Partly it was my own fault – by the time I was seriously looking into going solar, the holiday season was in full swing. That meant that trying to get real information and a formal quote on the system or components was not something to be done quickly. The solar industry seems to still be a fairly controlled one from a distribution perspective, with only a few places (mainly selling the prior generation of equipment) actually advertising per-piece pricing.
In the end, by early January I had 2 comparable quotes. One company was based elsewhere and would supply the components for a local contractor to install, the other was based within a few minutes of my residence and did everything to deliver a turn-key system. I was surprised how close the two options were , and all else being essentially the same I opted to go with the local company.
The system I ended up going with has a 2.7 kW nameplate rating with a SolarEdge inverter with real-time monitoring capability (and the associated “power optimizers” to be mounted on each panel) and SolarWorld panels. As far as the panels go, I did opt for an upgrade to more aesthetically pleasing ones than those first quoted for the system. On 6. Jan I made my initial deposit of 10% of the system cost, and on 7. Jan a system designer came by the house and spent an hour or so making measurements, taking pictures, checking the roof, etc…
So started the waiting game on my part and the busy phase for the supplier. Although I did not receive any updates on the project status, several days were spent putting together the drawings, spec sheets, and other information needed to start the permitting process. Once that was completed and the permit package submitted, an interconnection agreement application was submitted to the utility. At some point in this process the supplier also ordered the necessary products to complete the installation, however all of this is happening behind the scenes. Luckily for me, I was able to get some insight into the process when I received an e-mail from the utility notifying me that an interconnection agreement had been submitted on my behalf.
And the waiting continues….