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As an EV or future Rivian owner, do you have, or are you planning a home solar array

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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
If you own an EV (or plan to own a Rivian, as I'm guessing most people here do), do you have solar, or plan to install solar? The energy offset and payback are interesting to me. We are putting in solar with a payback timeline that should put us out until our kids graduate HS. There is always some risk around payback if you are forced to move for 1 reason or another, but having awareness that you have a "window of opportunity" to invest in green energy for your home, offset what is (or will be) higher electric charges each month with requirement for charging your EV or EV's at night, and taking advantage of better technology and tax credits seems like a no brainer to me. Curious what other prospective Rivian owners think. Feel free to comment about your payback period, size of your array, cost of the array, age, etc.
 

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Our roof has several more years on it but not enough to justify a huge modification like a solar panel array. I'm hoping in the next five years that solar tech will be appreciably better (same hope I had five years ago) and that maybe we could do both at the same time. For now it's a great idea but not an economically sound one. On the other hand, I've seen some promising (and compact) wind turbines out there, so maybe that will be a more viable option in five years.
 

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I will do solar in the next few years. I received a quote but the company insisted that a 9.3kW system was more than enough to offset 100% of my house use plus an EV... I don't agree with their assessment, however. I'm curious to see what size system other people have.
 

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I have two off grid cabins and both have solar with generator backup and some limited battery storage. They work fine for basic electricity needs and running the well pumps, but they do not run any major appliances. I am not anticipating the systems are sufficient for charging the truck. And I’m not sure that running the generators 24 hours straight to get 50 miles of range is a good idea either.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
I have a very tough roof, with dormers facing South and steep pitches. I was initially skeptical, but pleasantly surprised that the design was able to accommodate an 8 KW array (20 400W panels). Here in NE, I will see about 85% off-set based on current usage. Was hoping for more, but not bad all things considering and with tax incentives. My Payback is period is about 5 years FWIW.
 

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We have a 14kW solar array on our roof. Been there for a few years, really like it. It has saved us some serious money over the years.
 

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We have a 14kW solar array on our roof. Been there for a few years, really like it. It has saved us some serious money over the years.
I'm guessing you didn't receive it as a gift, so savings is really a function of installation cost. How long is your expected payback?
 

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We live in Western Washington and had a 12kW (nominal) array installed in June 2018. The payback period was initially calculated at 8 years but I have not done an analysis yet to see if that is working out. I think it is close though because we only pay about $300 a year for electricity for a 3000 sq. ft. home with electric (heatpump) heat/air-conditioning and full time charging of a Chevy Bolt. I know the R1T will take more energy to charge but not sure how much yet. We also get about an $1,800 rebate from the state every year.
 

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We installed a 12.2 kW system (34 panels) a little over a year ago on a young roof -- supposedly good enough to offset 122% of our current usage (no electric vehicle yet). We purchased outright, and between tax credits, the Massachusetts "SMART" solar incentive program (10 years of monthly payments based on production, estimated at $1,400/yr), and no more electric bills, we are projected to recoup the initial investment after year 5. Parts are warrantied 25 years, labor for 10. Total positive cashflow after 25 years is projected $91K. [EDIT: I should add that we don't currently have battery storage.]
 

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Have a 32 panel, 10.6kw system on our new 4500SF home in Central Oregon. With tax credits and savings we figure the payback is 7-8 years. Our electric bill was only $15 last month but don't have an EV yet so I expect that to increase a bit once the RIT arrives. It will still be cheaper (and a lot more convenient) than filling up with gas.
I looked into Tesla storage as well but that doesn't quite pencil at this time. I am guessing in the not so distant future as prices come down devices like this will be ubiquitous.
 

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I am under contract to install a 6.29 KW system on my house. It is supposed to generate 10,788 kWh a year. My current usage on average is 14.4 kWh a day which is 5,226 kWh a year. I doubled it in preparation for the Rivian. I calculated 2 40% charges a week on the Large pack would be 5,616 for the year added to my current usage puts me at 10,872.

There is a 26% tax credit for the installation if you buy it. At current usage it is a 9 year break even, If it doubles with the Rivian as I am expected it is a 4.5 year payback. There is a 25 year warranty and expected savings over the 25 years after recouping the initial cost (the install includes upgrading main panel from 100 amp to 200 amp), is 46K. That is at current rates assuming the cost of electricity does not increase, if it increases the investment return will be more.

The install is not going to be completed until mid-late August so the above numbers are speculation, I will need to map those to the actual numbers over the course of a couple of years to see if the return on the investment is realized.

One other factor, I checked with a real estate appraiser as well and was told because these are purchased and not leased, there would be a 20-30K increase in the house appraisal.

With all of this research, I did not see a down side to laying out the cash. Even if it only saves me 100 a month on the electric bill, the system is paid for in 10 years.
 

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I'm guessing you didn't receive it as a gift, so savings is really a function of installation cost. How long is your expected payback?
Are is more a utility style service. I didn't pay a nickel up front, I pay a monthly flat fee. I save anywhere from 3-4k a year depending on the year. Been very pleased with it so far.
 

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We have a 19.4kW system (58 panels) in KC, Mo area and love it. We have 2 geothermal heat pumps, all electric water heaters, a pair of electric washer/dryers. In spring/summer/fall we generate more than we can use; hence one of the reasons for a R1S. Our bill in those months is basically all tax and fees. We went from $320 avg to like $20 avg. We will take about 10y to recoup savings.

A couple of observations to think about: 1) I was surprised how much a cloudy day affects production (like 10-20% of normal), 2) short low sun days in winter makes for a big hit in production (especially if there is snow on your panels - think Zero), 3) we have net metering, and outages are very rare - for us batteries just don't make sense financially - and consider that if you have more than a couple days of clouds in a row, it would take a LOT of batteries to maintain your full house (maybe not cabin as above), 4) solar works best if you can shift your energy-intense activities to peak production times. With net metering we get about 3c per kW sent to grid, but pay 7c per kW used from grid: therefore your best off using what your making. We delay our dishwasher, laundry until sun hours, and will do same with Rivian charging when able.

As for buying solar - we bought straight up and used the 26% tax credit and some local rebates. A friend did a program where the company owns the solar and you pay your normal electric bill until you've paid off price of system. They did NOT get the 26% credit (the company does I guess), so there is a big difference in costs (our credit was like $18k). Most companies will give you great finance options (many 0%) and that still allows the credit.

Probably more than you cared to hear!
Brian
 

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Stuart FL here. Installed 9.3kw system consisting of 29 panels July 2016. Run a hefty power surplus every year. Never paid more than $50 in any year since installation. We expect more balanced collection/usage after delivery of Rivian R1T. Payback? Who cares!
 

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We have a 19.4kW system (58 panels) in KC, Mo area and love it. We have 2 geothermal heat pumps, all electric water heaters, a pair of electric washer/dryers. In spring/summer/fall we generate more than we can use; hence one of the reasons for a R1S. Our bill in those months is basically all tax and fees. We went from $320 avg to like $20 avg. We will take about 10y to recoup savings.

A couple of observations to think about: 1) I was surprised how much a cloudy day affects production (like 10-20% of normal), 2) short low sun days in winter makes for a big hit in production (especially if there is snow on your panels - think Zero), 3) we have net metering, and outages are very rare - for us batteries just don't make sense financially - and consider that if you have more than a couple days of clouds in a row, it would take a LOT of batteries to maintain your full house (maybe not cabin as above), 4) solar works best if you can shift your energy-intense activities to peak production times. With net metering we get about 3c per kW sent to grid, but pay 7c per kW used from grid: therefore your best off using what your making. We delay our dishwasher, laundry until sun hours, and will do same with Rivian charging when able.

As for buying solar - we bought straight up and used the 26% tax credit and some local rebates. A friend did a program where the company owns the solar and you pay your normal electric bill until you've paid off price of system. They did NOT get the 26% credit (the company does I guess), so there is a big difference in costs (our credit was like $18k). Most companies will give you great finance options (many 0%) and that still allows the credit.

Probably more than you cared to hear!
Brian
A lot of great info here @epnfrn thanks a lot! Couple of questions, what kind of solar panels are you using on your home? and if you do get snow on them, do you try and remove the snow or just leave it?
 

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Stuart FL here. Installed 9.3kw system consisting of 29 panels July 2016. Run a hefty power surplus every year. Never paid more than $50 in any year since installation. We expect more balanced collection/usage after delivery of Rivian R1T. Payback? Who cares!
Sounds like a great setup. Which home charger are you planning on using for your R1T?
 

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I am under contract for the installation of a 9.4kw system. It supposed to cover 100% of my current energy use. If it increases to much after getting the R1S I can add one or two panels.

The thing is that they way net metering works in VA, you are don't get paid if you produce more than consume so the optimal is to produce just slightly under your consumption.

I am financing the whole system and monthly payment is just 10 dollars more than my average bill with the advantage that it's locked for 20 years then goes to zero. I didn't want to sell my stocks to pay this upfront given the low interest rate we are getting.
 

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We just had a 10.4kW system installed [31 Panasonic panels] and a 240W/60amp outlet for EV Level 2 charging [if my R1T actually materializes then we will use the provided home charging cable]. Generating clean energy is what we paid for and it feels quite satisfying. No battery backup yet as that was too expensive and the technology is rapidly evolving.

Cost justification was not part of our decision to go solar but adding solar to your home does increase it's value and desirability.

@Boise
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 · (Edited)
In terms of systems, I'm using Solaria Power XT 400W Panels on Everest Mounting Systems on my house. I also have a Solar Edge single phase inverter w/ HD Wave (whatever that is) and Solar Edge power optimizer. My roof is so steep that I don't think my panels will collect much snow (they should shed very well based on the design also).

In terms of home charging for my R1T, I'm still shopping because I don't have a price from Rivian yet. If they "bundle" a charger into the deal as part of the purchase at a competitive pricepoint, I would consider that of course. I'm thinking a good price for a smart charger would be in or around 1K, but curious what others think as prices vary with features on L2 chargers.
 
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