Solar costs

Reader comment on: Solyndra's Bankruptcy

Submitted by John Gillis (United States), Sep 1, 2011 17:34

I did a cost analysis for a client last year for a solar installation, and the numbers aren't quite as "good" as mentioned by Lyle. The cost for an installation, per kwh, in Southern CA was $0.32 (amortized over 10 years) for the panels ONLY, assuming they function perfectly for the whole period. If one adds in the cost of the structure to hold the panels, which is substantial, the cost would be about $0.52. And my analysis did NOT allocate any costs for maintaining the system over the 10 year period, because I didn't know how to count that, or for any rainy, cloudy days (which there aren't a lot).

Of course, if one is getting money taken from other tax payers to pay for one's solar panels, then the cost is lower, but that's just a fake-out.

We did our calculations based on Asian panels that were selling at fire-sale prices due to low demand, offered by Wholesale Solar California, so I don't think the numbers could be made any better by buying cheaper.

Further, the solar panels are worthless at night and on hazy/cloudy/rainy days, unless one invests vast amounts of money in huge batteries or other storage media, therefore one has to pay for conventional power generators that can handle the FULL capacity needed anyway.

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Other reader comments on this item

Title By Date
Solyndra, bankruptcy [77 words]Careyu AdulSep 7, 2011 04:16
⇒ Solar costs [219 words]John GillisSep 1, 2011 17:34
The numbers I cited were for the out Islands of Hawaii [112 words]LyleSep 1, 2011 23:12
Where solar does make sense. [120 words]LyleAug 31, 2011 22:43

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