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More residents opting for solar power

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

By Ralph Pokorny

Nevada Daily Mail

Solar power is becoming a readily available option for homeowners and businesses in the Vernon and Bates county areas, according to Jeff Droz, owner of Roof Power Solar in Rich Hill.

Droz, who has used solar power as his sole source of electricity at his house in the Rich Hill area for the last seven years, recently has started installing solar panels in the two counties, and in the last couple of weeks has installed two arrays in the Nevada area, one at Cash's Quality Electric office and shop, 111 N. Barrett, just north of Wilson Tire, and a large system at a rural Nevada residence, the location of which is being withheld because of security concerns.

And Droz said that he is working out the details for a large commercial system at the Missouri Northern Pecan Growers plant in the Nevada Industrial Park.

"I'm pretty excited to get one out there in a high visibility location," Droz said.

While the system Droz uses at his house uses batteries to supply power at night and on cloudy days, the ones that he is installing here are tied to the electric grid. The excess power each solar installation generates is purchased by KCP&L and when it's dark or cloudy, the owner purchases electricity from KCP&L.

He said the 17,000 watt system he installed on the residence will be equivalent to purchasing about $200 of electricity per month for the 25 year life of the system.

The homeowner said that the system he is installing is about 75 percent larger than is actually required for his current electricity needs, but he hopes to install electric heat soon to replace his wood heat, and eventually get an electric car that he will charge from his solar array.

A typical installation would generate 8 to 9 kilowatts of electricity each month, which is equivalent to about $100 of purchased electricity. The equipment would take three to four days to install, he said.

Droz said the 17,000 watt system would cost about $60,000 installed. However, KCP&L currently pays customers a $2 per watt rebate up to 50,000 watts, which equals about one-half the cost of a system, whether residential, commercial or government.

Droz also said there is a 30-percent tax credit, based on the gross system cost for commercial installations, and a 30 percent tax credit for residences based on the net installation cost.

"This reduces the payback to two to five years, depending on the mounting structure," that's used, he said.

The cost of the equipment varies; for example, roof mounts are less expensive than ground mounts, he said.

Droz said that he did not know how long these tax credits and rebates will be available.

Droz said he is subcontracting with Perry Cash of Cash's Quality Electric to do all of the electrical installation and with Tom Taylor, Nevada, for structural engineering work to make sure any building can handle the extra load.

Droz said the arrays are designed to withstand 90 mph winds, which is standard for this area.

For more information visit www.roofpowersolar.com or call Droz at (816) 682-5598, or send an e-mail to jeff@roofpowersolar.com.


Comments
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Some of the figures in this article are not correct. Looking at my bill from KCP&L a kilowatt of electricity costs 11. If you produce 9 kilowatts per month, that amounts to 99 per month. Also,when they buy electricity back from you, they only pay you 3 per kilowatt. They say that is the wholesale price.

-- Posted by resident65 on Wed, Dec 12, 2012, at 10:39 AM

The term 'kilowatts per month' is meaningless. The amount of energy generated is measured in kilowatt hours and will vary throughout the year. It's probably an 8-9 KW system generating an average of 1000 KWHs per month.

-- Posted by Izzy99 on Wed, Dec 12, 2012, at 4:30 PM

To the above comments, yes, there was an error in this story regarding "8 to 9 kilowatts per month". The typical home would require a system in the 8-9kw range and that size of a system would produce around 1000 kwhr/month with a value of around $100.

-- Posted by Jeff Droz on Wed, Dec 12, 2012, at 10:03 PM
Response by Lynn Wade:
Thanks, Jeff.Scheduled a correction in the print edition; but didn't think of putting one here.

That's all well and good if you use KCPL if you are on a co-op then guess again. They will throw all sorts of roads blocks in your way and on top of that they do not have to pay if you over generate, it rolls over to the next month and at the end off the year the books go to zero.ROADBLOCK 1

How do I know from personal experience. I wanted to install a wind generator on my property. I had a site survey done over the course of a year with the company I was dealing with. The generator would have produced around an estimated 250,000kwh @ year. The co-op also wanted a million dollar liability policy to cover any perceived damage if for some reason during a power outage my generator charged the line. Something that was not available at the time and do not know if it is today. The electrical engineer from the company I was using explained to BARTON COUNTY CO_OP that there would be sensors that would tell if line voltage was present or not and that it would disconnect from the grid and would not reconnect until voltage was established. ROADSBLOCK 2 That still was not good enough in the end I gave up as I could not justify the cost if I could not get money back to pay for the generator and maintenance over its lifetime. I just use around 1500 kwh a month.

AND so the co-op won and I still pay an electric bill, have I given up no I am build small scale and once I have enough capacity I will tell Barton county to come get their poles off my land before I chainsaw them

-- Posted by endersgame on Thu, Dec 13, 2012, at 7:09 PM


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