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Grid-Tie PV Systems are solar electric systems that interface with your utility meter and export your surplus energy back to the power company, thereby spinning your meter backwards.

This can be done with batteryless inverters that only work when utility power is present (not during power outages) or with the more complex battery back-up systems that provide emergency power. There is no one system that applies to every home, each one is individually designed, taking into consideration such things as location, lifestyle, specific requirements, and of course, price. Land and Sea Solar handles all the paperwork and permits necessary and makes provides you with a turnkey Grid-Tie Solar System.

Do you have an open, unshaded area in your yard that's more than 15 feet from property lines for possible pole mounting of a solar array (most preferable) or do you have areas of unobstructed roof that ideally faces south? (East or west will still catch 85 % of available sun as long as no shading occurs.) We recommend a site evaluation and we have tools to measure the amount of available sun at your location.

Is your aim to use solar to supplement your power consumption or do you also need back-up power during outages? The extra cost of a battery system over a grid-tie system can amount to an additional $1500-$3500. Also, the efficiency of a battery system is about 20% less, so you will loose that much power production to maintaining the batteries. Another option for infrequent blackouts is to install a small generator to run crucial loads, especially if there are 220-volt loads involved.
Determining Your Usage Your daily kilowatt hour consumption is the crucial piece of info we'll need to determine system size. Look on your bills or simply call the utility company. They can add up the kilowatt hours used for 12 months and then divide it by 12 for your monthly average or ask them to divide it by 365 for the daily average. The daily kilowatt hour usage can be divided by the amount of average sunlight received by the solar panels. That number will be 4.5- 5.5 hours depending on exact location.
Santa Cruz Coastal = 4.5 hrs.
Other areas in Santa Cruz = 4.7 hrs
Sunnyvale = 5.1 hrs.

Let's say you used 13 kWh, and lived in Santa Cruz. 13/ 4.5 = 2.88 kW.
2.88 kilowatts or 2880 watts, is the amount of solar generation you will need to match the initial consumption. Since there are losses involved in all phases of the power conversion from sunlight to D.C to A.C, the losses must be factored into the equation.

The percent of inefficiency will average around 30%. That means that for every kilowatt of solar installed, 300 watts will be lost to inefficiencies. That 2880 watts times 130% will mean we need to have around 3744 watts of solar to generate that amount of power. The rough cost for labor and materials is between $7-10 per watt for a grid-intertie system. From that figure, you can deduct the rebates to get an approximate idea how much you will have to spend. If this is within your budget, then we can give you an exact bid for the total installation.

Of course it is not necessary to offset 100% of your usage with solar. The most important portion of your utility usage to offset is the "over baseline" portion of the bill for which you are being penalized. The utlity penalizes you for any usage over baselines amount which is somewhere around 350 kilowatt hours and the penalties increase in multi-tiers. Solar can help get you out of the most expensive tiers, the ones that almost double the cost per kilowatt hour. So in other words if you actually needed a 7 kw solar system to break even, you may find the smaller, less expensive 4 kw system would be the better value by getting you out of the "over baseline" bracket.

Site Evaluation
We offer Site Evaluation service for a cost of $50, which is refundable when you purchase your system. The evaluation includes a survey of the site with our solar measuring tool to assess the exact amount of solar potential at your location as well as measurements necessary to make an accurate quote on your system.

For more information please call (eight three one)588-2217 ,

or email us at (please cut and paste this address into your email. We don't hyperlink to reduce spam)
















Utility- Intertie related links:

Database of Renewables incentives by state

PGE solar homepage

California master site for all renewables incentives

CSI incentive calculator








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