YOUR SOLAR PV QUESTIONS ANSWERED
BY THE SOLAR PROFESSIONALS OF RHINO RENEWABLES
About Solar Rebates & Tax Credit
What are the solar incentives in North Carolina?
North Carolina residents who install a Solar PV System are entitled to the Federal ITC Solar Tax Credit. Duke Energy no longer has a Solar Cash Rebate program
What is the Duke Solar cash rebate program and how does it work?
Important Notice from Duke Energy
“We have completed all rebate allocations for this program, and our final application period has been complete. We are performing our Random Selection Process for the rebate reservations and waitlist positions once capacity is exhausted. Customers and Installers will be notified by email on January 31st, 2023, with their rebate applications’ statuses. “
If you are a current customer of Rhino Renewables Solar & Electric, you will have received an email from us regarding your application. We have taken the liberty of filling out the application for our customers unless otherwise specified by the customer. As we receive updates regarding your application, we will be sure to notify you as soon as possible. If you have any questions regarding your application, please feel free to reach out to us.
Link to the duke webpage with this info – NC Solar Rebate Program for homes (duke-energy.com)
What is the Federal ITC solar tax credit and how does it work?
The Federal ITC solar tax credit is a guaranteed federal tax credit program for solar PV as well as other renewable energy projects. The program has recently been extended to the year 2032 and is calculated as 30% of the total system cost with no limit on system cost. An additional 10% will awarded to commercial and industrial projects that use US Manufactured products. Through this program clients who purchase a solar PV system will be guaranteed a federal tax credit based on the cost they pay for their solar system. An average solar PV system costing $20,000 would therefore be applicable for a federal tax credit of $6,000. We strongly advise clients to seek guidance from a tax professional to find out how the credit can help them.
About Solar PV Systems
Can I cover my electricity usage with a solar PV system?
In short, yes. While it is not always possible, and is not always the most cost effective option, it is usually possible and advantageous to offset the total usage of a home with solar PV energy. Our solar professionals are excellent at analyzing the specific site conditions of your home or business and will advise on the best solution, custom fit to your needs and solar goals.
How does Net Metering work with a solar PV system?
Solar Net Metering can be a little bit different depending on a utility company’s policies, but in general it means that any energy production will be returned to the producer on a credit for credit basis. In solar PV system generation, this usually means that any kWh you produce will be directly redeemable as a kWh credit for future use. For example, if your home uses 7,000 kWh per year and has a solar PV system that produces 7,000 kWh per year, you would be able to reduce your monthly bill from kWh to zero. This does have some caveats, so it is important to have a solar professional advise how a net metering program will work with your utility provider, and how it can affect the ROI on your system.
What are AC and DC current, how do they differ?
There are two major electrical currents used in our modern world, AC and DC. AC stands for Alternating Current, this is the primary form of electricity that is used around the world in building applications. It has two major iterations in single phase (split phase) and three phase. Homes are constructed with single phase AC and larger businesses are constructed using three phase AC. DC stands for Direct Current, this is not commonly used in building applications. It is however used in Solar PV Modules, commonly referred to as solar panels, as well as batteries among other things. Due to the electrical grid and buildings being built to use AC current, any solar output will need to be inverted from DC current to AC current in order to be used in the building, hence the use of an inverter. Check out below to learn about inverters.
What is a solar PV inverter?
As mentioned above, solar modules, commonly referred to as solar panels, produce DC current. Because building applications are constructed using AC current, any solar DC output will need to be inverted to AC before tying into the electrical system of the building. This is where the inverter comes into play. The inverter is essentially the brain of the solar PV system. The two major types of inverters are string inverters and micro inverters. Both are great options depending on the site specifics and the clients solar goals. Check out below to learn about the difference between the two.
What is a string inverter?
A string style inverter is a single unit that will invert all of a solar PV systems DC current to AC current. In a string inverter, the solar modules are typically connected to each other in series strings. The number of solar panels per string will depend on the Wattage of the panels and the voltage of the system. The number of solar strings will depend on the size of the inverter, the system voltage, and the available string inputs in the inverter. These strings are then routed from the solar array to the inverter, which is generally either mounted on the exterior of the building near the meter, or on the inside of the building near the main service panel. At the solar inverter, the DC current of the modules will be inverted to AC current, and then the outgoing AC current will be connected to the main service panel for the building. String inverters will usually house the solar systems monitoring system, and main solar or DC disconnect. Check out below to learn more about monitoring.
What is a micro inverter?
A micro inverter is a unit that works similarly to a string inverter, but instead of one main unit inverting the solar DC current to AC current, there will be multiple units inverting the current. Micro inverters are typically designed to connect with a single solar panel, so there will usually be a micro inverter for every solar panel in a system. In this system type, the micro inverters will be installed right under the solar modules, either mounting to the solar racking, or to the solar modules themselves. Instead of DC solar strings, the solar array will have AC solar strings. The string sizes will be determined by the micro inverters power output levels, and system design specifications.