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Does anyone here have solar panels on their home and know if the power company buys back or gives credit for unused power? I am hear conflicting stories on this.

Thnx

Ian

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You may want to connect up with Alain Mulaire. He is in the solar panel business in David, but spends some time in Boquete. Alain is accessible here on CL via PM (private message) at @Alain.

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Hi Ian,

I have done several grid-tie installations here in Chiriqui. The process you speak of is net-metering. This allows you to get a credit for the extra energy you produce using your solar panels. It's actually a pretty generous program, and makes grid-tie solar a no-brainer for anyone spending more than $150/month or so on power.

You are credited 1kwh for 1 kwh, and if your production exceeds consumption, they will pay you the wholesale electrical rate (subject to a 25% limit based on your baseline consumption) ie: you can't use this to go into the business of electrical generation.

This is great as in many residential situations, you generate power during the day, and use it up a night, once you come home.

 

The process is somewhat tedious, but here it is in a nutshell:

Your solar installer will work with an electrical engineer to handle this for you. There are 3 authorities to deal with: Naturgy (the power utility), Bomberos, and Municipio.

-sign a limited power of attorney allowing the electrical engineer to represent you throughout this process

-he will present the photo-voltaic electrical plan to Naturgy, along with property documents, etc... they will give you a provisional go-ahead

-present electrical plan to Bomberos

-once approved by Bomberos, apply for your permit from Municipio

once that's approved, go back to Naturgy and apply for your bi-directional meter, and sign your net-metering contract with them.

Naturgy will send over a crew to install the bi-directional meter, and conduct an inspection of the installation.

The whole process from start to finish takes about 2-3 months. The installer generally takes care of this for their client, as it requires a lot of follow-up at every step.

If you have any more questions, I'm glad to help. 

alain@siempresolpanama.com

6631-9193

 

 

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Good info. Thanks, Al.

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