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solar cost

Cost and Payback Calculations

  •  Fourteen 230W panels gives the farm a total installed peak capacity of 3.2kWatts. 
  •  The panels produce 4360 kWh of energy per year. 
  • The total cost of installing the solar systems was $19,487
  • Installation cost = $6.05 per watt. 
  • Maine state rebate is $500 per 1000kWh estimated annual production with a maximum of $2000 for residential and $4000 for commercial (DOE, 2012). 
  • The federal rules provide a 30% tax credit (US Dept of Energy), which amount to $5846.10. 
  • There are also federal rules that allow accelerated depreciation on tax returns for solar installations. 
  • Combining state and federal incentives the total cost of the project is reduced to $11,641.   
  • Given a cost of electricity of 17 cents per kWh to get a yearly savings of $741. 
  • Payback time = 15.7 years.  
  • Solar panels hold a 25-year warranty.
*Cost Update*
Solar costs have steeply declined. The average installed cost is now $4.44 per watt (Wesoff, 2012)
The farm solar arrays would have a payback time of less than 10 years given the current pricing.