Solar panels will likely pay off after 8 years, says Pasadena Water and Power – Pasadena Now

Installing a residential solar system is a costly investment, but it promises incredible long-term savings and a reliable, carbon-smart energy future.

In his report to the Municipal Services Committee on Tuesday, May 24, a Pasadena Water and Power official said several factors would affect payback periods, including electricity rates, the in-service date for the applicable investment tax and future energy costs avoided.

For most Pasadena residents, it would take about 7.5 to 8 years to break even from solar panel investments, according to Robert Castro, the city’s energy resource planning officer.

Castro said residential solar power is about five times more expensive than utility-scale solar power.

Residential rooftop solar costs $247/MWh (megawatt hour), commercial solar system costs $155/MWh, community solar system costs $100/MWh while utility scale solar system costs $51/MWh.

The huge cost difference between utility- and residential-scale rooftop solar is attributed to “economies of scale and more efficient solar power generation.”

“Solar generation from utility-scale solar power results in a higher capacity factor than for rooftop solar power (more energy per year per square meter). In addition, solar power at scale provides everyone with access to solar power, which from a cost and equity perspective can be an important consideration.

“As modernization of the electric grid continues, distributed rooftop solar and large-scale centralized solar will continue to play a role in meeting renewable energy goals, but new costs and avoided will need to be shared to create an equitable future,” the PWP report said. .

According to PWP, in addition to reducing electricity bills, installing residential rooftop solar panels will help fight climate change, create energy independence and contribute to a local green economy.

For more information on Pasadena’s solar initiatives, visit: https://ww5.cityofpasadena.net/water-and-power/psi/

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