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heepajeep
(@heepajeep)
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June 12, 2008 3:13 pm  

There will come a time when all of these incentives/rebates/loans/net metering, etc. for renewable energy products will come to an end.
At some point WAPA will not be bringing in enough money to provide free power to the VI government. So the longer you wait to start seriously considering solar and windpower, the greater the cost might be. As I doubt the cost of such will go down enough in the future to offset the cost now with the incentives/rebates/loans/net metering.


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jahem
(@jahem)
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Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 10
June 12, 2008 3:24 pm  

Me been reading dis post for awhile. You know that on STX tree new solar companies started up within last tree months. Two more are coming and avding for te end of 08 starte up. Whats de matter witd thee solar companies already here. They good, hard working. Why we need outsiders? I knoe two that have been sellin solar for many years and one he do conservatin and solar/wind. They have payment plan setups. Why should we scratch our heads crazy wit outsiders. We have our owns. Yos thinkl we need staters to figure solar? Me friend has 6k install on he house. He off wapa now and it was local peoples install. Me question to cory be why we need he so bad?
Jahem


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heepajeep
(@heepajeep)
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Posts: 151
June 12, 2008 3:34 pm  

Me been reading dis post for awhile. You know that on STX tree new solar companies started up within last tree months. Two more are coming and avding for te end of 08 starte up. Whats de matter witd thee solar companies already here. They good, hard working. Why we need outsiders? I knoe two that have been sellin solar for many years and one he do conservatin and solar/wind. They have payment plan setups. Why should we scratch our heads crazy wit outsiders. We have our owns. Yos thinkl we need staters to figure solar? Me friend has 6k install on he house. He off wapa now and it was local peoples install. Me question to cory be why we need he so bad?
Jahem

More competition makes it better for the purchaser, thats why.


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heepajeep
(@heepajeep)
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Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 151
June 12, 2008 3:38 pm  

The incentives/rebates/loans offered thru the VI government are only obtainable if you buy the equipment locally and have it installed locally.
So the first thing the local retailers do is to hike the prices up to the point that the incentives/rebates/loans are a wash versus buying the same equipment from off island.


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jahem
(@jahem)
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Posts: 10
June 12, 2008 3:58 pm  

Be that said, me priced 3k system from local company, and price it in de states. Me is doing install. Me could not gett a better price and ship here. Me think me buyie from he. It be saving me about $1000 + rebates. He be a good business.
Jahem


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stiphy
(@stiphy)
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Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 956
July 30, 2008 8:01 pm  

I don't understand how we can let something as important as bringing down the price of power to Virgin Islanders become a racist "locals vs outsiders" discussion. Who cares where someone is from? If they do a good job they will get more business whether local or outsider. I will go with whomever gives me the best value for my money, to do anything else would make me a racist. In business we need as much competition as possible to push us all to be better at what we do. I welcome competition in my business as it keeps me on my game, any local solar company should do the same if they are really that good.

Jahem, who is the local that you would recommend? I'd love to know as if they can provide a good deal I'm very interested.

Anyone know if the rebates that expire on 7/31 are going to be extended? I've heard nothing about this. I'm not ready to jump yet (saving up the money) but would hate to lose out on the rebates, especially on solar hot water heaters. Also, anyone have any recommendations on how to deal with a house that has an apartment in the basement, right now we have separate electric water heaters (separate meters to) and I'm worried about a situation where my tenant leaves me taking a cold shower, any thoughts other than doubling my purchase and buying 2 distinct solar hot water heaters? Can I get multiple rebates?

Thanks for the help!

Sean


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Cory
 Cory
(@Cory)
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Joined: 15 years ago
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July 31, 2008 6:18 am  

The rebate program stops for 2 months and starts again on Oct 1st. Unfortunately it is too late for this cycle, as TODAY is the last day! You can only get one rebate per household, not meters. You must be a USVI resident and pay taxes/vote here to qualify. For each cycle you can take up to 2 of the rebates for specific items such as applainces, solar hot water heaters and solar electric systems. If you need 2 solar thermal heaters i suggest you go with one each year/cycle to take full advantge of rebates.

Sean...if you need someone to help you with solar thermal systems i can lead you in the right direction 🙂

Here are the rebates:

Photovoltaic Panel………………………………………$3.50 per watt (Limit 1 KW) or $3.5K

Solar Water Heater…………………………………………………Limit 1 (per cycle)

81 – 120 gallons…………………………………………………. $1,000

40 – 80 gallons……………………………………………………$700

39 gallons & below………………………………………………. $500

Wind Turbine Generator………………………………....20% off retail price (Max $3,500)

Sine Wave Inverter………………………………………..15% off retail price (Max $1,000)
(rebate with the purchase of pv/solar
panels or wind turbine generators only)

Electric Water Heater Timer………………………………..……..25% off retail cost – Limit 1


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marcia
(@marcia)
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Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 4
July 31, 2008 12:41 pm  

Cory
we are renting a place whose owner was approached by a solar power company. they are having difficulty because of permits issue and that that homeowner's association was opposing the installation due to aesthetics reason; the owner was also considering wind turbine.
there are at least four other alternative energy companies here that i know of. one company who operates from the states appraoched several businesses here to install a wind turbine which would generate $4000 worth of power.
i guess the point i am making is this: there are reasons why alternative energy is not moving as fast as it should:
1. cost
2. resistance to change
3. government bureaucracy
good luck!


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Cory
 Cory
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July 31, 2008 2:10 pm  

The home owners asscoiation needs to get its head out of its butt and start being smart. Whats the reason they dont want them, because the prices of their designer homes will go down? It wont look as nice with black panels on the roof or a flat plate water heater?? What a joke.. People in the homeowners association need to act as one voice and say yes to solar power. It all comes down to money...unfortunately everything does... Whats more important...? not seeing panels on a roof or a smaller energy bill...?

Wind turbines have ALOT more red tape to cut through to get put up in the territory. Unless you have a big lot on top of the hill and noone else above you will object to having a tower in their view and if during a storm it wont fall in someone elses yard you have a better chance.

Cost is too vague...whats the payback is the more common question we get. Resistance to change----hahah yes your right on this one.. In this case resisting change = spending more money in the long run.. As for government...its getting alot better. New bills are being introduced, more programs being started and the political winds are blowing the right way..


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stiphy
(@stiphy)
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Posts: 956
July 31, 2008 5:23 pm  

Thanks for the info Cory, I will likely be in the market in January after I (hopefully) get my big year end bonus, so I hope this falls in the October cycle. I'll keep in touch here when I'm ready to make the leap!

Just got my first WAPA bill with the new LEAC, $300 for 2 of us is insane. We have all CFC bulbs, only use AC to sleep in our bedroom for about 7 hours a night and are very cautious with our energy. This is the single biggest economic challenge to the VI now, it is going to be very hard to lure businesses here (without government handouts and crazy tax incentives) until the power problem is addressed.

Sean


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marcia
(@marcia)
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Posts: 4
July 31, 2008 7:54 pm  

So I was at work today and there was some off-the-cuff discussion on alternative sources of energy. They mentioned a long-time resident Danish couple in STX, whose household is completely on solar and wind energy. I was shown a picture of the wind turbine by their house and I thought it added a real character to their home. An article about them showed a structure on their property which houses a battery system that stores excess energy. And the solar panels on the roof don't look so bad either. I just don't know how they would deal with that and the windmill in the event of the hurricane. I was told those equipment are easily removable and reassembled. But if I am to analyze their house, it is pretty much open, allowing for the breeze to flow through very easily. I would say that their energy needs are probably modest. Regardless, the article said that they have stored power to last for six months.
And oh, they also said they would rather keep the energy than sell it back to WAPA, for the same reasons mentioned in the earlier posts, I guess.


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heepajeep
(@heepajeep)
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Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 151
July 31, 2008 9:52 pm  

Six months of stored power? They must have a lot of batteries!
I bet it is a whole lot less red tape if you chose not to "sell" power back into the grid.

Where can I get a cheap 120volt switch to turn on when the sun actually shining and turn off when the sun is not shining?. Not a timer!
Like da usk till dawn switch but opposite?


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Jim Dandy
(@jim_dandy)
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Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 1057
July 31, 2008 10:41 pm  

The house was on the house tour in 2007 so I got a chance to see what he has. At the time of the tour the house was off the grid. Since then I believe that he has connected to WAPA so he can feed power back into the grid.

He has:

A wind turbine which can be lowered to the ground if a hurricane is coming.

Solar water heater

Gas appliances including a back up gas refrigerator in his guest house

solar cells

a large battery bank with inverters to store power, but I think the batteries would only be good for a few days of continuous use.

a very large generator mounted on a trailer if all else fails.

Very impressive setup, but way beyond what most people could afford.

Jim


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Bombi
(@Bombi)
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Posts: 2104
August 1, 2008 1:01 pm  

Jan Mitchell annd ??? Larsen. Two very talented and socially concious people. It was built survive a hurricane.


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divinggirl
(@divinggirl)
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Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 887
August 1, 2008 3:11 pm  

Steffen Larsen


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SkysTheLimit
(@SkysTheLimit)
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Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 1914
August 1, 2008 7:58 pm  

Very expensive yes! But I believe Steffen said it has paid for itself despite the fact that he paid more than todays prices for hardware. Since the house was built he's been adding panels and batteries. I don't believe he plunked down $50K +/- ??? all in the beginning.
He also said solar pays back faster than wind so solar should be the first investment. You can add panels as your budget allows and if the roof is big enough eventually have no WAPA bill. Take small bites and before you know it you're asking yourself why didn't I start sooner? That's my plan anyway. Started with solar water. Now planning the PV system.


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DanielB_STX
(@DanielB_STX)
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Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 309
August 5, 2008 2:01 pm  

Here's a interesting article from CNN. If it's possible for these students to build a solar hot water heater that will heat water to 104 degrees for a project, why can't it be done for the VI as well? At least they have shown that it can be done at a very reasonable cost.

http://www.cnn.com/2008/TECH/science/08/04/solar.heat.houses/index.html


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heepajeep
(@heepajeep)
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Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 151
August 5, 2008 4:33 pm  

Solar water heater is by far the easiest D.I.Y. project.

Redneck hillbilly solar pool water heater:

I bought some 1/2" diameter black poly underground sprinkler tubing. The type that is bought in a big coil. I bought mine at WalFart on clearence. I used four 6 foot wood fence boards to create a "star" of boards all fastened together in the middle where they all cross each other. I then used the tubing and laid it out in a flat coil on the boards. In between every four coil I used drywall screws as little stakes and as I laid the coil I used wire from one screw to the next over the coiled tubing to keep the tubing in place.
In all there is 360 feet of the tubing on the 6 foot dia. "star" of fence boards. Cost about $30 due to clearence price of the tubing.
I mounted the "star" off the south end of the pool deck facing south and at about 30 degrees off the ground. I use a submersible sump pump hanging over the pool side in the water to pump water thru the coil.
I would guess the flow at about 5 gals per minute and I get 135 degrees water coming out when water is at 85 degrees going in.
Not to bad for about $100 in materials and pump.
Oh, and it cost me one penny per hour to run.

You could do the same with an inline circulation pump that will circulate the water into an insulated holding tank for household water.


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EngRMP
(@EngRMP)
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Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 470
August 5, 2008 5:08 pm  

That's very cool, heepajeep... it will be interesting to see how it holds up over time, although it's cheap enough that it's no big deal if it gets damaged every couple years. This would also be a great project for kids to learn alternative energy ideas.


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sherri
(@sherri)
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Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 186
August 6, 2008 1:11 pm  

heepajeep,
we did that too, only a little different! Our pump is run off our solar panel...no cost! The tubing on the other hand was bought at Home Depot here and was far more expensive and not as flexible as we would like. SO, we just bought the last of the 200ft black hoses from K-Mart so we can do our 2 villa pools!!!!
Skythelimit,
We are with you! Already have a good start on our solar panels and Jeff is now going to start his new project of making his own solar hot water heater! It is exciting!


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heepajeep
(@heepajeep)
Advanced Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 151
August 6, 2008 7:53 pm  

Check out this website for solar water heating. if your installation site will accomodate thermo siphon circulation no pump is required.
http://diydata.com/techniques/solar2/solar_basic.php#thermo


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Matt
 Matt
(@matt)
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Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 116
August 7, 2008 8:38 am  

WWW.NANOSOLAR.COM

LOTS of interesting info on low cost / high efficiency (14%) "ink printing process" of solar - It can be applied to almost any surface ( wood, metal, roof shingles, etc.!!) Checkout: WWW.NANOSOLAR.COM The only bad part is, they just started production this year and already sold all of this year's and most of next year's products BEFORE going into production! So that means WE won't see any of these products for several years!

Matt.


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