Installation costs have been falling along with solar module costs, as we’ve reported, but Westinghouse believes there’s still plenty of room for a quick, easy and cheap-to-set-up home solar-power system in the market. That’s the business proposition with the company’s just-released Solar Power System, which the company describes as an “all-in-one rooftop solar kit” that contractors – or even DIYers – can have up and running in no time.
We’re seeing this concept bubble more as solar becomes more pervasive. You might remember our story on Armageddon Energy and its Solar Clover, which the company says can be installed by your garden variety trade professional with no specialized tools or training. Kyocera has also made a move in this direction with its MyGen kits.
Westinghouse is offering three different kits: A 20-panel “contractor kit” (pictured above) that the company says provides enough power to meet about 70 percent of a typical home’s energy needs; a four-panel “starter” kit that it suggest could go on someplace like a sunny roof of a garage; and a single panel “try it” kit if you just want to get a toe in the water.
Each kit comes with integrated racking and inverters, roof brackets with fasteners, roof flashings and panel splices. “All that needs to be added is wiring to the rooftop and a circuit breaker installed in the home’s electrical service panel,” the company said. “Westinghouse Solar recommends that an electrician or other licensed professional provide an electrical code-compliant connection into the service panel.”
While the company didn’t say exactly how it will price the kits, it did offer some cost scenarios. For example: “In California … a four-panel system is approximately $2,300 after federal incentives (not considering state incentives), and at an electric rate of $0.30/kwh will save $450 a year with a five year payback.” More information is available from the company on its website.