Solar Panels San Diego

What should you consider before having solar panels installed in San Diego ? How should you decide which installation company is right for you? What type of solar should you choose? photovoltaic or solar thermal? Are there upkeep or maintenance costs?

All of these are valid and common questions when considering solar panels. It’s a big investment and so it’s understandable that you will have questions and concerns. I’ve collated some basic knowledge, tips and advice on how to ensure you find a good company to install your solar panels and highlight some of the points you should consider when having photovoltaic panels installed at your property.

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1. MCS Approved Installers

Firstly, and most importantly, ensure that your chosen installer is an “MCS approved installer”. MCS stands for Microgeneration Certification Scheme and it is an indication to consumers that the installer has been assessed and adheres to standards and regulations that are set by the MCS.

MCS Approved Installers are awarded certification as a result of a thorough assessment of the supply, design, installation, set-to-work and commissioning of renewable microgeneration technologies, solar panels.

2. MCS Approved Solar Panels

Alongside MCS Approved installers, make sure that your panels are also MCS approved. MCS Approved Solar Panels also undergo rigorous standards.

To receive certification, MCS Approved Solar Panels not only receive product testing, but the manufacturing processes, materials, procedures and staff training also undergo assessment. Certification is only awarded if every step and stage meets the criteria.

3. NIC EIC Certification

All electricians who provide services in the UK should be NIC EIC certified. Solar installers are no different and you should make sure the company you choose has received certification. You will then be safe in the knowledge that your system complies with national safety requirements as stipulated by the governing body responsible NIC EIC certification.

4. Solar Panel Quotes

Don’t rely on the first or cheapest company you find – ask for quotes from a number solar installation companies, and let the companies know that you plan to do this. This should help ensure that you receive competitive quotes and it also gives you a benchmark from which you can compare quotes against quotes. It might give you some leverage to “play” companies off against one another to get that quote figure knocked down a little. Companies only exist to make money, so they won’t want to lose a potential customer.

Talk to companies who visit your property to provide you with quotes and ask plenty of questions. This will give better understanding and knowledge of what to expect and what you are told. Consider all your quotes before committing to any one in particular.

5. Cheapest Doesn’t Mean Best

As with most things in life, the cheapest quote you can find won’t necessarily get you the best end result. That doesn’t mean you should opt for the most expensive solar panels either. Find a quote which you feel is fair and just as importantly, choose a company that you feel comfortable about dealing with, a company who answers your questions and takes time to explain the technical side of things in a manner that you understand.

This doesn’t just apply to the company’s bottom line figure, but also the individual materials and equipment the company quotes for. If you haven’t been provided with a detail or itemised quote, ask for one. This way, you will know what equipment and materials you are paying for, and you can compare this to your other quotes.

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6. Research!

The technology is constantly evolving and in terms of energy generation for the masses, it is still quite new so there will always be improvements and enhancements being made. Ask your company what products they will be using for your install and take some time to do some background research on them: Are there any problems with the panels? Are there newer versions? Is the price about right? Are there any forums which advise for or against them? Learn about solar panel technology and the terminology used, this will help you avoid being “blinded” by jargon.

7. Calculate Potential Feed in Tariff Earnings

The Government’s Feed in Tariff has been extremely influential in the popularity of solar panels. You get paid for all electricity generated from your solar panels, even if you consume it personally. As a general overview, from 3rd March 2012, the rate is 21p/kWh and then from 1st July 2012 the rate of return will be between 16.5p/kWh – 13.6p/kWh. This rate will depend on the number of panel installations completed between March and April 2012. You can also use one of the many online calculators to see how much money you could be earning on your potential investment.

The Feed in Tariff means that whilst your initial investment may be a big outlay, not only will you save money on your energy bills, but you will also generate an income. This takes the investment in solar panels way beyond most returns from other “normal” monetary investments. If you have money invested in savings accounts, maybe consider solar panels.

8. Solar Thermal and Photovoltaic Panels

Take some time to decide whether solar thermal or photovoltaic systems would be more beneficial to your property. Solar thermal generates hot water, whilst photovoltaic panels will generate electricity.

If you are unsure as to the system you want, contact companies and ask which system they would recommend. There’s no reason why you cannot have both systems installed and if you decide that solar thermal panels are your best option, still consider photovoltaic panels, if for no other reason than it could in theory pay for itself and your solar thermal panel system.

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9. RHI – The Renewable Heat Incentive

The Renewable Heat Incentive does not provide such a good return on your investment as the Feed in Tariff, but it is still a good incentive that deserves careful consideration. The scheme’s aim is to encourage property owners to reduce their heating energy consumption and carbon foot print by providing the following benefits:

0.085p per kWh return for 20 years
energy consumption reduction
A Government payment contribution
10. Maintenance Costs
You will undoubtedly be told that there are no upkeep or maintenance costs involved with solar, and throughout life expectancy of a solar panel installation, there should in fact be little maintenance or upkeep in regards to the panels themselves. However, the inverter, which converts direct current (DC) to alternating current (AC), will, at some point in the 25 years, need replacing. The cost to replace your inverter will be somewhere near 1000, and so this should form part of your calculation and consideration for solar panels.

Cost Of Solar Panels For Home

Normally, solar systems will be installed on rooftops or high up above the ground in order to get the best exposure to direct sunlight especially in San Diego. The result of this is that less able-bodied people may require assistance to have the solar panels cleaned or to clear any fallen leaves or debris from on and around the panels to keep them working at their maximum capacity.

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Are Solar Panels Worth It

Science Fair Projects for Kids and High School Students

These 12 sites have hundreds of science fair projects, experiments, and advice to help you create the best science fair project you can. They suggest easy projects for kids and more challenging award-winning science fair projects for high school students. I've used many of them with my daughter and students.

Some of the sites provide ideas. Some give you step-by-step instructions for conducting experiments. Some provide kids advice on creating projects for science fairs. And some have forums where kids can get help when they're stuck. Many of these websites have videos to illustrate their experiments.

Note: Some of these sites have forums, which require registration with an email address. Children under age 13 need parent approval to register and submit questions to these forums.

#1 Science Buddies

Strength: Detailed science projects and advice for kids

I most often recommend Science Buddies to students and parents starting work on a science fair project. This is an award-winning site was created by the Kenneth Lafferty Hess Family Charitable Foundation, and has a wealth of resources.

First is the Project Ideas section where you can browse a list of projects by area of study. Or try the Topic Selection Wizard. You answer a series of questions about your science interests and grade level, then you get a list of projects best suited to your situation.

The projects are very detailed. Each includes the background, questions to consider, a list of required supplies and equipment, and step-by-step instructions for the experimental procedure.

The next helpful resource is an extensive Science Fair Project Guide. Here you'll learn more about how to use the scientific method to build your project, how to write your report, and how to display your work. There is also advice on safety procedures, selecting supplies, and techniques.

Finally, you can go to the Ask an Expert Forum if you need more assistance. Look to see if another student has asked a similar question that answers yours. If you've been unable to resolve your problem with the help of a teacher or parent, this group of volunteer scientists will do their best to help you.

The Science Buddies site is easy to navigate. And and the extent of their resources is incomparable.

#2 Cool Science Projects

Strength: Tips for creating award-winning science fair projects

The folks at Cool-Science-Projects.com will walk you through all the steps of creating a science project. You'll find advice and resources for simpler projects for a homework assignment, as well as advice on creating show-stopper competition projects.

There are lots of ideas here by grade level. A few of the ideas have step-by-step instructions for carrying them out. The site's biggest strength is the section it devotes to advice on creating a winning science fair project.

#3 Steve Spangler's Science Experiments

Strength: Entertaining videos of experiments to spark you own project ideas

Steve Spangler's Science Experiments is a particularly useful website for science teachers and homeschool parents. Steve is a teacher's teacher who is televised weekly in Denver and who has appeared on nationally televised shows, demonstrating experiments and explaining the science behind them. He also conducts teacher training seminars throughout the country.

On this site, you can access his collection of science experiments, recipes and projects. His library of projects is accompanied by videos of how to use materials and equipment to conduct experiments. He also has an online store of supplies and equipment.

Steve's delight in science experiments is entertaining, and he'll get you and your kids excited about their experiments too!

#4 Reeko's Mad Scientist Lab

Strength: Advice for creating a successful science fair project

Reeko is passionate about science. His passion is contagious at Reeko's Mad Scientist Lab. Reeko takes a humorous and engaging approach to getting kids interested in science.

Reeko's focus is science experiments. He does not provide guidance for school science projects. But his experiments are a breeding ground for science project ideas.

This award-winning site has games, puzzles and quizzes. And there is a new forum where you can ask a question if you're having problems with your experiment or science in general.

#5 DragonflyTV

Videos of experiments with accompanying variation ideas for home experiments

DragonflyTV delves into experiments conducted by kids. The folks at PBS Kids Go! offer up plenty of videos of kids conducting experiments.

Then they provide ideas of variations your children can pick from for their own experiments. Or kids can give the Super Science Spinner a whirl until they find an idea they like. DragonflyTV also offers their 12 steps to science fair success.

#6 The Science Club

Strength: Detailed instructions, videos and illustrations of projects

Science Fair Ideas Exchange provides dozens of ideas for projects and experiments. If you need more than written explanations and illustrations, look here. The site is hosted by Bill Beaty of The Science Club.

Many projects are accompanied by a video that shows the key steps in creating your experiment or device. Projects are categorized as simple, medium and advanced.

Some of the video-taped experiments are hazardous, and should be supervised by an adult or conducted only by science teachers.

The Make It Solar Science Fair Information provides detailed information on carrying out a project using the scientific method and steps illustrated here. For teachers who have a website, Make It Solar provides the code to put the illustration at the right into your site with a link to its science fair info.

You'll also find planning guides, research tips, illustrations of display layouts. The site's focus is solar energy, so they furnish details on how to create several solar energy science projects.

#8 MadSci Network

Strength: Answers to your science experiment and project questions

Created by MadSci Network & Third Sector New England, MadSci Network is a great place to get answers to your science questions. Their extensive questions and answers archive can help you as you build your project.

The MadSci Library provides links to other resources by topic area. Look for answers to common science fair questions at the MadSci FAQ page.

If you can't find an answer in their archives of past questions, submit your own question.

#9 ZOOMsci

Strength: Kids' comments on how the experiments worked for them

ZOOMsci from by PBS Kids & WGBH has dozens of science activities for children in grades K-8. The emphasis is on having fun with science experiments, as opposed to a rigorous scientific method.

Pick an activity, carry it out, then record your observations and comments on the ZOOMsci site. Personally identifiable information is not collected here.

#10 Scientific Methods at pppst.com

Strength: Lessons to help kids learn the scientific method

Teachers and homeschool parents can make use of the resources for elementary and middle school students at Scientific Methods at pppst.com. There are presentations to use when teaching the scientific method, as well as printable materials.

For kids, there are links numerous resources to help them learn and remember the steps contained in the scientific method.

One of Mr. Donn's greatest strengths is that his material is readable at the upper elementary age level. So adults don't have to do a lot of interpretation.

#11 Hands-on Activities

Strength: Detailed instructions for experiments

At Exploratorium's Hands-on Activities page, you'll find lots of ideas for experiments and science projects. Activities are grouped by topic such as food, living things, or sports science.

Each activity provides a list of needed materials and step-by-step instructions. Illustrations and photos accompany the instructions. A few even have videos.

Note that some of the activities are not true "activities" but rather information on how something, like cycling, works.

If you are making a model of the solar system to scale, you have to take a look at the Build a Solar System activity. There is a scale calculator that uses the diameter of the sun you plan to create to calculate the dimensions for all of the planets and orbit radius of each planet.

#12 Step-by-Step Science Fair Success

Strength: Advice for teachers and schools on organizing a successful science fair

Step-by-Step Science Fair Success is a guide for teachers and schools to use in planning a science fair. Lily Ning, a middle school teacher, discusses:

  • Preplanning, sending out letters, and rules for group projects
  • Creating guidelines, submission categories, and scientific methodology to be used
  • Student tasks in proposing, planning, carrying out, and displaying project results
  • Assessment using a rubric and grading sheets for the notebook, paper, and display
  • Judging rubric

Directory of Science Project Websites

from LearningReviews.com

There are more than 30 science fair project and experiment websites listed in LearningReviews Directory of Science Project Websites. Some of the sites have simple experiments for kids to carry out at home. Others have more sophisticated projects for high school students and science fairs. Kids, parents and teachers write reviews about the sites they like best.

Other Science categories on the site help you to learn more about chemistry, astronomy, biology, etc., as you prepare for your science project.

Get Ready for Your Science Fair with Janice VanCleave

Janice VanCleave is a teacher, scientist and author of award-winning science books for kids. This virtual field trip is hosted on Meet Me at the Corner.org, where you can find more science fair project ideas.


San Diego Solar Panel Installation Companies

So, what exactly is involved in calculating solar panels cost in San Diego? When thinking about solar power very few people know the way the cost of solar panel systems is actually measured. Or even, for that matter, do we automatically grasp the connection relating to the cost of solar power and the value of solar power. We all know that gasoline prices are in dollars per gallon. We likewise are all aware of approximately how far we’ll be able to drive after spending 40 bucks for a tank of gas. In contrast to a tank of gas, the value of which can be consumed pretty much instantly, solar panels deliver their value across a period of time.

Solar System Price

San Diego 3 Undervalued Solar Leaders

Solar Power, Inc. (OTCQB:SOPW): Why this $1 Billion Company Could Fall By More Than 80%

When a stock rises from $.25 a share to close to $3.00 a share in a little over 3 months, it's bound to get your attention. Naturally, I became curious as to the catalyst that is driving this move and most importantly, is the share price sustainable. After looking into the company further it became very apparent that the company is significantly over valued with a market cap of $1 billion. With the stock price at $2.40 per share, investors could potentially lose 80% of their investment (or more).

Share Structure

The company currently reports having 334 million shares outstanding within their most recent 10-Q filing. Buried within the filings are a number of toxic debt conversions that could adversely affect the company's share price in the future.

In the second quarter of 2014, the company increased the amount of authorized shares from 250,000,000 to 1,000,000 shares. Around the same time of the increase in authorized shares, the company issued 40,625,000 shares of common stock to a non-U.S. investor at a price of $.16 a share (Source: 10-Q Filing)

In July 2014 the Company issued a large number of shares via a convertible bond and a private placement at a deep discount. 68,750,000 shares of common stock were issued at $.16 per share along with another 26,562,500 shares of common stock at $.16 per share.

Since the period ending June 30, the company entered into yet another agreement to sell 92,620,000 shares of common stock at a price of $.27 per share. This private placement was concluded on September 17 and increased the number of outstanding shares to a total of 426,771,956 shares.

In total, the company has issued 135,937,500 shares of common stock since May at a price of $.16 per share along with another 92,620,000 shares at a price of $.27 per share. During this same time, the share price has increased from $.20 per share to $2.40 per share, and increase of over 1000%. Since the 92 million private placement took place after the period ending on June 30, 2014, the actual number of outstanding shares is over 425 million shares. At a closing price of $2.40, this puts the current market cap of Solar Power, Inc. over $1,000,000,000.

Bankruptcy

LDK Solar Co. owns 42.4% of the Company's outstanding shares as of August 19, 2014. On October 21, LDK Solar Co. filed for bankruptcy. Despite the large number of positive press releases produced by the company, they have failed to disclose this material fact.

In addition to the bankruptcy of the Company's parent company and majority shareholder, the Company also has accounts payable due to LDK Solar Co. of $38.7 million. The Company admits within their filings that should LDK Solar demand payment (which is likely due to their bankruptcy filing), that they do not have the ability to make payment without additional sources of financing. With the recent increase in authorized shares, it can be reasonably concluded that Solar Power Inc. will need to dilute shareholders even further in the future.

(Source: 10-Q Filing)

Contact Information

Solar Power Inc. lists their phone number at otcmarkets.com as well as their own website at solarpowerinc.com. The two phone numbers listed are 916-770-8100 and 800-548-8767. Both of these phone numbers will not connect you to the company and will instead put you into a voicemail for a "Susan Carter." Susan Carter appears to have no affiliation with the company whatsoever.

Conclusion

With 426 million shares outstanding, the current market cap of Solar Power, Inc. is over $1 Billion and the company does not even maintain a working phone number. For this reason, along with the many other red flags that exist, we urge investors to take profits immediately before it's too late. Also, with the number of red flags that exist along with the billion dollar market cap of the company, it is very likely regulators will take notice which will then put the stock at a serious risk of a halt.

Disclosure: The author has no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.

The author wrote this article themselves, and it expresses their own opinions. The author is not receiving compensation for it (other than from Seeking Alpha). The author has no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.

Editor's Note: This article discusses one or more securities that do not trade on a major U.S. exchange. Please be aware of the risks associated with these stocks.

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3 Undervalued Solar Leaders

Recent Macro News

Source: Wallstreetdaily, SCMP, CNN Money

The last 2 quarters have seen influential countries such as china, India and Saudi Arabia announce heavy commitments to investing in solar infrastructure. The news isn't particularly surprising if you are aware of the hazardous pollution levels in China and India. China, the most populated country in the world, claimed that it will spend over $361 billion on renewable energy development by 2020. According to China's National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), 40% of that spending will go towards solar and that will result in more than 1000 major solar plants, boosting china's solar capacity by 5 times.

Khalid Al-Falih, the energy minister of Saudi Arabia, announced that the oil capital of the world plans to spend as much as $50 billion on renewable energy. The short-term goal is to generate 10 GW of electricity through solar and wind by 2023. Al-Falih remarks that the long-term goal is to have renewable energy account for 30% of the country's total energy consumption by 2030.

Forbes states that India has installed 5.4 GW in 2016, and the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy estimates 15 GW (estimates to around 22% of global demand in 2017) and 16 GW of solar installation for the next two years. The Indian Government aims to accumulate 100 GW of solar by 2022, a feat which will require around $90 billion in total.

The combined future solar spending by these three countries, as well as the rest of the world, is an enormous pie to split between the big players in industry. In this article, I will use fundamental data to compare First Solar (NASDAQ:FSLR), Canadian Solar (NASDAQ:CSIQ) and JinkoSolar (NYSE:JKS), 3 heavily undervalued solar leaders which are well positioned to meet increasing global demand. All financial figures are expressed in USD via Bloomberg.

Market Cap

Source: Bloomberg

First Solar's $3.94 billion market cap is by far the largest in this group. First Solar is the only company on this list headquartered in the US and has an American management team. Canadian Solar's $855 million market cap is the next highest. Canadian Solar is based in Guelph, Canada, but the management team and production is predominantly Chinese. JinkoSolar's $542 million market is the lowest of the bunch. The company is entirely Chinese from its headquarters to production.

Revenue & Gross Profit & Net income

Source: Bloomberg

Please note that analyst consensus Q4 revenue and net income are used to estimate full-year 2016 revenue for Canadian Solar and JinkoSolar. On a GAAP basis, First Solar reported $2.951 billion in revenue and $704 million in gross profit for 2016. Net income came out to be -$382 million due to a $729 million unusual expense which we believe to be asset write-offs. Canadian Solar is expected to earn $2.871 billion in revenue, $459 million in gross profit and $89 million in net income. JinkoSolar is projected to pull in $3.331 billion in revenue, $647 million gross profit and $125 million in net income. JinkoSolar leads the pack in revenue and net income due to the tremendous demand for solar in China, where JinkoSolar conducts a majority of its business. First Solar boasts the highest gross margin at 24% while Canadian Solar and JinkoSolar have gross margins of 16% and 19%, respectively.

Source: Bloomberg

Cash & Debt

Source: Bloomberg

Looking at the balance sheets of these 3 companies, it's clear why First Solar is trading at a higher earnings multiple compared to its peers. First Solar currently has more than 10x cash on hand than total debt and actually received $5 million in interest income in 2016. Canadian Solar has $481 million cash on hand and a heavy debt load of $2.344 billion. The company is paying an estimated $52 million in interest expense (first 3 quarters annualized). JinkoSolar has $2.663 billion in debt, the highest of the three and dwarfs First Solar's debt of $188 million. JinkoSolar is estimated to pay a substantial $95 million interest payment in 2016 (first 3 quarters annualized). Although Canadian Solar and JinkoSolar are carrying high levels of debt, one must note that Canadian Solar and JinkoSolar have historically financed their projects with debt rather than equity.

Current Price vs. Book Value

Source: Bloomberg

All three solar leaders are currently undervalued relative to their book value. First Solar, with over $2.4 billion in retained earnings, is trading 22% below book value. JinkoSolar has been GAAP profitable for the past 10 quarters and accumulated $339 million in retained earnings during the same period. JinkoSolar is currently trading 28% below book value. Canadian Solar at its current price of $15 is trading just $1 below its book value of $16, but the company has been steadily growing its retained earnings from $47 million in Q4 2014 to $294 million as of Q3 2016.

Analyst Targets

Source: 4-traders

First Solar, with 22 covering analysts, has 5 buy ratings, 4 sell ratings and 13 hold ratings. First Solar is currently trading right around the analyst target of $35.9. Canadian Solar, with 2 buy ratings, 2 sell ratings and 7 hold ratings, is trading slightly below its price target of $15.2. JinkoSolar, with only 7 covering analysts, has 3 buy ratings and 4 hold ratings. The analyst target of $23.2 represents a 36% upside from the stock's current price.

Personal Holding

Although we believe all three stocks have bright futures, we currently hold Canadian Solar only. Although Canadian Solar's P/E is not as low as JinkoSolar's and the company's book value is below both of its peers, we remain enticed by Canadian Solar's diverse project portfolio. Since its inception, 100% of JinkoSolar's revenue came from the People's Republic of China. In 2016, 83% of First Solar's revenue came from the US, 5.4% came from India and 11.7% from various other countries. For the 12 months ending 9/30/2016, Canadian Solar derived 41.7% of its revenue from Asia, 46.8% from America (a good portion of which is from Canada) and 11.5% from Europe + other foreign countries. We believe Canadian Solar's diversified global presence positions the company tremendously to meet the increasing global demand for solar. We will continue to buy on dips and may initiate a position in JinkoSolar in the near future.

Source: Bloomberg

Disclosure: I am/we are long CSIQ.

I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it (other than from Seeking Alpha). I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.

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Solar Panels San Diego