How feasible is solar in the Northeast?

Discussion in 'General Solar' started by Landon, Mar 13, 2015.

  1. Landon

    Landon Member

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    I'm up in the mid-Maine area. With our long winters, I'm not sure going completely solar will ever be possible. I am looking into working towards at least part of our power coming from solar energy, though.
     
  2. scott

    scott Administrator Staff Member

    LandonLandon

    Maine certainly isn't the sunniest place on earth, but solar is absolutely feasible in that area depending on what you are looking to do. It sounds like this will be for your home that is connected to the electric company?

    Based off of the Bangor International Airport Weather station, it would seem your utility company is Central Maine Power Co. You do have a couple of things working against you in regards to the financial benefit of solar. It seems there are a lot of trees in that area. Your home may have some shading concerns to contend with. On top of that, the average annual Peak Sun Hours is 3.9 which is not terrible, but is on the lower side of the scale. Here is a map to give you an idea how it relates to other areas.

    pshmap.jpg

    With that out of the way, the good news is that electricity is a little more expensive in Maine. Why is this good news? Well, this would mean that the value of each Kilowatt hour generated is higher than a state with very inexpensive electricity. In other words, solar will save you more money on your bill.

    There are some rebates and credits available to you that can further reduce the cost of solar. First of all, there is a 30% federal income tax credit available for solar. This is not a deduction, but a dollar for dollar credit. If you bought a $10k system, you would be able to get $3k credited back on the taxes you owe. There is also likely additional rebates and credits available through your state and utility. Here is a great website to look up those details:
    http://programs.dsireusa.org/system/program?zipcode=04928

    Hopefully somebody will post in this thread that is familiar with the rebates and credits in your area and can explain a bit more.

    Not sure if you saw it, but there is a design tool http://www.paragon.solar/azimuth-tool

    If you enter your address, you can work out how many modules can fit on your roof and what the production will be. If you can provide us with the system size that will fit on your roof, the amount of energy it would produce per year, and your current annual electric use, we can give you a much better idea of what a system might cost in your area and what the payback period would be.




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