Author Archives: Luke Richardson

Comparing solar panel cost in Texas cities: Dallas vs. Fort Worth vs. El Paso

cost of solar in Fort Worth, El Paso, Dallas

Until recently, Texas wasn’t among the top 10 for solar energy, leaving many surprised to discover that the Lone Star State was ranked #3 in the U.S. for solar jobs in 2016. Texas is adopting solar at one of the fastest rates in the country, and for good reason. Solar prices dropped by 20 percent in 2016, and a number of utilities across the state created or extended major incentive programs for solar PV systems.

If you’re considering solar in Texas, there are three cities that lead the way in terms of pricing and incentives. In this article we’ll analyze Fort Worth, El Paso and Dallas as top cities for solar in Texas and explain what you should expect to pay for a rooftop solar array.

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Should I use Chinese solar panels for my solar installation?

chinese solar panel manufacturing

When homeowners are considering solar offers on the EnergySage Solar Marketplace, we often hear questions about a solar panel’s manufacturer origin and whether it’s a good idea to choose Chinese panels for an installation. This is a common question as the latest estimates indicate that China is manufacturing roughly 70% of the world’s solar panels today – a dominant market share and a clear indicator of China’s key role in the global solar industry. China has a significant impact over worldwide solar trends like pricing, warranties and manufacturing practices. For example, the 80% decline in worldwide solar prices between 2008 and 2013 occurred largely due to improvements in manufacturing costs in China. And because China is such a major player in solar, many U.S. homeowners are asking “should I choose Chinese solar panels and will it match the quality of other top brands?” In this article we’ll break down pricing, quality and brand influence of Chinese solar panels.

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Solar news: Tesla starts pre-order for its solar roof, Minnesota announces record solar growth

tesla solar roof and car

It was an eventful week in the solar industry with Tesla releasing hotly anticipated pricing information for its new solar roof product. A number of major clean energy initiatives in Virginia, strong solar growth announced in Minnesota and the release of Tesla’s solar roof pricing are the headlines from this week’s Solar News Report.

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Tesla’s solar panel roof: solar glass tiles are the new solar shingles

tesla solar roof shingles

If you’ve found it difficult to stay up to date on the future of Tesla Motors and SolarCity in recent weeks, you are not alone. Numerous industries (solar, electric vehicles, and ridesharing, to name a few) worldwide are starting to feel the impact of a merger that could significantly alter growth plans for manufacturers and executives across the globe. Now the concept of an integrated solar glass shingle – the Tesla solar tile – is on everyone’s mind. 

We had already heard about Tesla’s plans for total clean energy integration – a one step carbon reduction process that involves pairing solar panels with your Tesla electric vehicle. Now for the latest: thanks to a surprise appearance of Chairman Elon Musk in SolarCity’s 2nd quarter earnings call that lead to a highly anticipated Tesla solar roofing product launch at the end of October, we’ve now seen the future of PV roofing and the future of Tesla. One thing is certain: building integrated photovoltaics (BIPV) are going to be a part of Tesla Motors – or should we say Tesla Energy’s – future.

*Update – Tesla has begun taking orders for their Tesla solar glass roof as of May, 2017. Timeline information offered on Tesla’s websites suggests that installations will begin in June on the west coast starting in California. Tesla’s roof installations will be administered by SolarCity, it’s newest asset. It is unclear when the roof product will be available nationwide though some estimates suggest it will be mid 2018. Tesla has also revealed a standard solar panel product that it will begin producing in 2017 in addition to its solar roof – a black Panasonic solar panel with no mounting apparatus. Tesla has launched a calculator that provides estimates for its solar roof and has released the pricing information of $21.85 per square foot.  

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How many sunlight hours do I need? Calculating peak sun hours

how many sunlight hours do solar panels need

When weighing the decision of whether or not going solar makes sense for your roof or location, one of the first questions you may ask is “how many sunlight hours do I need for solar to be worth it?” The reason this question is important is because there is a significant range across the country for average peak sun hours. In this article, we’ll explain which states offer the best sun hour value and how much sunlight intensity in your state should impact your decision to go solar.

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How much do solar panels cost in Las Vegas, Nevada?

cost of solar panels las vegas

The past decade has witnessed astounding growth in the U.S. solar industry, but a few key states have led the way. Many stakeholders are aware that sunny West Coast states like California and Arizona are winners for solar power but somewhat under the radar is Nevada – the 4th biggest state in the U.S. in terms of installed capacity as well as solar job creation. Nearly ten percent of the state’s electricity comes from solar power and nearly half a million homes are running on solar in 2017. Las Vegas is also shining in terms of the top cities for solar in the U.S. In this article we’ll explain why Las Vegas is one of the best places to go solar in 2017 and what you can expect a solar panel system to cost.

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Solar news: solar vs. coal debate in the spotlight, solar prices falling at exponential rate

solar energy vs coal

A controversial debate over solar’s impact on coal, a new report that shows rapidly falling solar prices and a major solar development for the world’s energy capital – these are the stories EnergySage has its eye on in this week’s Solar News Report.

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What is the best way to go solar on Cape Cod and how much should it cost?

cape cod solar cost

In 2016, rooftop solar installations increased by a whopping 95 percent in the United States, and the trend is continuing in 2017. There are a few concentrated areas of the country where the rate of growth is particularly dramatic. Over the past decade, the Northeast has become one of the most popular areas for solar energy in the U.S. thanks to major solar incentives and a need to combat rising electricity costs. Massachusetts is the top state for solar in the region, with the summer destination of Cape Cod is particularly popular for solar installations. In fact, on the EnergySage Solar Marketplace Cape Cod registered nearly 10% of all consumer activity in Massachusetts in 2016. In this article, we’ll break down the different ways a homeowner can go solar on the Cape and what they should expect for cost, savings and quality of equipment. 

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How much do solar panels cost in Florida in 2017 and what incentives are available?

solar panels in florida

It often surprises people to hear that Florida, frequently referred to as “the Sunshine State,” is not the top state for solar. However, while California may hold the #1 spot for the U.S. solar market, Florida is undoubtedly one of the country’s leading states for home solar power. In this article we’ll break down the top solar incentives in Florida and explain what a solar panel system will most likely cost.

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How much do solar panels cost in Seattle, Washington?

solar panel cost seattle

In 2016, solar panel installations grew by 95 percent in the United States, a trend that is expected to continue in 2017. Though there was strong growth in solar nationwide, installations are increasing at an expedited rate in concentrated areas of the country. Washington State has witnessed a 64% decline in solar prices over the past five years and, according to SEIA, is forecasted to see a whopping 278 MW of solar installed over the next five. Seattle is quickly becoming one of the best cities for solar in America thanks to Washington’s great payback incentive and net-metering policy as well as the city of Seattle’s growing market competition.

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