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Old 03-20-2016, 05:10 PM
 
Location: DC
6,509 posts, read 6,427,712 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Submariner View Post
DCforever

I am not sure of what the difference is here; between a 'transmission grid' and a 'distribution grid'.

I assume that a 'transmission grid' means the high-voltage lines in a clear-cut area, as opposed to the power lines that go through town to town to town.

I live in a state that is 92% forest. Every storm blows down trees everywhere.

We have one power line going through part of my township. It may go through a dozen townships before it reaches my township, it continues on through other townships.

Trees blow down and they pull down the power line. It is not complicated.

The fact that you don't know the difference between transmission and distribution explains your erroneous comment that the northeast has a lot of outages.

I'll help you out. You have outages because your local distribution company probably doesn't do enough tree trimming. The amount of forestation in Maine is nothing unique, but it costs money to trim trees and many time the population doesn't want the proper trimming to be done for aesthetic reasons. The end result is poor reliability. That is unique to a single utility and their practices.

The transmission grid is operated by ISO New England and spans the entire New England region. Outages are very rare.
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Old 03-20-2016, 05:27 PM
 
Location: DC
6,509 posts, read 6,427,712 times
Reputation: 3112
Quote:
Originally Posted by guidoLaMoto View Post
The average American family uses ~1000kW/month. To supply that with a PV system, you would spend on the order of $30,000 (save some by DIY). You would either need cash or take out a loan. Cost of loan would essentially double the price you pay, and, cash or by loan, you would lose the investment potential of your money over the life of the system--with Dow earning on average 5.5% per annum (much more over past 10-15 yrs) you will have lost ( essentially "spent") a six-figure amount on your system...and then after 20-25 yrs, you gotta spend it all over again to replace the worn out system. Bummer...and don't forget the several hundred dollar cost of replacement batteries every five yrs or so.

I've been following the costs of PV & wind power generation since the mid-60s. It has always remained just out of reach of practicality. While the cost of the PV cells themselves may be coming down gradually, the other components continue to make the proposition cost prohibitive.

But what price can we put on security?
You have badly missed the financial calculation.

A PV system installed by professionals will be acceptable to your mortgage lender. At today's prices a 5 kW system would cost about $15k. About $5k of that is recoverable from the investment tax credit. Financing $10k at 4% would cost about $35/month. Such a system depending upon location would produce about 7500 kWh per year. Using a rough estimate of 12 /kWh yields $900/year in savings or $75/month compared to the $33/month of cost.

Those are all rough calculations but you can see there is a lot of headroom in the project. In addition the value of the renewable attributes can also be sold to improve the project economics.
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Old 03-20-2016, 06:09 PM
 
Location: Forests of Maine
30,630 posts, read 49,281,484 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Philip T View Post
Your local (Maine, or Texas here) Distribution is only bothered by weather because the local utilities are being cheap -- stringing wire on poles -- because they have done that for the last 50 years, and their math that says it is cheaper (in the short run) to let your power go down a few times a year rather than building you a high-reliability local network.

If your local government mandated High-Reliability-Local-Distribution -- it is pretty easy to do so, and really not that expensive. Sometimes it is as easy as just feeding a line from two sources -- or both ends (called a loop) rather than just a one-way path (where a single break takes out everything downstream).

Best money and reliability in the Long-Term is Underground Distribution. But Good Luck on that.
I have heard a few of the debates between the state legislature and the power companies. We have multiple power companies and they are in control. The state is not about to force them to do anything.

Each state has multiple power companies. They argue that they are locked into contracts with all companies in New England and their contracts require a standardization. So if one state tried to require reliability it would violate these inter-state contracts between power companies, which is controlled by the federal government. If any single state in New England tried to force any one company, or even a group of companies within that state to change. It would be tied up in courts for years.

Power in rural New England is not reliable and nobody anticipates it becoming reliable anywhere in the future.

What they have done, is there are laws that require PDs and hospitals to have much high reliability power. So they do it for PDs and hospitals.
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Old 03-20-2016, 06:21 PM
 
Location: The Driftless Area, WI
2,769 posts, read 1,035,829 times
Reputation: 5940
Quote:
Originally Posted by DCforever View Post
You have badly missed the financial calculation.

A PV system installed by professionals will be acceptable to your mortgage lender. At today's prices a 5 kW system would cost about $15k. About $5k of that is recoverable from the investment tax credit. Financing $10k at 4% would cost about $35/month. Such a system depending upon location would produce about 7500 kWh per year. Using a rough estimate of 12 /kWh yields $900/year in savings or $75/month compared to the $33/month of cost.

Those are all rough calculations but you can see there is a lot of headroom in the project. In addition the value of the renewable attributes can also be sold to improve the project economics.
Taking advantage of the tax credit makes you a leach on society. Your neighbors are paying for your system with no benefit to them. If everybody took the tax credit, then everybody would be paying for it, ie- no advantage to anybody. We'd all be paying full price.

Let's go with your figure of only $15K for your installation. How much money would you have earned after 25 yrs, the effective life of the system, had you instead invested that money simply in a mutual fund based on the DJA, earning an average of 5.5% annually? Ans: ~$60,000 (if you paid cash up front. Add in another $3000 if you borrowed it.) Add in ~$500 for battery replacement every 5 yrs ($3000 + lost investment potential) and you cost is now up to $66,000 + for 25 yrs of "free" power, instead of $30,000 for 25 yrs of grid power.

And after 25 yrs, you spend the $66 Gs again.
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Old 03-21-2016, 07:55 AM
 
Location: DC
6,509 posts, read 6,427,712 times
Reputation: 3112
Quote:
Originally Posted by Submariner View Post
I have heard a few of the debates between the state legislature and the power companies. We have multiple power companies and they are in control. The state is not about to force them to do anything.

Each state has multiple power companies. They argue that they are locked into contracts with all companies in New England and their contracts require a standardization. So if one state tried to require reliability it would violate these inter-state contracts between power companies, which is controlled by the federal government. If any single state in New England tried to force any one company, or even a group of companies within that state to change. It would be tied up in courts for years.

Power in rural New England is not reliable and nobody anticipates it becoming reliable anywhere in the future.

What they have done, is there are laws that require PDs and hospitals to have much high reliability power. So they do it for PDs and hospitals.
Most of the above is just erroneous. As I previously pointed out reliability issues are distribution issues. There are no standards that preclude a local utility from routing their distribution lines to achieve any level of reliability they desire. It's only a matter of customer preferences and cost. Distribution systems by legal definition are not engaged in interstate commerce and the federal government has no jurisdiction. Distribution is regulated on a state by state basis.
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Old 03-21-2016, 08:09 AM
 
Location: DC
6,509 posts, read 6,427,712 times
Reputation: 3112
Quote:
Originally Posted by guidoLaMoto View Post
Taking advantage of the tax credit makes you a leach on society. Your neighbors are paying for your system with no benefit to them. If everybody took the tax credit, then everybody would be paying for it, ie- no advantage to anybody. We'd all be paying full price.

Let's go with your figure of only $15K for your installation. How much money would you have earned after 25 yrs, the effective life of the system, had you instead invested that money simply in a mutual fund based on the DJA, earning an average of 5.5% annually? Ans: ~$60,000 (if you paid cash up front. Add in another $3000 if you borrowed it.) Add in ~$500 for battery replacement every 5 yrs ($3000 + lost investment potential) and you cost is now up to $66,000 + for 25 yrs of "free" power, instead of $30,000 for 25 yrs of grid power.

And after 25 yrs, you spend the $66 Gs again.
Wow so many errors and so little space.

1. You don't believe in tax credits? Do you deduct your house mortgage payment and property tax from your federal income tax? Whatever, ignorance doesn't change the equation.

2. I put none of my own money into the installation. I can finance 100% of the $10k in my mortgage. So as I pointed out in the initial post, I encumber none of my investment funds.

3. The net return to the homeowner is infinite because it generates just under $500/year in savings with zero investment. At the end of 30 years the mortgage is paid and the homeowner can replace the then obsolete/worn out pv system with a newer cheaper, more efficient system and repeat they process. In the interim, the homeowner has locked in savings over a 30 year period. The value of that at the end of the 30 years will be about $36k.
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Old 03-21-2016, 08:24 AM
 
Location: The Driftless Area, WI
2,769 posts, read 1,035,829 times
Reputation: 5940
Quote:
Originally Posted by DCforever View Post
Wow so many errors and so little space.

1. You don't believe in tax credits? Do you deduct your house mortgage payment and property tax from your federal income tax? Whatever, ignorance doesn't change the equation.

2. I put none of my own money into the installation. I can finance 100% of the $10k in my mortgage. So as I pointed out in the initial post, I encumber none of my investment funds.

3. The net return to the homeowner is infinite because it generates just under $500/year in savings with zero investment. At the end of 30 years the mortgage is paid and the homeowner can replace the then obsolete/worn out pv system with a newer cheaper, more efficient system and repeat they process. In the interim, the homeowner has locked in savings over a 30 year period. The value of that at the end of the 30 years will be about $36k.
Our public schools are failing us. If you add $10Gs to your mortgage, you'll wind up paying about $30Gs back @4% over 20-30yrs. I'm paying your other $5Gs and losing my investment potential without accruing any benefit. Somebody is always losing money here.

OTOH- if I can take a tax break on MY mortgage, I wind wind up buying the house I maybe couldn't afford. As a homeowner, I pay more in RE taxes than as a renter. I buy more furniture and appliances, etc as a homeowner than as a renter., That leads to more jobs and even more income tax revenue to the govt on an ongoing basis. Everybody benefits.That's called the multiplier effect.

And your pipe dream about newer, cheaper systems in the future seems not to be borne out by history. As I said, I've been following this problem for over 50 yrs. I wish it was going to come true too. But then, I also wish I were rich, handsome and had wings to fly. Ain't gunna happen.

edited to add: BTW- someone mentioned earlier about solar-thermal. Maybe that ain't such a good idea either: http://wattsupwiththat.com/2016/03/1...rced-to-close/
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Old 03-21-2016, 11:06 AM
 
Location: DC
6,509 posts, read 6,427,712 times
Reputation: 3112
Quote:
Originally Posted by guidoLaMoto View Post
Our public schools are failing us. If you add $10Gs to your mortgage, you'll wind up paying about $30Gs back @4% over 20-30yrs. I'm paying your other $5Gs and losing my investment potential without accruing any benefit. Somebody is always losing money here.

OTOH- if I can take a tax break on MY mortgage, I wind wind up buying the house I maybe couldn't afford. As a homeowner, I pay more in RE taxes than as a renter. I buy more furniture and appliances, etc as a homeowner than as a renter., That leads to more jobs and even more income tax revenue to the govt on an ongoing basis. Everybody benefits.That's called the multiplier effect.

And your pipe dream about newer, cheaper systems in the future seems not to be borne out by history. As I said, I've been following this problem for over 50 yrs. I wish it was going to come true too. But then, I also wish I were rich, handsome and had wings to fly. Ain't gunna happen.

edited to add: BTW- someone mentioned earlier about solar-thermal. Maybe that ain't such a good idea either: FAIL: Ivanpah solar power plant not producing enough electricity, may be forced to close | Watts Up With That?
Just so you understand with whom you disagree with I have a Masters in Finance, an undergraduate electrical engineering degree and I worked for 30+ years in the electric utility industry. Let me help you again with the math.

1. If you pay less to service the mortgaged amount of the pv system than the savings, it is a money making deal. Whatever your other assumptions are. That is so simple it a "DUH".

2. Solar cell modules have dropped in price from about $75/watt to under $1/watt over the last 40 years. No other conventional form of generation comes close to that. There's no reason to believe the trend will not continue.

3. You'll never be rich because you lack the ability to even understand what is a good deal. Whether you are handsome or can fly doesn't much matter.

4. Solar thermal is a completely different technology and there really are no parallels.
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Old 03-22-2016, 05:50 AM
 
Location: The Driftless Area, WI
2,769 posts, read 1,035,829 times
Reputation: 5940
Quote:
Originally Posted by DCforever View Post

1. If you pay less to service the mortgaged amount of the pv system than the savings, it is a money making deal. Whatever your other assumptions are. That is so simple it a "DUH".

.

$15000 added to your mortgage for let's say 20 yrs @ 4%/yr--> approximately $100/m P&I-- $24,000 total cost

$15,000 invested @6%/y over 20 yrs--> $51,000 earned (not earned if you bought the solar array instead)

Grid elec @ $0.20/kW-hr x 750kW'hr/m x 12m/y x 20y = $36,000

So the free juice from PV over 20 yrs cost you $24K, while the guy who stays on grid and invests the money has 20 yrs of electrical power plus $51K still earning 6%/y after the 20 yrs. Net profit $15,000. (The difference actually gets bigger if the system last you longer because the investment is earning compound interest.)

And then you gotta pay another $24K to replace the system.

Let the readers decide their own course.
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Old 03-22-2016, 03:18 PM
 
Location: DC
6,509 posts, read 6,427,712 times
Reputation: 3112
Quote:
Originally Posted by guidoLaMoto View Post
$15000 added to your mortgage for let's say 20 yrs @ 4%/yr--> approximately $100/m P&I-- $24,000 total cost

$15,000 invested @6%/y over 20 yrs--> $51,000 earned (not earned if you bought the solar array instead)

Grid elec @ $0.20/kW-hr x 750kW'hr/m x 12m/y x 20y = $36,000

So the free juice from PV over 20 yrs cost you $24K, while the guy who stays on grid and invests the money has 20 yrs of electrical power plus $51K still earning 6%/y after the 20 yrs. Net profit $15,000. (The difference actually gets bigger if the system last you longer because the investment is earning compound interest.)

And then you gotta pay another $24K to replace the system.

Let the readers decide their own course.
Your model is flawed. If I don't finance the investment, I have no $10k loan from the mortgage company so there is no investment in the stock market.

It's also a conceptual error to add money from different time periods together like you are doing. to compare income streams one uses present value analysis.

But it is simpler than that. Even you can understand. Do you want to pay $33/month for 625 kWhs or do you want to pay $75/month. That's the decision.
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