Powering your Tesla with Tesla Solar


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50 replies
  1. Tabot Tietjen
    Tabot Tietjen says:

    When we ordered our Model 3, we also got solar from a local installer. So we have had solar 3 years and our Model 3 for 15 months. Love them both. No electricity bills for 3 years now other than the connection fees which is a little over $20/month here in Arizona. We figure about a 9 year payoff for the solar

    Reply
  2. Peter Townsend
    Peter Townsend says:

    I do not intend to in any way criticize this excellent interview or this rooftop PV owner, but I always find myself wondering why the monetary (quantitative) and non-monetary (qualitative) value of hedging against future utility rate increases seems to never make it into the discussion or calculations on PV return on investment calculations. Over the long term, it can be safely stated that electric utility rates are never stable and they never go down. They always increase at a rate that is something equal to or greater than the rate of inflation. The current electric utility rate is mentioned as $0.12 / kwh. What is the basis for assuming this $0.12 / kwh rate will remain stable for the next 10 to 15 years? Did Tesla discuss this topic with you as part of the sales process? If so, what did they say? As a rough estimate, it seems one could reasonably extrapolate the rate increase trend from the preceding 15 years into the future 15 years. This trend may significantly shorten the return on investment payoff period. It would be nice if these type of discussions include a graph of the local electric utility rates over the preceding 10 to 15 years and (all else being equal) a projected extrapolation of the utility rate trend looking forward over the lifecycle of the system. I think a simple graph like this would meaningfully enrich the conversation by challenging and calling into question the perfunctory assumption of a static utility rate over time. In my opinion an honest analysis of lifecycle PV economics deserves some type of explicit consideration of a utility rate trend carried forward and projected into the future.

    On a qualitative basis, the homeowner has the peace of mind (a non-monetary freebie) knowing that he is fully hedged with a firm lock on his annual electricity costs for the next 20 to 30 years. The inevitable future utility rate increases will only work to his favor in further validating the economic wisdom of investing in a PV system. You no longer have a dog in fight. From this day forward you get to watch as a spectator sitting on the sidelines (or sitting on your rooftop if you prefer). How does that feel? Did the value of hedging (quantitatively or qualitatively) play a meaningful part of your decision to invest in PV?

    Alternatively, those who remain fully dependent on the grid are wittingly (me) or unwittingly on the bubble wondering what the future will bear in terms of annual electrical costs. The only thing we can be truly assured of is that the utility and fossil fuel industries are neither poised nor inclined to play fair. Over the shorter term they are quite capable of marshaling their collective political and lobbying power to purposely and deliberately engineer artificially high utility rate increases to protect their current bottom line while simultaneously rolling out a sustained propaganda campaign to intentionally provoke a lower income Joe six pack political / populist outrage targeting the rooftop PV industry (and its 30% tax credit subsidy) as the root cause of their financial pain and misery.

    Reply
  3. John Duke
    John Duke says:

    I’ve had a similar experience this year in DE. I did have to wait approximately 6 weeks for a Powerwall 2, but the timeframe worked well for my schedule. Waiting for Delmarva to come to swap out the meter for net metering was the hardest part of the entire process and took them 24 business days. The one thing I’ll add here is that several ex-Tesla Energy employees are working in the local Tesla Stores and they have been instrumental in answering my questions to decide on the final design, gathering information for a local grant application, etc.

    Reply
  4. MyBarry2009
    MyBarry2009 says:

    In Queensland , Australia , we get around 15 – 20 cents cents per kwh . Depends on how long you are with them . We are in the last part of winter , but with my 6.3 kW solar , I am still getting 20- 25 kwh a day .

    Reply
  5. Jorge Cintron
    Jorge Cintron says:

    I’m all for people going solar but in my opinion, the batteries are just as important as the solar array itself and are a must. They go hand in hand and is really the only way to go without the grid. I have a 14.64k system with 2 powerwalls. I’m in Florida and the outages average out to about once a week and I don’t pay for power anymore just the connection fee ($18.80)It’s the best investment ever! Thanks!

    Reply
  6. Edwyn Corteen
    Edwyn Corteen says:

    I am always astonished when I see the material used for the roof tiles in the USA! In Europe we only use felt tiles on a garden shed! When available the Tesla solar tiles will rEVolutionise the American roofing market.

    Reply
  7. Dennis Kavanagh
    Dennis Kavanagh says:

    Because electricity must be generated when it is used, charging an EV overnight will use coal fired generation (unless you have stored your pv generation in multiple Powerwalls during the day). If the owner can charge the car’s battery while the sun is out, then that’s different. The EVSE from myenergi called Zappi, can enable this if of course the car is home enough during sunlight hours.

    Reply
  8. Jeffrey Hampton
    Jeffrey Hampton says:

    Jack Rickard posted a video about a month ago regarding solar roofs. His focus was Utility Company's nefarious ability to precisely control the output of solar installations. If I understood Jack, Utility's are basically using the solar installations as a Peaker Plant. That part is fine, although the wholesale price is unfairly low. The nefarious part comes into play during daytime off-peak generation. Jack says most all utility companies have the ability to dial down the inverter's and greatly reduce the solar power output. —- So, the utilities could reduce the amount of oil/coal use by buying more residential solar, but they don't, and won't, unless laws get changed. Maybe the Utilities fear becoming irrelevant, maybe it's some sick partnership with coal; I don't know. Either way, Jack recommends power storage (Tesla Powerwall, for instance) as the solution. — Again, I am relaying what Jack said. Jack's a brilliant guy and explains things extremely well, but I can't be certain I have all the facts straight. Here is the link to Jack's video: https://youtu.be/98YDEbgLs2A

    Reply
  9. ron adami
    ron adami says:

    I signed the contract last month and am waiting for installation date. The written promise said it may take 4 to 6 months which, at the high end would preclude my getting the tax credit.

    Reply
  10. Leif
    Leif says:

    Sean, great job on the interview. You asked the right questions.

    My electric costs are higher, starting at 0.19 kWh in the first tier, with the next tier at 0.24 kWh. But, my usage is low, so my average monthly cost, over a year, is around $70. Based on that it is difficult for me to justify a solar roof. But I'm still keeping an eye on solar costs. I would like to one day say my Tesla runs on sunlight.

    Reply
  11. George NM
    George NM says:

    I am in the process of installing solar with Tesla. However, I am considering using power walls. They recommended three but I opted for two power walls. Can someone discuss the pros and cons of installing the power wall during installation? I thought of doing the power walls later but I may miss the tax credits and price may go up.

    Reply
  12. Rick Ruehl
    Rick Ruehl says:

    Nice video. Love the installation. I decided last Black Friday after watching EVTV and learning how to do it, I went all in and bought panels and inverter on ebay (solar edge and Sunpower 327w) panels.
    Got the racking locally from (biggest electrical supply company in nation) IronRidge, and spent 8 days ( 3 hours per day) installing the 21 panels. I am 65 so I took my time. Hardest thing was bending that damn conduit. Did everything to code and decided to do the right to work on your own house in Texas. System with optimizers, sense, and the solar edge monitoriing was $5400. 80 cents a watt. No tax credit, no rebates. Since December 2018 to July End it has created 5.5megawatts. Power bill has dropped to less than half. I have noticed I am giving the grid 25% of production. I am thinking of putting battery storage in system and boosting panels to 15kw. Around here, I have talked with contractors and inspections and blessing is about $5000. I have determined that 2/3 of cost of solar is the BS of bureaucracy. Labor and markup should be about $5k. Real cost of your 10kw is about 10k plus 5k labor. New Panasonics are about 60 cents a watt, optimizers $75 per panel, racking $1800, DC cutoff (not needed anymore but old code) $120. So with using contractor your system should be about $15k giving the contractor $5k profit. The cost of the enphase on panels of 350w is running $500 per panel retail. They have the 220v AC coming off the roof and into the breaker. If there was no rebate program, I think the cost of solar will drop dramatically as everyone is geared towards making sure the mandates (ancient history now) are followed and inspected.
    In calculating payback, I found using a variable monthly annuity(Monthity?) calc with zero risk factor (you are going to buy electricity) and increasing the income by your tax rate (electric is not tax deductible in homes). My payback will be 3 years at this rate. When I get my Model Y, I will use that excess here. With the new EVTV battery management system being tested now will allow me to transfer power to my car, house and excess to loads to grid or other things around the house. I have solar water heat so heating the water won't make much sense.
    Love the setting on your video. As I saw the owner wasn't used to being on roofs. Good discussion and topics were spot on. Very detailed.

    Reply
  13. James Ellis
    James Ellis says:

    I too have solar and two Tesla’s -great way to lower monthly consumption to ZERO -pay now to never pay again. Clean fast efficient transportation-and cools and heats the house pool etc. Green tech is really awesome. I would like a powerwall only for emergencies since we have no ICE cars.

    Reply
  14. Kevin Clark
    Kevin Clark says:

    The utilitly is keeping a client becuase he has no powerwall. The man has no need for the poluting utility. He produces more electricity that he needs. With battery storage he can disconect and has no worries of blackouts. Why does Tesla not sell this?

    Reply
  15. Marco Nierop
    Marco Nierop says:

    Rooftop Solar in the USA seems rather expensive to me.. I had a 14x 250Wp (total of 3.5Kwp) panel installation installed completely turn key for less than €6000 back in 2013.. and it was not the cheapest, as I had a solar edge system with per panel optimizers, more expensive but also more efficient All Black Suntelite panels and a more expensive solar edge converter to cope with these per panel optimizers, and it also inlcuded a monitoring website, to monitor my solar electricity generation, and because of the per panel optimizers I can see how well each panel is performing. We are now 6 years later, and solar panels have become better and cheaper.. So its quite surprizing to me that the guy in the video had to pay $36.000 ! Today!.. Its per watt almost two times more expensive! and I thought I have an expensive system! How is that possible? Is Tesla so expensive?

    As an incentive I got back the VAT tax I had paid for the hardware, but also for the labour the installer had to put in (one days work.. and at the end of the day.. it already had generated the first couple watts, just enough to run the coffeemachine 🙂 ).. Here in The Netherlands there is no need to wait for the electricity company to check the installation, because the installers MUST be certified to do such installations, if a certified installer has installed the system, its automatically approved.. The 25 year old meter I already had replaced earlier for a modern 2 way digital one, prepared for a solar PV installation.. All free of charge (the meter is owned by the electricity company)

    But me too generate more power than I use myself, and because the price was just €6000, I could pay cash from my savings, no loan whatsoever.. I see it like I moved my savings money to my roof, and now instead of generating just 0.25% interest per year (yes really its that low here right now) I got about 12-15% "interest" in slashing my eelectricity bill from 50-60 euro's per month to zero, and even get paid by the electricity company, because I produced more than used for myself.

    As another incentive we have here the watt for watt metering deal.. so everything I put back in into the grid, during summer, I can use during dark days in winter, and that includes taxes and what not, but every watt I produce more than I used myself during a whole year, I just get paid the bare watt price, which is much lower. I have thought about getting a powerwall, but as long as this metering deal remains, it makes no sense.. the grid is my battery so to speak, and for power security its not needed, we have hardly power outages in the Netherlands our grid is extremely reliable.

    Anyways, the system produces so much electricty the last few years, it has allmost paid back for itself.. It was calculated it would take 7 years, but because of the €1000 VAT cashback, and more electricity produced than used, it pays back in just 6 years in my case… But I do not care really, to have that 700-800 euro's extra each year adds up and you can do a lot of fun things with that extra money, right from the start.

    When I get my Tesla Model Y in a few years, I might add a bunch of panels to cover the charging of my electric car.. Problem is that I do not have a roof for that.. I have some ideas in my head to solve this, but might look a bit weird to my house…

    BTW, The Netherlands is approximately at the longitude of Calgary Canada, so much more north than any of the lower 48.. and solar PV works just fine right here. No reason for any of the northern states to not install Solar panels on their roofs.

    Reply
  16. paulcummings55
    paulcummings55 says:

    Nice interview! We had solar panels installed on our home here in Hutto, Texas almost 3 years ago- an 8.84 KW system (not Tesla). We had both the Federal Tax Credit and a rebate from our electricity carrier- the rebate went directly to the purchase of the system, whereas we used the Tax Credit the following spring to replaced our HVAC system- money well spent, as it reduced our electricity consumption by 20% or so- essentially our system was supposed to meet about 80-90% of our electricity needs, but so far it has been right at a 100% since the HVAC upgrade- we haven't paid an electric bill in almost 3 years. Sadly, no EVs yet- we would love one, but the cost is still beyond our meager means;-) Especially as we don't want car payments any longer. We will pick up a used Tesla in a few years. We will consider some of the other EVs as well, depending on how their batteries hold up. For example, we will never buy a used Leaf with its passive cooling system- not a good choice, especially here in Texas, where it has hit 105 degrees each of the last couple of days- I think I saw a Nissan Leaf faint in a parking lot yesterday…

    Reply
  17. House Essentials
    House Essentials says:

    Over my area (WA), you can only sell back energy to the grid for 5 years or less I think and after that then you have to have your own battery to store extra energy. During the 5 years, it is a 1:1 energy exchange.

    Reply
  18. Kenz300 x
    Kenz300 x says:

    Great interview. 
    Solar energy with battery storage and an EV charger are a great addition to any home.
    He seems happy with the purchase process, happy with the install and happy with the lack of electricity bills.

    Reply
  19. Gary Mencimer
    Gary Mencimer says:

    Tesla uses a string inverter. I took a pass on Tesla for that reason and chose a system using micro inverters instead. IMHO a whole lot more bang for the buck. Fewer panels, no external piping/cabling, or high DC voltage risks.

    Reply
  20. I Salman
    I Salman says:

    Waiting on my 18KW install any day now in Florida hopefully enough to power my Model S, Model X and 9 Ton in AC units. PS, 10:09 The inverters I'm installing have 2 110v outlets per inverter to use during outages.

    Reply
  21. JeffnReno
    JeffnReno says:

    I have a Power Purchase Agreement with Tesla that began as a PPA with Solar City in August of 2015. It's a 5.46kw system and has produced 34,385 kWh so far. By August next year, I'll have the option of buying the system outright or continuing the PPA for another 15 years. The cost so far has been $0 for the system but I pay Tesla $.0926 per kWh the system produces until next month where it goes up to $.0949 per kWh. It started at $.085 per kWh in 2015 and increases by 2.5% each year per the contract. I do charge a 2012 Leaf my grandson drives and our Model 3 we drive that we've put 13,000 miles on since June 2018. We're very happy with the system but we may have to buy it out if we were wanting to add a Powerwall since it would change the contract terms we currently have. We are grandfathered into the 1-1 net-metering currently and on a TOU with NV Energy. Seems to be working fine for us.

    Reply
  22. Clara Smith
    Clara Smith says:

    I recently installed a solar array on my home in Illinois. It's half the power of yours (5.2 kW), but enough to satisfy my annual consumption of 6 mWh. My utility offers net meeting at the retail rate and I've contracted to sell SRECs (Solar Renewable Energy Credits) to my utility for 15 years to help them meet state mandates for renewable energy generation. That and the 30% federal tax credit made the decision to go solar a no-brainer. I encourage people to look into solar whenever the subject comes up. I find that most people are unaware of the benefits. Next year's federal tax credit is 26% of the total installed cost. In 2021 it drops to 22%. Best to make the move early.
    https://scontent-ort2-1.xx.fbcdn.net/v/t1.0-9/67945495_2127573740870993_8205962973844340736_o.jpg?_nc_cat=103&_nc_oc=AQlw-25e7jDmeNIbvmvOL9isr2k-tSXM7N-_M0NpLrgx5l6CZiEZe3RJwvM5q-5H6wo&_nc_ht=scontent-ort2-1.xx&oh=65cf199a6bd18cd0eaed4c9f27fcb954&oe=5DD5E7F0

    Reply
  23. S M
    S M says:

    Very informative video for anyone considering solar, especially if they reside in Colorado. I've met Scott Frisby at EV events around Denver and always found him to be thoughtful and informative. Great interview!

    Reply
  24. Glen MacDonald
    Glen MacDonald says:

    I live in Toronto, Canada, and here we pay 6.5 cents per kWh, which roughly 4.9 cents in US dollars. This is the overnight ("off peak") rate, which is of course when I charge.

    I own a long-range Tesla Model 3, and to charge it fully costs me a little more than $5, which is about $3.80 in US dollars. At current rates, I can't in any way justify installing a solar array, even though the idea of powering my car using sunlight is very appealing.

    Our electricity is generated mostly from hydro-electric and nuclear, with ZERO coal. Unless the price of solar panel drops substantially, I can't envision installing solar panels any time soon.

    Reply

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