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Solar quote

8891 Views 72 Replies 17 Participants Last post by  Zarni
I got a quote through SolarTogether and sort of assumed it is a good quote. It is part of a group buying scheme by the council, I thought it is probably as good a value I am going to get - plus a vetted supplier. But I have had some great responses to my other question and somebody pointed me to a Youtube channel "The EV Puzzle", where Nigel talks about a 14 panels system costing only £4K in the video from earlier this month. The quote now doesn't seem good at all, so I thought what people think.

The installer has quoted nearly £3.7k for 8 panels (includes everything incl. installation over slate tiles) and jumps to £4.3k for 10 panels. There is a quote for battery too but I am not keen on getting that just now.
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I paid £6k in Feb 2019 for 14 high end 300w Italian panels and a "Solar Edge" Optimiser system that deals with a tiny shading issue in high summer, but is very very efficient. And this still in the FIT Era.

Contact Tanjent Solar , @Trevor Larkum runs it along with another great guy Jason. They did an excellent job for me. If you want a basic 4kw panels / invertor system not high end fancy i suspect they will get close to £4k now and certainly should be able to beat £3.7k for just 8 panels.

Solar & Battery Installed Together - Tanjent Energy (tanjent-energy.com)

I'm sure Trev will be along to say hi too.
Thanks @Ultron for the kind words! Yes @Coe123 we'd be very happy to give you a free quote to compare with what you've got, just click on that link. Our quotes include a full breakdown of every single component with individual prices so there's nothing hidden. And just FYI, our standard pricing for scaffolding is £660, though of course complex roofing arrangements will cost more.
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@Trevor Larkum Thank you, I've sent a request yesterday, I liked some of the pictures you have shared on some of the other related post which came up at the bottom - your projects look good. Any thoughts on the number of panels, chimney (keep/remove),
I'll have a look when we get to the quote. We're about to do a similar install in south London and he has decided to remove the chimney to save the cost of optimisers, but it did involve negotiation with the neighbour and a lot of calls to building control.
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It's a good question! I was hoping it could all go through the same generation meter and the FIT provider would just divide it by three to get the measured amount.

Has anyone done something similar?
The bottom line is you can't change your setup and still claim FIT. However, there's no problem with adding more panels, so long as they have their own inverter and meter.
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@Trevor Larkum - do you install in-roof pv? Someone on here posted some photos of their property, which was almost like a replacement roof from metal sheet panels, with the PV bolted through. There were no tiles under the panels. Seemed a very smart way to reduce unnecessary loading and avoid hooks etc.
We do install in-roof PV, yes. They are popular because of aesthetics but cost perhaps 20% more. They may operate a little less efficiently because of heat build-up, but they do include some integral ventilation channels. They make a lot of sense if your roof needs work anyway as they replace a lot of expensive tiles (plus you get to save on scaffolding).
I've had a further dig into this, and it does seem possible to keep your FIT while extending a PV installation, you just get the FIT pro-rated...
I've emailed my FIT provider to see what they say.
I'd be interested in hearing the outcome of that. Presumably you'd like to do it because your inverter is rated pretty high compared to the power of the existing panels? Otherwise you run the risk of losing out on FIT payments (your payments get reduced by the amount of extra panels, but you don't generate more because the inverter was the limit).

I'm also skeptical of advice in that thread, for example:
If I were you this is what I’d do:
- Find some cheap “used” panels on eBay. Look for nearly-new panels that are closeby. Have a measure as to what you can fit in your car with the seats folded, 1600x900 might be a little big for your leaf. Maybe a friend with a bigger car /van will help you out? Do you have a roof rack?
- Buy a suitable additional inverter.
- Either connect the inverter to the same breaker as your current inverter (CU side of the generation meter) or add an additional breaker for the new inverter. Either way you need a rotary isolator by the CU between the CU and the inverter.
- Profit.

A completely achievable DIY project. No need to trouble the DNO...
Seems to me to be illegal.
My hope is that I can simply replace the entire installation (panels and inverter) with a setup double the kWp size, then halve the generation meter readings for FIT purposes. The FIT guide does mention pro-rated payments. I'd also then have a 'spare' 4kWp system that I could sell to recoup some cost.

I'm probably being optimistic that both the DNO and FIT provider would agree to this, but it's worth asking. I suspect there are quite a few PV owners who were 'early to the game' who would like to upgrade their systems to newer specs.
I'd be surprised if they agreed - that could kickstart a whole upgrade industry! - but if you don't ask you don't get.
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Does the FIT scheme have an allowance for degradation of the panels? If a system with a higher rating is capped then it will not suffer from reduced output from degradation.

Also, wouldn't a 10kW peak install limited to 4kW give higher return than a plain 4kW system? What are the maths like?
There is no allowance for degradation, you're just paid for how many kWh go through the meter. So yes the 10kW system would give 4kW more consistently through the year.
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