A while back I talked about a nice little Air-X wind generator I purchased and installed. At the same time I also installed a nice little BP 80Watt solar panel to help charge my batteries at the communications site that was having serious power problems, anyway thats another story.
Solar panels in a summary statement are really cool devices. they simply convert the suns energy (although not very well) to electricity. In my book I discussed a few ideas for solar panels and their use but digging around I found a place where you can make some good money with a solar array.
Usually when people get solar power they get it for “green” and “warm fuzzy” reasons which usually entail a system that will supplement the power to their house. But I seen someone selling a 750KW solar array on eBay the other day for grid inter tie use. This bad boy doesn’t even hook up to your house it hooks right up to the utility system and feeds power to them while the sun shines. Great idea especially since the heavy power use is during the day when people are running air conditioners.
The price tag for this system was somewhere around $800 grand. An expensive solar array for sure. So how would one go about making any money of a solar system like that?
Checking into it I found out that most power companies have to pay you for the power you generate and put on their grid. This figure is about 1/2 of the rate they normally charge a customer. so if you pay about .07 per Kilowatt hour then you can figure the utility will pay you the wholesale rate of .04 per Kilowatt hour.
Considering an average of 9 hours of sunlight per day 320 days of the year the net result of your very expensive solar array is $86,400.00 per year. It would take you 9.2 years for a return on your investment. Solar panels also degrade over time and that you might want to replace the whole array in 20 years. Okay well it might not be a terrible deal but not a super sweet deal.
So I did a little digging around and found someplace where the power you generate is pays very nicely. Turns out this place is in Hawaii on the island of Kauai. Here, there are rules which state the utility company has to pay you the equivalent of what it costs them to generate the power. Because they use Diesel or Naphtha for the fuel for their power plant, its very expensive power. This equates to .27 per Kilowatt hour that they have to pay you. In certain areas the sun shines almost all day with very little rain towards the west side of the island. so you can get a nice 10+ hour day nearly 340 days of the year.
Get this that’s over 2,000.00 per day or 689,000.00 per year. If you throw in the land you should have a return on your investment in 2 years. After that its all cake! So Think solar Think Hawaii!