Each solar installation will be unique this largely depends on :
1) Your average monthly energy usage
2) The space available to place a system
3) System size that the local power company permits.
Yes your local utility company would need to inspect and approve your installation. In Barbados, the Barbados Light & Power company has a specific application process for the Renewable Energy Rider. Detailed information can be found at http://www.blpc.com.bb/cus_servicerider.cfm
Some Caribbean governments have introduced a number of solar incentives for property owners and solar businesses.
It is best to have an audit done which analyzes your average electricity use for the past 12 months and then factor in the specifics that are unique to your particular location. Shading from surrounding trees or buildings and the amount of available roof or ground space to contain the (limited size) array.
Usually a 5kw system will save a residential account between $250 US and $300 US each month, and is likely to cost between $12,000 US and $20,000 US.
Very unlikely. Grid tie systems simply feed into a breaker in your main service panel.
The system will produce little power and you will draw from the grid as usual. You will not be able to produce much to sell back to the power company on those days.
The value of your property will increase and after the system payback is complete you will be earning a substantial return on your original investment – 15% or more. In Barbados it’s now between 4 and 6 years and this is even without any government incentives.
Be sure to follow up on this from your insurance company or broker as all residential and commercial policies do carry a large deductible for hurricane damage. Wherever possible, declare and insure your solar system as a separate item on your policy.
You would use power from the electrical grid as usual. Power is only generated when the sun is shining at its greatest intensity – usually from 9am to 3pm).
This is only done if you want an uninterrupted power supply which might be useful if you live in an area with a lot or power outages or to allow for extended power outages as after a hurricane.
Any shade from leaves and debris from trees or buildings will affect the performance of the panel disproportionately. The solar array should be installed in a completely shade free area.