Re: query about photovoltaics (solar panels)
From: Sara Gottlieb (sara.gottliebgmail.com)
Date: Wed, 14 Oct 2020 11:13:08 -0700 (PDT)
Here at Lake Claire CoHousing in Atlanta, GA we have had 2 separate solar
panel installations done.

In 2015, myself and one other household individually installed panels on
our own homes.  I purchased mine outright, and my neighbor is doing some
sort of a lease or payment plan.

Then, in 2018, we purchased panels for our common house.  Again, that was
an outright purchase made out of our reserves, which were quite significant
at the time.  The one downside was we had no way to take advantage of the
tax rebate available to individual homeowners, and which my neighbor and I
were able to use in our installations.

I've been extremely pleased with my installation and that on the common
house.  My neighbor had a problem with squirrels chewing through his
equipment, which he did not address quickly, and which has cause half his
installation to be inoperable.  I caught it on my house and on the common
house quickly because I check out the dashboard which reports my energy
production frequently and saw immediately there was a problem.  The fix was
easy, and we installed "squirrel guard" around the panels to avoid the
problem in the future.

Now, two of us in the community have electric vehicles.  One parks in the
common house garage, where she can take advantage of power generated by
those solar panels, and I run a cable from my house to the parking lot, so
I can use my car as an external battery to store excess electricity
production from my panels.  Otherwise, we have no storage capacity.

You should look into bulk purchasing options, and get an analysis from your
installer on how quickly you will pay yourselves back via saving on
electricity bills.

Happy to answer more questions offline - this is a subject I am passionate
about!

Best,
Sara
Lake Claire CoHousing Community, Atlanta, GA
lakeclairecohousing.org

-- 

Sara J. Gottlieb
sara.gottlieb [at] gmail.com

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