Not to be outdone by Costco’s recent offering of grid-tied solar kits, big-box rival Sam’s Club also is in the residential solar game with its own solar kits. Currently, Sam’s Club is offering, among others, a 3 kilowatt solar system with almost every component needed for installation for just over $14 k if ordered online.
The description of the kit at the Sam’s Club website touts the system’s redundant inverters, pre-configured plug-ins, self diagnostics, and low installation costs. The kit is comprised of 15 – Enphase micro inverters, 1 – Enphase Envoy communications gateway, 15 -215 Watt solar panels, racking for rooftop installation, a roof-top “junction box” and rack mounting hardware.
Perhaps the most interesting part of this kit is its inclusion of Enphase’s “Envoy Communications Gateway”. The device is designed to communicate the solar system’s performance information over the Internet to Enphase’s web-based “Enlighten” service, which displays real-time power generation information as well as historical generation data to the end-user. The service requires a periodic fee. Though the unit comes bundled with a 90-day trial subscription, further use of the service will require a 3-year or 5-year subscription fee.
Unlike Costco’s solar system, it does not appear that the kit Sam’s Club is offering comes with a recommended list of previously vetted installers, though the company does call attention to the fact that the system should be installed by a professional. As always, local and federal tax incentive programs should be available but should be looked into prior to purchasing such a system.