Six Flags Discovery Kingdom latest park to light up car park solar plant

Posted Monday, December 2, 2019 10:11 PM | Contributed by Jeff

Six Flags Discovery Kingdom says it has become the first theme park on the West Coast whose roller coasters and animal habitats will be energized primarily by solar power.

Read more from KNTV/San Jose.

Monday, December 9, 2019 4:16 PM

Jeff said:

30 years of power for the price of 9. That doesn't seem like hard math to me.

I don’t follow your math...


But then again, what do I know?

+1Loading
Monday, December 9, 2019 4:39 PM
HeyIsntThatRob?'s avatar

I disagree on the carbon tax being the solution, but it helps. If anything its currently funding the research to come up with a viable solar generation system as far as the actual hardware and the labor behind deploying those systems.

A tax didn't bring about our information and communications shift to the Internet, the value wasn't realized until there was a business use case for it, a low buy in, and ease of use. Despite Internet existing since the 60's (man), people didn't really start using it until the late 90's and really didn't become mainstream methods of communication and commerce until this decade when the smart phone got more powerful and cheaper.

That's what will need to happen for solar to become more prevalent. If we have to be given hypothetical numbers and rely on a tax incentive to sell this solution, its not going to sell. That might work in the business world, but residential is a different story. It needs to be either built into the home at time of construction or still rely on a homeowner who can front that money to put it on an existing home and wait a long time for that payoff. The majority of homeowners don't fall into either of those categories.

+0
Monday, December 9, 2019 5:43 PM
Jeff's avatar

After 9 years, my system will have generated the comparative amount that the utility did, meaning the rest of the lifetime of the system produces "free" energy. If my bill is $100 per month, then 30 years of bills cost me $36,000. If my system generates $100 of power per month, and 9 years of power equals the cost of the system (using round numbers here for comparison), then I've spent $10,800 for 30 years of power. That's 70% less.

Rob, I get your point, but you can't ignore that there's a moral obligation to accelerate the shift to renewable energy. The Internet comparison is a strawman argument because the consequence of people not having the Internet was not severe. It's also a poor argument because computing power was not truly commoditized until it landed on our phones. Hippies couldn't access the Internet if they wanted to, man. ☮✌ Solar is well into the commoditization phase at this point. The market is being flooded with cheap panels from China, yet another thing that we're going to be second best at because we have no vision.

A carbon tax is a useful solution, in much the way that cigarette taxes decreased their usage (because the lung cancer and what not wasn't enough). We don't need research, either... the PV technology has largely existed for decades, and it continues to get cheaper and more efficient, while the storage problem is essentially solved today. There are real live production systems already that prove it all out. The issue is not one of technology, it's one of will to unseat the incumbent utilities who have tried to regulate their way out of the inevitable future. As far as labor, solar jobs far outnumber coal. I remember a story earlier this year that said renewable plant systems, new, are just about to the point where they're cheaper to build than even maintaining an existing coal plant at this point.

Also, I wouldn't get too hung up on the residential generation. As I've argued for years, distributed generation is the model that makes the most sense, which I imagine could work as a combination of rooftop and neighborhood, especially in the suburbs.


Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Music: The Modern Gen-X - Video

+0
Monday, December 9, 2019 5:58 PM

Does your product have a 30 year warranty? (If it does that’s pretty awesome, or are you just assuming EUL?) I would have a lot of skepticism on a modern product with a computerized controller lasting anywhere near that age. Then the value of payback starts to slide. Northeast freeze thaw cycles and snow damage issues beating up the panels also would give me hesitancy to drop $20k. I’d rather buy a Cybertruck instead. (All in theory again, I live in a pre-war brick bldg. that doesn’t have or need Air Conditioning).

Rochester dude. I’m in your town on business. Back at Pasta Villa. Never yet been to Seabreeze though.

Last edited by Kstr 737, Monday, December 9, 2019 6:29 PM
+1Loading
Monday, December 9, 2019 6:57 PM
Jeff's avatar

There is no "computerized controller." Sun turns into electricity, goes DC to AC through an inverter, then into my house. I think the components are warranted 20, rated for at least 30. Certainly, 30 panels won't fail all together. An inverter failure might cost a year's worth of utility power.

I understand the skepticism, but it's not based on the reality.


Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Music: The Modern Gen-X - Video

+1Loading
Tuesday, December 10, 2019 7:29 AM
Morgancol's avatar

Completely agree with you. I have a solar panel roof in my house and already saved a lot of money. I would advise reading this article about Do Solar Panels Need Maintenance? - Blog About Solar Energy | Websolarguide

Last edited by Morgancol, Wednesday, December 11, 2019 9:02 AM
Just enjoy my life, people and you.
+0
Tuesday, December 10, 2019 11:00 PM

Jeff said:

It's not. 10kW system should be well under $25k, -30% in tax credits. So net $18k or less.

Maybe in Florida or other areas where there is a lot of competition in the solar market. The quote I received was for a 9.92 kW system for $28,500. Panels in the midwest and northeast will generate somewhere in the neighborhood of 25% - 33% less electricity than in Florida. Look my last electricity bill was $119.84. Of that only $54.57 was for the actual cost of electricity. The rest is taxes and fees (customer charge, metering charge, etc.). Lets say on average my electricity component is $60. After the 30% tax credit it would take 325 months to pay for the cost of the panels. That's assuming the panels are in optimal condition for the entire span.What nobody has mentioned is the 30% federal solar tax credit phases out beginning January 1st. In three years it is gone except for commercial applications.

+0
Wednesday, December 11, 2019 8:37 AM
Jeff's avatar

You can't draw a conclusion from one quote. My quotes ranged $26k-42k, and I negotiated down the lowest one. They generate less up north, but I can assure you that you use significantly less electricity. I use double what I did in Cleveland. Also, a 10kW system sounds like overkill where you are.


Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Music: The Modern Gen-X - Video

+0
Wednesday, December 11, 2019 9:26 AM

To extent people use less electricity in the north and panels will generate less, payback periods up north will be much longer.

There are multiple companies up north installing solar (at least from what I have seen). They will come to your house and discuss costs, savings, etc. Will vary by location and the factors I noted earlier here. Keep in mind you will be talking with salespeople looking to make a sale. Big incentives to overstate benefits and understate costs. And when you are looking at 20-30 years, there are a lot of variables that aren't known.

+0
Wednesday, December 11, 2019 11:53 AM

Yup, my "break even" is around 20 years when I looked into it, even if it completely eliminated my electric bill in full right away and I paid cash for the solar.

That money is far more valuable spent invested into retirement or many other things. At this point, it doesn't make any sense at the current cost/benefit.

If you live in the south and run your A/C nearly year-round and all that, sure, it may make more sense. But my electric bill when not in July/August is sub-$100.

Last edited by SteveWoA, Wednesday, December 11, 2019 11:55 AM
+0
Wednesday, December 11, 2019 12:47 PM
HeyIsntThatRob?'s avatar

Jeff said:

Also, a 10kW system sounds like overkill where you are.

In my case a 10kW system would be preferable but probably too small for peak demand. Full disclosure, I have an all electric house and I have a Demand Miser Load management system. House was built in '81 back when 'gas would never be used again'

My peak usage is during the winter and summer months and it approaches 17kW if i'm using AC or baseboard heat(which makes me run around the house and turn off stuff) even after load management throttles down the hot water heater. I try to limit to one major appliance usage between shower, dryer, and stove but kids these days....

The biggest difference in my usage has come from house upgrades that included new windows and additional insulation blown into my exterior walls during 2017. That has made the most stark difference in the comfort level of the house and roughly 25% less energy usage during those peak months and 50% less during the spring and fall months. Those upgrades were at a much lower cost than doing solar panels and the lower energy usage will pay off those upgrades in about 4-5 years. Plus my house looks gorgeous with the new windows and they are easy to open and close. All of those things are a much easier sell than a solar generation system.

This doesn't mean I'm not interested in it, believe me, I was looking into it when my roof was being replaced, but it still didn't make financial sense and I wasn't willing to front that cost now when the cost of solar generation is still coming down.

Patience young Padawan ;)

+1Loading
Wednesday, December 11, 2019 3:41 PM
Jeff's avatar

SteveWoA said:

Yup, my "break even" is around 20 years... That money is far more valuable spent invested into retirement or many other things.

Let's look harder at that. Assume you installed a $24k system with zero tax rebate that saves you $100 per month in electricity. You invest that $100 every month for 20 years. Assuming a 7% return, your $24k turns into $51k. But you've added $24k to the value of your house. Assuming annual appreciation of just 2%, basically inflation, that portion of you home value has increased to $35k. Following averages (and they vary by region), let's say the appreciation is 4%. Now that portion of your home value is $52k. Added to your monthly investment, that's a total of $103k after 20 years. By comparison, straight investment of the $24k at 7% would yield $92k, which is less. Even if you had to replace some panels or the inverters, you'd still come out at worst even.

Granted, this all assumes there's no recession, but that would affect you whether your money is in the house or the market.


Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Music: The Modern Gen-X - Video

+0
Wednesday, December 11, 2019 4:44 PM

Is the value of a system going to appreciate as your example assumes, or will it actually depreciate? I have a hard time believing a 20 year old system will have much value at all.

+1Loading
Wednesday, December 11, 2019 6:32 PM

Not sure its clear that spending $24k on a solar system adds $24k to the value of your house.

https://money.com/home-value-solar-panels/

+0
Wednesday, December 11, 2019 6:59 PM

Jeff - In that example, did you subtract out the $24K price of the system? I don't see that that cost is captured. Or is my tired brain just not seeing it?

+1Loading
Wednesday, December 11, 2019 7:30 PM

Jeff- Your quotes were $26-42k and you talked them down to $10,800? Impressive.


But then again, what do I know?

+0
Wednesday, December 11, 2019 9:41 PM
Jeff's avatar

No, to $24k, or about $17k after the rebate.

Shades: No, I wouldn't subtract the cost of the system if it adds value to the house. If the money.com article is to be trusted (and I'm skeptical of most anything that comes out of Zillow), then my system raised my value by $20k, which isn't bad if I spent $17k.

This hippie didn't pay any federal taxes last year, by the way. In fact, they paid me, because my kid works out to be an entitlement. But you know, let the GOP keep telling everyone how they're helping out the lower income brackets.


Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Music: The Modern Gen-X - Video

+0
Wednesday, December 11, 2019 9:53 PM

Jeff said:

You can't draw a conclusion from one quote. My quotes ranged $26k-42k, and I negotiated down the lowest one. They generate less up north, but I can assure you that you use significantly less electricity. I use double what I did in Cleveland. Also, a 10kW system sounds like overkill where you are.

Don't you have two electric cars? I seem to recall reading that in another thread awhile back. If so, did you have those cars when you lived in Cleveland?

My electric bills have significantly increased since I bought my Volt. But even so, less than half of my bill is comprised of the actual cost of electricity.

+0
Wednesday, December 11, 2019 10:30 PM
Jeff's avatar

I have two electric cars, yes, but I'm not sure why that matters. If solar generates $100 worth of power, it generates $100 worth of power whether you have EV's or not.


Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Music: The Modern Gen-X - Video

+0
Thursday, December 12, 2019 6:56 AM

You said you use double the electricity that you did when you lived in Cleveland. I assume you are charging your cars at home. I'm sure that a large part of that increase is from plugging in your cars.

+0

You must be logged in to post

POP Forums - ©2021, POP World Media, LLC
Loading...