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Greenhound Energy – Phrase Definitions

updated February 10, 2020

Phrase

Greenhound Definition

25-Year Benefit ($)

This is the total benefit provided by the Project over twenty-five (25) years. 25-Year Benefit ($) = [the 25-year utility electricity cost savings] – [The 25-year total cost of the Project].

Accuracy of Quote (Plus or Minus X%)

Accuracy of Quote means the % amount of the quoted cost that the Solutions Provider may adjust up or down after gathering more information. It is a measure of confidence in what the final cost will be based on the information provided.

Balance of System Included?

Balance of System (BOS) components are needed for any solar system to be functional. BOS components include conductors, conduits, combiner boxes, protection devices, disconnects, grounding conductors, monitoring devices, and other electrical needed components, rails, splices, and clamps, etc.

End of Life System Management Included?

End of Life (EOL) System Management is also known as decommissioning. If offered, the installer will be responsible for removal and proper disposal/recycling of the solar system at the end of the Term.

Est Annual CO2 Savings (lbs.)

Use the above “Estimated kWh Saved Annually” and multiply it by either 25 years for Purchased Systems or the Term of the lease. This is the ‘Lifetime kWh Saved’ for the Project. Here is a calculator: https://www.epa.gov/energy/greenhouse-gas-equivalencies-calculator

Estimated Electricity Bill Savings Year 1 ($)

This is the estimated amount that the Customer’s utility electricity costs will be reduced in the first twelve (12) months of operation due to the Project.

Estimated kWh Saved Year 1 (kWh)

Based on the Customer’s annual energy usage in kWh, this is expected output (in kWh) for the solar Project during the first twelve (12) months.

Financing

How the Project will be financed. Options include: 1) outright purchase; 2) lease, 3) financing (with or without upfront payment), or 4) Power Purchase Agreement (currently not available in North Carolina).

Implied Return on Investment (ROI) (%)

Implied Return on Investment (ROI) means the annual average ROI for the life of the Project. Implied solar ROI = [[(Lifetime cost ($) of electricity from utility – Lifetime cost ($) of solar) / (Lifetime cost ($) of solar)]/(Lifetime (yrs.))] x 100%

Ideally, annual average energy usage should be based off of 12 months of actual energy usage history. The lifetime cost of solar should include monthly grid access fees (if any), financing fees (if applicable), part replacements (e.g. inverter replacements), any service costs, etc. Electricity cost escalators and degradation rates during the Term should be provided.

Individual Inverter Max Power (kW AC)

This is the maximum AC power output of an individual inverter, given in kW.

Inverter Manufactured In?

This is the primary country or region of origin for the inverters. This answer is not always straight forward because inverters can be an assembly of components that may be manufactured or assembled in different countries.

Inverter Manufacturer

Company name of the Manufacturer. About inverters: Solar modules collect the sun’s energy and turn it into direct current (DC) electricity. In the US, most buildings use alternating current (AC). Inverters change the DC electricity from the solar modules into usable AC electricity.

Inverter Model No.

Model number of the inverter.

Inverter Warranty

Inverter lifetimes are less than solar module lifetimes, and they will likely need to be replaced at least once over the lifetime of your solar energy system. Warranties for inverters typically range from five (5) to twelve (12) years but can be as high as twenty-five (25) years.

Labor Warranty (yrs)

This is the Solution Provider’s Warranty on installed components, guaranteeing that the design, assembly and installation are all done correctly, and that the system will perform as expected—without malfunction. Any defects that may arise will be fixed free of charge by the Solutions Provider during the Labor Warranty term.

Labor Warranty (yrs)

This is a separate warranty from the installer, which covers issues specifically pertaining to workmanship and errors or damage during installation.

Manufacturer’s Warranty (yrs)

This is the term, in years, that the Manufacturer guarantees the modules (panels) will be free from manufacturing defects, environmental issues, premature wear and tear, etc. The Manufacturer’s Warranty covers the integrity of the module (panel) itself and if a solar module (panel) fails, the Manufacturer will ship a replacement module (panel) and may pay for shipping cost and labor cost associated with replacement.

Model #

This is the Model number of the solar modules (panels) for the Project, as given by the Manufacturer.

Module (Panel) Manufacturer

Company name of the Manufacturer.

Modules (Panels) Made In?

This is the primary country or region of origin for the modules (panels). This answer is not always straight forward because solar modules (panels) are typically an assembly of components that may be manufactured and/or assembled in different countries. Also note that usually, there is little to no correlation between country of origin and the company’s quality ranking.

Number of Modules (Panels)

This is the number of modules (panels) used to obtain the Total System Size.

Out-of-Pocket Costs

This is the total amount Customer will pay out-of-pocket, including any taxes, after all rebates and incentives, for the purchase or lease of the Project.

Pay Back Period (yrs)

This time required for the Customer to recover Out-of-Pocket Costs, i.e. the payback period is the number of years required for the solar Project to pay for itself. It is based on the annual electricity bill savings expected, the escalation in utility electricity prices expected, and the expected degradation of the solar modules (panels), among other factors. Simple payback does not usually account for inflation, depreciation, maintenance costs, project lifetime, and other factors.

Payback Period (yrs)

The Payback Period refers to the amount of time it takes to recover the cost of the investment. It is the number of years it takes for [Out-of-Pocket Costs for Project] – [Electricity Costs offset by Project for the life of the Project] to equal zero. Any assumed annual escalation in the $/kWh for electricity should be stated by the Solutions Provider, as should the assumed annual degradation rate of the modules (panels).

Performance Warranty (yrs)

Solar module (panel) performance naturally degrades over time. The Performance Warranty is backed by the solar module (panel) manufacturer and is based on lab tests that reproduce the conditions the solar modules (panels) will see over their service life. A typical Performance Warranty is for 25 years with no more than 0.7% loss of production per year and no more than 20% loss of production at year 25.

Rebates/Incentives

Local, state, federal, and vendor rebates or incentives will be shown here that apply to the Project.

Routine Maintenance Included?

Routine Maintenance includes preventive maintenance, such as panel cleaning and annual equipment inspections. It can also include remote monitoring services that can provide regular performance reports and may also alert an operations center about any performance issues, repair needs or system outages so they can be addressed. Frequency of cleaning required can range from never (in areas where it rains often) to quarterly (in extreme circumstances). Generally, once or twice a year is enough.

Solar Manufacturer Warranty (yrs)

This is the term, in years, that the Manufacturer guarantees the modules (panels) will be free from manufacturing defects, environmental issues, premature wear and tear, etc. The Manufacturer’s Warranty covers the integrity of the module (panel) itself and if a solar module (panel) fails, the Manufacturer will ship a replacement module (panel) and may pay for shipping cost and labor cost associated with replacement.

Solar Performance Warranty (yrs)

Solar module (panel) performance naturally degrades over time. The Performance Warranty is backed by the solar module (panel) manufacturer and is based on lab tests that reproduce the conditions the solar modules (panels) will see over their service life. A typical Performance Warranty is for 25 years with no more than 0.7% loss of production per year and no more than 20% loss of production at year twenty-five (25).

Solar System Size or Total System Size (In kW DC)

This is the nameplate, beginning of life total output in kW DC from the solar Project. Total System Size (kW) = [[nameplate solar module output (W)] x [# of modules for project]] / 1000.

Tariff, as used in “Change in Tariff Required?”

In some cases, changing the Tariff (or “schedule”) under which a Customer is billed by the utility might be beneficial to the Customer in conjunction with implementing the solar Project. The Solution Provider may suggest a change in Tariff with their proposal and can offer additional explanation as needed.

Total number of inverters required

This is the number of inverters that will be used to obtain the Total System Size.

Total System Inverter Max Power (kW AC)

Note, for the Duke solar rebate in NC, the Total System Inverter Max Power determines the rebate amount for the project.

User Interface & Reporting Software Included?

This is software that allows the owner to track and monitor the system’s output and performance on a computer, tablet, or phone.

Watts Per Module (Panel) (DC)

This is the nameplate output in Watts (DC) of an individual module (panel) at the beginning of life, as specified by the Manufacturer.