Still waiting for my answer on solar

Dear Editor,

Joseph Ensensperger didn’t answer my question about how much solar power is subsidized per KWH. I await that answer.

He replied with a proposal to borrow $10,000 with a five-year payback at an interest rate subsidized by PUD ratepayers and produce solar power. A total of $11190.00. Joe believes he will get six hours per day of full output for six months a year. Suppose he could get that for 12 months a year? At six cents/KWH that would be $1051 per year which would be a payback of over 10 years. Not counting cleaning or repairs.

It is probably more realistic to use the national average of 15 percent of panel ratings which would return $630.72 per year which would pay back in just under 18 years, not counting maintenance costs of course. How will he clean the panels with no access between them? The big problem is that Joe’s electricity will be produced in the daylight and in summer and he needs it at night and in winter. Power that cannot be produced on demand has almost no real value to the PUD. Sometimes it is worth less than nothing and they pay to get rid of it! So the six cents per KWH he would receive is almost all a subsidy.

The good news is that is only six to 12 percent of the normal subsidy for solar power.

Brian Thompson


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