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Q How much energy does each solar panel produce?
A Most panels average 200 watts and will produce that power during peak sun hours. Examples: Missoula, MT has an average of 4.25 sun hours per day and Helena, MT has 5 sun hours/day average.
Q How big is each 200 watt panel?
A On average most grid tie panels are 3’ by 6’ or 18 square feet.
Q How much does grid tie solar cost?
A Systems smaller than 1000 watts costs $9-$15 per watt. Systems >1 KW, $7.50-$9 per watt and systems >3 KW can be $5.75-$7.50 per watt. These prices are for complete, fully installed systems.
Q Is wind an option?
A In Missoula and surrounding areas wind is not strong enough. A minimum of 9 mph of wind is necessary to produce any significant energy. In areas outside of Missoula there is wind potential and small scale wind systems can produce large amounts of energy.
Q Can I have battery backup with grid tie connections?
A Battery backup is typically only used for running very important loads, examples would be medical and emergency uses. Battery backup involves electrical transfer equipment and batteries with true sine wave inverters. If you live in an area with frequent prolonged power outages this may be for you.
Q What tax incentives are available?
A There are currently a wide variety of state and federal tax incentives available. Commercial credits are greater than residential. Credits range from 30%-65%. Internal rates of return on commercial systems can be as high as 20%.