I cannot disagree more with your editorial of March 17. Yes, solar power is needed, but it should not be at the cost of tillable soil (crops), pasture (livestock) or wildlife habitat as your editorial espouses. It belongs on the roof of any commercial building. Exiting parking lots like FSK Mall, Sam’s Club, Costco, and those along the Golden Mile could be covered and have solar panels installed on them as I have seen done in several places in Prince George’s County. An advantage to providing solar energy in these locations is the power is available where it is needed and does not take miles of new poles and wires to distribute electricity to the city where it is needed most. Does anyone want new poles and transmission lines in their neighborhood? Some citizens in Urbana certainly didn’t.

Lee Trunnell


(9) comments


Connections to the grid from solar cells in the country can be on underground lines. If that is a serious concern.


Unless you own the land why should you state how it should be used? If someone decides to put solar up instead of growing corn then what is wrong with that? Is there a corn shortage?


There is some advantage of putting solar on a roof, but if you do it on a home and lease the energy the contracts are very restrictive for the homeowner. They give all of the rebates to the solar owner - usually a bank that buys them, if any tree is causing shade, they can cut branches or the tree without your permission, they have a right to go on your roof at any time, they sign you into a long term contract - usually 20 years and they have a cost escalation factor that is about twice the actual amount of what you would pay by staying on the grid, Also, if you want to sell your home, the new owner has to agree to the contract or you are left with buying out the contract.


Purchasing the system is a better investment than leasing the system. Conservatively, mine (worst case scenario) generates a 3 1/2% rate of return.


Years ago that wasn't true and I haven't looked at it recently. But, the lease for 20 years would have cost me $11,700. To install and buy, it was $38,000.


I punt in my first 10.2 kW in 2014 at $33,000 without incentives (about 22k after incentives). Friends just put in a slightly larger system in December for about $23k or 25k without incentives and I didn't dicker on price, I had them do some rewiring and put a 220 line to the outside so I could plug in a generator if needed to run critical circuits. Prices have decreased significantly.


That's why we own our solar cells on our roof Dick. Nobody can tell us what to do with them, and it significantly reduces our power bill. Those other agreements, while seemingly cost effective, are not.


Gab - [thumbup][thumbup]


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