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Old 04-04-2009, 10:18 PM
 
5,090 posts, read 9,822,211 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by forest beekeeper View Post
The last time that I looked into the topic. The reason given for why utility companies were slow to go along was cost.

Obviously the costs have gone down since then.

I stand corrected.
I play both sides of the game. Utility and small-time grid-tie production.

The Utilities are in the business of Selling Energy -- Not Buying it.

That is why they are slow to go along. The rest are cover stories.
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Old 04-04-2009, 10:31 PM
 
43 posts, read 112,182 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Philip T View Post
I play both sides of the game. Utility and small-time grid-tie production.

The Utilities are in the business of Selling Energy -- Not Buying it.

That is why they are slow to go along. The rest are cover stories.

I tend to agree. In for a penny, in for a pound. Buy the batteries along with the charge controller/phase inverter and have the best of both worlds. Sell back and when the batt's are charged.....well use them for power should it go out.
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Old 04-11-2009, 10:39 PM
 
3,460 posts, read 4,932,081 times
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I think the cheapest way to get into solar and wind power (along with the benefit of having power during outages) is to keep your renewable energy source separate from the grid until you feel like spending a few thousand dollars to hook them together.

It would be pretty easy to install a few panels or a wind generator, and then wire them in parallel with a battery bank to a fairly small inverter. From there you could provide AC power to a separate breaker box next to your grid box, and move a circuit or two from the grid box to the renewable box. If you run short of power on that circuit, you could always use grid power to top off the batteries. When you want to expand the system, you just add some more panels and hook another inverter up to a new circuit.
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Old 04-12-2009, 12:57 AM
 
Location: Northglenn, Colorado
3,689 posts, read 9,426,670 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GiantRutgersfan View Post
whether it is solar or wind or whatever?

What is the cheapest way to equip a house on one acre of land with equipment so that there is no electric bill each month?

and what would be the approximate cost
there is no such thing as free energy. You give up the grid, you will pay for the solar for a very long time. In Colorado they payoff is usually 15-20 years.
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Old 04-12-2009, 01:03 AM
 
Location: Northglenn, Colorado
3,689 posts, read 9,426,670 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrokenTap View Post
In my honest opinion, I think it is possible to power up your home in an affordable way with green power if severe conservation measures are put in place, and some lifestyle changes occur. The only way I see for the return on investment to make sense is not by off-the-shelf units, but by building the system yourself.

Some of the stuff is daunting so I think the number of people that have the technical know-how, and the ability to fabricate are pretty rare. But I think by building it yourself, you would get the cost down to where a homeowner could afford to build something.

Is it possible?

The first windmill built to produce electrical power was made almost entirely of wood and produced 10 KW's. So it can be done, but that was on a big scale. I think with modern materials like plywood and truss designs, it could be replicated again. Fortunately we as homeowners/homesteaders have one thing that is free while for business it is very expensive...time. So what if it takes 2 years to build a windmill it is better then buying a 17K windmill and taking 20 years to pay for it.

Just a thought for the day!
I do not think it is feasible to make your own wind mill. I happen to design homes within the most strict energy code county in the united states. And I can guarantee that if someone were to attempt to place their own home built wind mill on their property, the building department would sniff it out in a matter of min. and require that it be taken down. Permits, manufacturers and a licensed contractor to install as well as obtaining ACC approvals it still would cost thousands of dollars to do anything, not including the cost of lawyers. Same thing would go for installing your own solar array. most jurisdictions require a licensed structural engineers stamp and structural plans, as well as stamped electrical plans and a licensed electrician to install such systems.
(government does not make it very easy to attempt these types of things)
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Old 04-12-2009, 01:08 AM
 
Location: Northglenn, Colorado
3,689 posts, read 9,426,670 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZugZub View Post
To the poster who said that you can sell power back to the utility companies...it depends on where you are. Lot of 'em won't do it.
I believe there was a federal case about this within the past 5 years or so. They are required to pay for additional power produced, most were doing this willingly as well. Due to the price of having electricity produced by a home vs. the cost of having to build a new power plant.
I do know that they are not required to pay the price you pay them though.
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Old 04-12-2009, 07:36 AM
 
Location: Vermont
5,439 posts, read 14,731,023 times
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Even NJ doesn't seem as bad as CO. Some states (apparently?) do not have any type of building code or at least nobody to enforce. In NJ, I can do all work on my own house myself. Seems reasonable.

However if I wanted to construct a windmill there are height regulations. There's no wind here anyway.

Solar is not cheap any which way you put it. And as others have said, by the time 10 years comes around and you're not even paid off, the system is putting out less electricity than when you bought it.
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Old 04-12-2009, 02:41 PM
 
Location: Forests of Maine
30,612 posts, read 49,226,837 times
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I see a lot of folks trying, ...

The payoff is real long though.
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Old 04-13-2009, 02:16 PM
 
Location: Maine
6,045 posts, read 11,394,959 times
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We checked into wind power a couple of weeks ago. It would take 14+ years to break even. That eliminated that idea.
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Old 04-13-2009, 03:32 PM
 
Location: Forests of Maine
30,612 posts, read 49,226,837 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maine Writer View Post
We checked into wind power a couple of weeks ago. It would take 14+ years to break even. That eliminated that idea.
It does depend a lot of your location and how high your willing to mount the wind mill.

When we have looked at it, for our location, it would take longer than that for us.

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