthly at retail rate. Account is settled annually at avoided-cost rate.

With a Grid-Tie Solar Panel System from Silicon Solar, New Yorkers can save hundreds of dollars a year in electric costs, and thousands of dollars over the lifetime of the Solar Panel System.

These Solar Panel Systems are an investment in your future livelihood, and your guaranteed protection against the ever-rising price of electricity and other traditional fuel sources throughout the world.

Silicon Solar offers the lowest prices on Grid-Tie Solar Panel Systems on the market - as low as $6.00 per watt - the national average is between $8.00 and $10.00 per watt.

These savings, combined with today's Federal and State incentives for the purchase of solar energy, net metering laws, and the rising cost of electricity, allow Grid-Tie Solar Panel Systems in New York to pay for themselves in only a few years in many cases.

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