The calculator allows you to estimate the size of a photovoltaic (PV) array needed to meet a defined percentage of annual electricity used by a facility that is pursuing a net metered solar electric installation. A financial analysis is also included. When proposing a PV system, realize that there are likely to be many energy efficiency improvements that can be made with less investment than a PV system. Address energy efficiency first to reduce the cost and size of a PV system needed to meet the defined percentage of annual electricity hoped for offsetting. Additionally, for facilities with electric resistance water heating, a solar thermal water heating system can offset electricity for that purpose with less investment than a PV system.
To use this calculator you will need to know:
• the amount of electricity consumed by the facility in the previous year (in kWh)
• the rate (cents per kWh) for the facility's account associated with the meter that is intended to be net-metered
• site characteristics for the proposed system (location, seasonal shading impacts, desired array mounting arrangement and orientation)