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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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We have LG 335’s. We wanted all black to make it a sleeker install. Snow tends to melt off relatively quick if mild temps as they are dark and warm up quick. If really cold, snow won’t melt and slide off. Our roofs are very high so I won’t go up there to knock off snow
 

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Tampa area, 11.73KW from 35 LG panels. With Tampa Electric the systems are rated by tier, if you go over what we have you bump up to the next tier which requires TECO to be named additional insured on a homeowner's policy. The additional yearly cost precluded that option for us. We have a 45kw charger, and will most likely add a second one when we both have an EV. Right now we just picked up our Mach-E at the end of March. We have net metering with a simple power in power out swap, no change in pricing, so time of day is not a factor. We average a little over 18Mwh/year generation, and consume an additional 3.6Mwh/year. High usage, but we have a walk in beer cooler along with a hot tub.
 

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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.
I installed our Solar array 2 years ago to take advantage of local green energy programs. When I designed the system it was to allow for charging 2 EVs and still cover all energy needs. Since install I have not paid a power bill and even have maintained a credit with the local power company since I back feed any extra power onto the grid. I will be interested to see how well my array production keeps up with the demand after adding the Rivian.
 

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I have designed/installed PV since 2004 and therefore my cost (simple) payback was quicker than average; ~4 years. I live in PA but if I lived in NJ, payback would have been about 2 years. State incentives vary greatly but the Federal Tax Credit is applicable for everyone. Federal ITC is currently at 26% of the cost of your system.

A great resource: Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency® - DSIRE

I have 14 QCells 335Wp modules = 4690Wp (or 4.7kWp) with Enphase inverters. Enphase is a more expensive option but its a great product for residential systems.

Solar modules (panels) come in many shapes and sizes so it can be tough to compare apples to apples. A good way to do this is to take the power (Wp) and divide by the area to determine W/sq.ft.

Solar is priced per Watt peak (Wp) or the DC power rating. # of modules * Wp of module = DC size.
Your residential cost should be around $3/Wp. So if your proposal is for a 5kWp system, the cost should be ~$15k for a straight forward roof system. If installed on the ground, or if you have a complicated roof, need a new roof or require a electric panel upgrade then it can cost more.

Premium products will also increase the price e.g. LG, SunPower or Tesla and are often not worth it / necessary.

My home as an example:
- modules = $180ea * 14 = $2,520
- inverters = $138ea * 14 = $1,932
- racking = $2,400
- labor = 80 man hours * $45/hr = $3,600
- overhead/margin = 40% = $4,180
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Total = $14,632 / 4,690Wp = $3.12/Wp

Margin in the PV industry is high as there is a lot of paperwork and insurance is more expensive than your typical residential electrician. You want your local installer to make a profit so he can be there 10 years down the road if your system has a problem.

My system currently covers 100% of my electric usage but I am planning an expansion for my EV.

I own my system and would only suggest a lease if you are financially unable to purchase a PV system. There are fantastic lending options for near zero interest rates. To be blunt, lease offers are often rip-offs.

Hopefully this is helpful - I'm happy to answer any questions about specific products etc.
 

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10.2 KWp on the house. With federal and state rebates, 50% of the total cost was reimbursed so it was no brainer for us.
Regret not having the electricians take are of the EV charger setup when we installed 2 years ago. Hopefully Rivian announced soon that we can go ahead and work to get their Rivian branded EV charger installed. I believe I read that the EV and installation could be coordinated through them.
 

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10.2 KWp on the house. With federal and state rebates, 50% of the total cost was reimbursed so it was no brainer for us.
Regret not having the electricians take are of the EV charger setup when we installed 2 years ago. Hopefully Rivian announced soon that we can go ahead and work to get their Rivian branded EV charger installed. I believe I read that the EV and installation could be coordinated through them.
I think you can get your home charger included in the purchase financing but not the install. It's just running a 240 line, any minimally-competent electrician can do that.
 

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Yeah I don't know why the payback should be an issue. I have a 7.5 kW system with a Tesla Powerwall. The system cost me about $30K. Guess what, I increased the value of my house by $30,000! So payback?, who cares. That said, my electric bill for 2019 was only about $10 per month. Looking into it, that is the amount they charge to manage my account. Since then, I sell back to the grid and received over $240 for the year.
I have not done my 2020 usage because I got my Model Y in November and we had a terrible winter, lot's of snow covering my panels. I highly recommend solar to anyone because the cost of electricity will not be going down!
 

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I think you can get your home charger included in the purchase financing but not the install. It's just running a 240 line, any minimally-competent electrician can do that.
I can’t find where I read it but I am pretty sure they will handle the installation. And If you go to their website they do say that they would send an electrician to fix any problem.
 

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Discussion Starter · #31 · (Edited)
Payback is interesting for a variety of reasons, including whether you pay cash or finance, plan to stay in your house or sell, want to weigh using cash now or preserving capital based on low interest rates. It is also one way that the Solar companies position and explain the investment (and another way for consumers to weigh pricing based on rates / KWh / cost / etc.). At the end of the day, I agree that it really doesn't matter (particularly with increased home value). Most payback models also take into consideration increasing costs over time.

What is really interesting to me is the percentage of future Rivian owners that have or plan to have solar. That is impressive (and basically looks line 80% of the ownership base for the purposes of the survey). The Anti-solar / Anti-green / Gas burning / Anti-Eco anything zealots always like to say that electric is junk because you "burn coal to generate more power!" LOL.
 

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What is really interesting to me is the percentage of future Rivian owners that have or plan to have solar. That is impressive (and basically looks line 80% of the ownership base for the purposes of the survey). The Anti-solar / Anti-green / Gas burning / Anti-Eco anything zealots always like to say that electric is junk because you "burn coal to generate more power!" LOL.
Agree, but the EV crowd doesn’t do ourselves any favors when EV’s are marketed as having zero environmental impact. It just leaves the haters an an open door to attack. I cringe every time I see “zero emissions” in advertising.
 

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Agree, but the EV crowd doesn’t do ourselves any favors when EV’s are marketed as having zero environmental impact. It just leaves the haters an an open door to attack. I cringe every time I see “zero emissions” in advertising.
That is a great point. And it is not just because it opens the door to attack, the fact that is just a false claim may lead to bad policies. Let us be clear, electric cars by itself are not clean or dirty. It all depends on where the electricity comes from. As an example, there is this article at the American Economic Review showing that as of 2012 an electric car in the streets causes more emissions in average than an ICE car.


This is not an article by "Anti-solar / Anti-green / Gas burning / Anti-Eco anything zealots". It is peer reviewed and published in the most prestigious economics journal in the world. It is the flagship journal of the American Economic Association. The article is just answering the question of what is the environmental impact of additional EVs if we do not change the power grid. The answer is we increase emissions. That tell us that EV adoption policies have to be combined with policies to change the power grid otherwise we do more harm than good.

And since we are talking about policies. The fact that all these policies are interconnected and feed into each other is exactly the reason of why most economists (including myself) favor a simple carbon tax. There is no reason to be adjusting the optimal subsidy to EVs with the subsidy to solar panels with the tax on coal. Since the carbon tax affects the element that is actually generating the problem, it already accounts for all these interactions. We just have to compute the size of the tax.
 

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Unfortunately you can find multiple reports to defend just about any position on this. It all depends what all they include in the analysis. I haven’t read the one posted above, but many fail to include the fuel used to deliver fuel to gas stations. Duh! And then they include every conceivable thing from battery manufacturing to recycling, etc. for EV’s. It’s hard to believe any of them. What I do know is that with an EV is is possible to put 100% clean energy in it, and one can assume that a portion of all of the energy that goes into is clean energy. The same cannot be said for ICE. Every ounce of what powers it is fossil based. I think it’s reasonable to assume that EV overall is cleaner than ICE despite what that report says. Perfectly clean? No. Better? I believe so.
 
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30 panel 9 Kw system installed 3 years ago. Currently powers everything plus a Leaf and a Bolt with 2500 kWh surplus at the end of the year. Peak charging shows better that 7 kWh. South Fl east Coast. Battery for continuous power when the grid is down. Love It!
 

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Unfortunately you can find multiple reports to defend just about any position on this. It all depends what all they include in the analysis. I haven’t read the one posted above, but many fail to include the fuel used to deliver fuel to gas stations. Duh! And then they include every conceivable thing from battery manufacturing to recycling, etc. for EV’s. It’s hard to believe any of them. What I do know is that with an EV is is possible to put 100% clean energy in it, and one can assume that a portion of all of the energy that goes into is clean energy. The same cannot be said for ICE. Every ounce of what powers it is fossil based. I think it’s reasonable to assume that EV overall is cleaner than ICE despite what that report says. Perfectly clean? No. Better? I believe so.
The above article is a bit dated as well. It was reviewed in 2016, there has been a lot of effort in the past 5 years put into renewable sources for generating electricity.

In California there is an energy commission report that states the target is to get to 100% renewable energy by 2045 and that they are already 60% carbon free. It also states that they have been adding 1GW of solar and 300mw of wind yearly for the past decade and plan on adding 6GW a year for the next 25 years.

Probably why we have some of the highest electric rates in the nation. We are 4th highest currently for average rates and climbing, we are tied with Michigan on having the largest increase (7%) in rates between January 2020 and January 2021.
 

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Discussion Starter · #37 ·
This is not an article by "Anti-solar / Anti-green / Gas burning / Anti-Eco anything zealots". It is peer reviewed and published in the most prestigious economics journal in the world. It is the flagship journal of the American Economic Association. The article is just answering the question of what is the environmental impact of additional EVs if we do not change the power grid. The answer is we increase emissions. That tell us that EV adoption policies have to be combined with policies to change the power grid otherwise we do more harm than good.
The report (written 5 years ago) acknowledges advancements over time for cleaner energy production, cleaner EV technology and cleaner gas burning cars in the future, BUT uses grid & emission data from 2010-2012, and also says: "In our empirical analysis, gasoline vehicles emit several pollutants from their tailpipes and electric vehicles cause emissions of several pollutants from the smokestacks of electric power plants that charge them"

Are we all going to power our Rivians from smokestacks of electric power plants? Some will... Some Won't... But a flat basis for emissions with no adjustment by user group seems odd.

The survey I included in this thread was created to see if there was some general correlation between Rivian customers and how they view the sources of their electricity & clean energy (by way of solar in this case). My theory was that there would be. For the purposes of studies like this, I would generally argue that EV owners should have some score weighting attributed to their user group's contribution of pollution (compared to ICE owners with similar usage). It's an interesting consideration.
 

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The report (written 5 years ago) acknowledges advancements over time for cleaner energy production, cleaner EV technology and cleaner gas burning cars in the future, BUT uses grid & emission data from 2010-2012, and also says: "In our empirical analysis, gasoline vehicles emit several pollutants from their tailpipes and electric vehicles cause emissions of several pollutants from the smokestacks of electric power plants that charge them"

Are we all going to power our Rivians from smokestacks of electric power plants? Some will... Some Won't... But a flat basis for emissions with no adjustment by user group seems odd.

The survey I included in this thread was created to see if there was some general correlation between Rivian customers and how they view the sources of their electricity & clean energy (by way of solar in this case). My theory was that there would be. For the purposes of studies like this, I would generally argue that EV owners should have some score weighting attributed to their user group's contribution of pollution (compared to ICE owners with similar usage). It's an interesting consideration.
I think we can see (at least by the poll results on this thread) that the clean generation of electricity is on our minds.

I just wish if people were going to do a true analysis of the actual environmental impact between ICE and EV they would do soup to nuts. The building of the vehicles probably neutral. If you are going to count the generation of the electricity you need to count the oil exploration, drilling, shipping, and processing of the gasoline/diesel as well as the distribution to the resellers.

We also need to look at end of life as well. The huge toxic batteries for EVs probably lose here. Most of the other pieces between the cars is probably a wash. They are making strides on recycling the materials in the batteries as well as looking for second life as grid and home storage but even with the second life they at some point will reach end of life and need to be disposed of to some level.

I have yet to read a report that was not bias on on side or the other.
 
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