Today I got the engineering plan for my new Solar City PV install as well as some documents from the local electric co-op. I have a few issues that I hope I can get some advice on.
1. The electric company wants me to sign over my environmental credits to them. This made sense in the past when PV systems were being installed "for free", but I am paying for this entire system out of pocket (loan). They are distancing themselves from any and all maintenance of the PV system. This may be a standard concession, but it feels like a load of crap. Do I have any options? Am I overlooking a cost to the electric company that these credits are intended to cover? Signing these credits over to them allows them to claim "green" improvements to their system that they have not made.
2. The original size of the system was supposed to be 7.8KW (27 panels). The electric company does not want to size the system beyond 125% of estimated usage. Sounds logical. The problem is that I added a Tesla Model S75 to my energy needs a month ago, and this is not reflected in 90% of the usage reports that made up my estimate. Solar City made the initial estimate that produced the 7.8KW size using a rough estimate of Model S charging, but the electric company's estimate has dropped this to 6.8KW (21 panels). Since I cannot grow my PV array (Solar City will not add panels at a later date, but you can buy another system...), I have to get this right the first time.
3. I'm not a big believer in feng shui, but the panel layout on the engineering plan is asymmetrical and aesthetically, I don't like it. Yes, this is kind of stupid, but it's something I have hanging on the outside of my house and I want it to look nice. Adding 3 panels or removing 3 panels would fix it.
4. Along with the panels, there is no mention on the design plan about cable routing or conduit. The roof these PV panels will be mounted on is on the opposite side of the house from where the electrical panel is located. I really do not like the thought of conduit draped over the roof, but a roof penetration is not something to be taken lightly. I have a pitched roof (5/12) with concrete shingles. They say they will paint the conduit to minimize the unsightliness, but I would love to avoid external conduit as much as possible.
So my thoughts on 1, 2 and 3: Hold the credits as a carrot over the head of the co-op to get them to add 3 panels to the system. This fixes the asymmetry and gets me up to probably 7.5KW, which is closer to the original estimate.
As to the 4th, how hard is it to get a good roof penetrating install out of Solar City?