Adding Tesla Solar in Texas

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LUXMAN

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#21
As long as we're pooling our ignorance, I researched this topic (solar in a deregulated Texas retail environment) several months ago and came away thinking the metering worked like this: as soon as (instantly) I produced more power than I was using, that excess fed back to the grid and I was not compensated. Not on a monthly basis, but instantly. If that is true (for me), it would require a couple of Powerwalls to store the daytime energy to be used at night. I ran the numbers and figured my current rate (8.1 cents/kWh) would have to double for me to benefit economically from solar power. Just not in the realm of feasibility. I think there was one REP that did net-metering (i.e. they paid you for power you produced)--one, out of dozens of REPs. And it was not price competitive.

However, I'm sure it's different with co-ops. @LUXMAN, I admire you for taking the plunge.
Instant Net Meter is what I am afraid of. I was actually wondering if that is where we will end up. They will take your power for free since you have to be hooked up and then charge you for every electron coming your way. If that is the case, I think a couple powerwalls will be feasible even at the cheap rate. Assuming you are in your home for the long haul and pair it with Solar. Cuz if that were the case, you could produce from say 9-5 the energy you need from solar and could use the Powerwall to supplement until you are just using PW at night. Else you will be using grid power for 12+ hours. under this Net Meter scenario, you cut your bill in 1/2 say but they still get ya for the other 1/2.
Now the more I think about it, (Days off are bad things), the more I cannot yet justify the PW unless this were to happen, unless someone else has some ideas. Yes, obviously I wanna be green, but if I use the saved PW energy at night under my current plan, it makes difference in my bill. But by exporting it during the day, they are producing less energy with fossil fuels during the day and late afternoon, so maybe that will decrease their production by a blip since people power down in the evening (unless of course you presume they use more power from 6-10pm, which I guess very well may be the case.
 

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#22
Instant Net Meter is what I am afraid of.
Actually, net metering is the opposite: that's when the power company pays the consumer for electricity he generates. More accurately, the consumer pays only for the net difference between electricity consumed and generated. Here's a rundown (from Sunfinity Solar) on where in Texas net metering is found: https://quickelectricity.com/2018-solar-panel-incentives-texas-net-metering-buyback-programs/. They don't mention co-ops, however. :(
 
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#23
I live in a 2,000 sq ft house. ~1,000 up and ~1,000 down. When I bought the AC unit it was the highest efficiency Lennox made. Being a two speed unit it is difficult to measure the efficiency because that depends on how much time it runs on high speed and low speed. I'm not sure why it is still running much less being efficient. I keep it up making sure it is clean and charged properly. We keep the temp at about 76 deg in the summer. And we tend to travel a bit when it is hot. When we are not here it is off. I have replaced almost all the lighting with LED. First doing the lights used the most.

Oncor and other 'wires' companies have singly certified areas. Areas where only they can serve. So do CoOps. There are detailed maps and some dually certificated areas..
Here is a page with some links. The resolution is pretty terrible.
http://www.puc.texas.gov/industry/maps/Electricity.aspx

The monopoly utilities are allowed to charge only what is approved by the PUC through hearings much like civil trials. That is the substitute for competition. The retail providers have to list their rates with the PUC but have much more freedom. Oncor is like UPS. They do not make or sell the product. Just deliver it. The retail providers just but electricity from the generators and sell it to consumers. Kind of like Walmart or Amazon without inventory.
 
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Dr. J

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#24
I live in a 2,000 sq ft house. ~1,000 up and ~1,000 down. When I bought the AC unit it was the highest efficiency Lennox made. Being a two speed unit it is difficult to measure the efficiency because that depends on how much time it runs on high speed and low speed. I'm not sure why it is still running much less being efficient. I keep it up making sure it is clean and charged properly. We keep the temp at about 76 deg in the summer. And we tend to travel a bit when it is hot. When we are not here it is off. I have replaced almost all the lighting with LED. First doing the lights used the most.

Oncor and other 'wires' companies have singly certified areas. Areas where only they can serve. So do CoOps. There are detailed maps and some dually certificated areas..
Here is a page with some links. The resolution is pretty terrible. The monopoly utilities are allowed to charge only what is approved by the PUC through hearings much like civil trials. That is the substitute for competition. The retail providers have to list their rates with the PUC but have much more freedom. Oncor is like UPS. They do not make or sell the product. Just deliver it. The retail providers just but electricity from the generators and sell it to consumers. Kind of like Walmart or Amazon without inventory.
Very informative. I don't think your links made it, however (at least not on my screen).
 

LUXMAN

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#25
Actually, net metering is the opposite: that's when the power company pays the consumer for electricity he generates. More accurately, the consumer pays only for the net difference between electricity consumed and generated. Here's a rundown (from Sunfinity Solar) on where in Texas net metering is found: https://quickelectricity.com/2018-solar-panel-incentives-texas-net-metering-buyback-programs/. They don't mention co-ops, however. :(
Oh, I get the net metering concept and we have that with the Coop. basically I pay for anything over what I make each month with the Coop. There is no rolling credits here :(

But reading that 2nd article, The instant metering thing I was thinking of is akin to the "Feed-in tariffs are rates that apply for surplus electricity exported to the grid."
This is where they pay less for what you make than what you use. I was imagining a scenario where the Feed-in tariffs went to Zero and basically you pay for any electricity coming your way. So this confirms there is a mechanism for that to happen. But at least we aren't there yet here.

Over the last couple hours, we have been discussing it and I also talked to my buddy...…Leaning towards the PW install even though it isn't making $ sense at the moment :rolleyes:o_O
 
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#26
The thins to remember is that the utility you are connected to has paid for the infrastructure you use to connect to the grid. It is designed and built to have the capacity to serve your entire load. It also is expected to be maintained and repaired by the utility. So you should pay for that. And that is most of what you do pay for with a wires company.

Since the wires company is not in the business of buying/selling the energy, your contract for that is with the energy provider in a competitive area.

In the case of a CoOp you are dealing with both the wires company and the energy provider. Separating the two functions leads to a better understanding of what is going on.
 

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#27
I think in Texas with our energy costs it'd take a very long time to recoup the costs of installing solar. One has to do it for the environment and not the cost savings alone.
I've never understood this kind of short-range thinking. Even if it took 18 years to pay it all off, everything after that is just cash in the pocket, free money. They will probably last 50 years (with occasional inverter replacement).

I also don't understand why a neighbour would give a frying luck, roof top solar is beautiful and practical (makes the world a better place to live).

With the sunniest roofs shaded with roof-top solar, you will probably see your summer energy bills drop! That's when you would really want net metering!
 
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#28
Well if you move, unless you can get a better selling price, you won't get payback.

I live where large hail is pretty common. I'm always worried about what it would do to solar panels.
If you're looking at 18-20 yr payback, you'll almost certainly encounter hail two or three times during that period.
 

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#29
Seems expensive. You should be able to get a nice 14.5kw system installed for <40k before incentives.
 

LUXMAN

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#30
Well if you move, unless you can get a better selling price, you won't get payback.

I live where large hail is pretty common. I'm always worried about what it would do to solar panels.
If you're looking at 18-20 yr payback, you'll almost certainly encounter hail two or three times during that period.
Right. I am also in a hail area. It is added to the homeowners insurance and they are covered for hail at replacement cost
 

Dr. J

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#32
They will probably last 50 years (with occasional inverter replacement).
The Powerwalls won't. I think they will last about 10 years, maybe a little more. When I ran my numbers, it was way longer than a 20-year payoff. I've already lived in my house 30 years, so another 25-30 seems unlikely. But sure, it would have some resale value. Not a lot, though, in a non-net metering situation.

This is Texas, where the policy is to encourage large solar and wind installations, and discourage (at a state level, though not at the utility level) distributed (rooftop) solar. That's just the way we roll.
 

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#33
Feeling pretty lucky that we have some reasonable power rates in TX, but for the summer months the last two years my water bill has been more expensive than my electricity bill. If I had a choice and a bigger yard, I'd be considering drilling my own water well vs looking at solar. The house is just a little over 2,000 sq ft and was recently remodeled including a new 5 ton AC unit, new insulation in the attic and added a pool with a variable speed pump and now this summer added the Model 3. The electric bill was under the water bill by almost $50. The pool took a little water, but very little. The yard and house foundation are where most of it goes.

Most of us on city lots don't have the room to drill a water well, but if you've got a little extra land, could you better offset your utility charges by having your own water well vs the solar for electricity?
 

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#34
The thins to remember is that the utility you are connected to has paid for the infrastructure you use to connect to the grid. It is designed and built to have the capacity to serve your entire load. It also is expected to be maintained and repaired by the utility. So you should pay for that. And that is most of what you do pay for with a wires company.
I will be.
There is a meter charge that everyone has to pay $10.

Then there is a DISTRIBUTED GENERATION FEE of $10 (for now) "CoServ’s retail rate includes recovery of fixed costs, such as distribution capacity, metering, billing, and other fixed costs, in addition to the cost of energy. These fixed costs are incurred for all Members, including those with solar. Since CoServ allows net metering of the full retail rate, the DG fee recovers a portion of these fixed costs in a fair and equitable manner."

And then, there is the district fee everyone pays between $7-10 a month.

So I would not be getting something for nothing. I will be paying a higher rate if you think about it. If I pay for fixed costs based on electricity used within the rate plus the $10 fee, I already will pay a higher rate to be hooked to the grid.
 

LUXMAN

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#35
The Powerwalls won't. I think they will last about 10 years, maybe a little more. When I ran my numbers, it was way longer than a 20-year payoff. I've already lived in my house 30 years, so another 25-30 seems unlikely. But sure, it would have some resale value. Not a lot, though, in a non-net metering situation.

This is Texas, where the policy is to encourage large solar and wind installations, and discourage (at a state level, though not at the utility level) distributed (rooftop) solar. That's just the way we roll.
They have a 10 year, Unlimited Cycle warrenty and a 70% capacity guarantee during that time.

There really isn't a payoff for these where I live. They are really a house backup generator, that allows solar production to continue.
I am still wrapping my head around doing this part of it.
Some guys have boats. Some guys have guns. Some guys have Girlfriends.
So maybe this is my toy (along with the 3). I don't know. I go back and forth. :rolleyes:o_O
 
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PNWmisty

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#36
The Powerwalls won't.
I was speaking to the solar panels, not the Powerwall. Batteries make more sense at the utility level (to avoid the need for peaker plants) or if you are located off-grid or install a setup that functions during grid failures. Kinda like a gas or diesel generator would never pay for itself in terms of cost of electricity but it might make sense for the extra reliability.

This is Texas, where the policy is to encourage large solar and wind installations, and discourage (at a state level, though not at the utility level) distributed (rooftop) solar. That's just the way we roll.
Taking the ownership out of the hands of the people and into the hands of the corporations who own the transmission infrastructure is nothing to be proud of. Particularly for a state that appears to pride itself on individual independence. Distributed generation combined with a lighter but smarter grid is the way forward to achieve low cost, sustainability and higher reliability. Of course, this doesn't leave much in the way of quarterly dividend checks for the fat cats and the energy traders!
 

PNWmisty

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#37
So maybe this is my toy (along with the 3). I don't know. I go back and forth. :rolleyes:o_O
I like this! Plus, it's more future proof than having boats, guns and girlfriends. Some might argue on the guns part but it would be a sad world to live in if we allow our democracy to descend into chaos to the point we need guns just to survive each other. It would be like a million steps backwards. Currently, we are only at a thousand steps backward. There is still time to reverse the trend. In any case, guns are cheap compared to boats, girlfriends and solar!;)
 

PNWmisty

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#38
So I would not be getting something for nothing. I will be paying a higher rate if you think about it. If I pay for fixed costs based on electricity used within the rate plus the $10 fee, I already will pay a higher rate to be hooked to the grid.
In other words, you will become even a bigger net asset for the utility company. Can you buy stock in them?
 
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#39
The CoOp is 'owned' by the members supposedly.
My point about paying for the infrastructure you use is that you do not own it and you never will. The utility does. You do use it for sure. If you don't need it, you can disconnect and you will not miss it.
Think of it as a public street. You don't own it and you never will but you have agreed to pay for it's construction and maintenance so you can use it any time you want.
 

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#40
That is an interesting idea - if you add the Powerwall as well, what happens if you just have the electrical service disconnected?