PV prices implode November 18, 2009Posted by Maury Markowitz in solar.
Tags: solar power
…and speaking of imploding, a recent talkback post here pointed me to an article on PV panel pricing. So I went over to eBay, and holy crap!
Last summer while I was waiting for the new feed-in tariff structure to come into play, which it finally did this September, I was pricing out the cheapest panels at $3.69 a watt for B-grade poly-si junkers. Now you can get UL-rated A-grade mono-si panels for $2.59! That’s not much above production costs. In fact, it’s not much above the cost of a coal-fired plant. Yikes!
If you’re in Ontario you need to seriously consider doing an install ASAP. Expect to pay about $1 a watt for the inverter and another $3.50 (say) for the panel for a total equipment cost of $4.50 a watt. There’s some red tape and a few form-filling exercises, and some wiring, electrical boxes etc. So if you do it yourself, a 1 kWp array is going to run you about $5 for the equipment alone.
Here in the Toronto area we get 1950 hours of “bright direct sunlight” a year, but you don’t get to use all of that, 1600 is closer to the number I’d use. So if you put up a 1 kWp array you’re looking at about 1600 kWh a year.
The new plan will pay you $0.80 a kWh, or about $1300 a year. That’s a three to four year payoff, folks. Do it quick though, a year from now you’re going to have to seriously up the Canadian content, and prices certainly won’t be the same.