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  • What Is Wrong With Solar Leases And PPAs And How Can The Industry Fix Them? [View article]
    wiserinvestor,

    I looked at your couple more. The first one is an old Kyocera panel being offered at $1.40 per watt. Prices for brand new panels are now below $1 per watt. The second is ten used cracked 43 watt panels. I wouldn't think anyone would pay anything for a 43 watt panel, much less one that is used and cracked. But there is a $73 bid the whole ten of them. I guess some people just like to bid - doesn't matter on what.

    As for your win-win-win business plan, I see everybody winning except the outfit trying to sell those obsolete, used panels and install them for more than the cost of moving them.

    But who knows. Maybe you'll invent a whole new industry.
    Apr 20 11:10 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • What Is Wrong With Solar Leases And PPAs And How Can The Industry Fix Them? [View article]
    wiserinvestor,

    I just looked on Ebay. I searched "used solar panels" and found only two listings.

    One is for "228 watt solar panels used excellent condition". It had a buy-it-now price of $150 and no bids.
    The other is for "Kyocera KC125G High Efficiency Multicrystal Photovoltaic Module Solar Panel". It had a high bid of $162.50. I'm not going to climb up on my roof to uninstall a solar panel; uninstall it; hoist it down; package it up; and ship it, all for $162.50.

    Used obsolete solar panels still seem to me to be just so much junk on someone's roof.
    Apr 20 09:30 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • What Is Wrong With Solar Leases And PPAs And How Can The Industry Fix Them? [View article]
    CA,

    >>Once retained value is properly stated, SCTY will be a low margin company.<<

    Or, in my view, a negative margin company.
    Apr 20 09:17 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • What Is Wrong With Solar Leases And PPAs And How Can The Industry Fix Them? [View article]
    CA,

    Thanks for the correction on efficiencies.

    As far as SCTY sooner or later having to value the leases/PPAs fairly goes, that day spells the end of SCTY as a viable business in my view.
    Apr 20 09:15 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • SolarCity Retained Value - A Word To The Investors [View article]
    CA,

    >>but the contractor part of SCTY will continue to do well (albeit as a low margin business<<

    I seriously doubt that the contractor part has any positive margin independent of its captive customer.
    Apr 20 09:09 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • What Is Wrong With Solar Leases And PPAs And How Can The Industry Fix Them? [View article]
    Jim,

    Not if the utilities have anything to say about it.
    Apr 20 03:56 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • What Is Wrong With Solar Leases And PPAs And How Can The Industry Fix Them? [View article]
    Bonaire,

    >>Five years from now, a common module may be 290w versus 260w.<<

    They are already up to 300w. Five years from now, 1600w is more likely than 290w.
    Apr 20 03:55 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • What Is Wrong With Solar Leases And PPAs And How Can The Industry Fix Them? [View article]
    wiserinvestor,

    Good points. One quibble:

    >>If you bought your system instead, you can sell it at any time and take the proceeds from the sale and upgrade to the latest and greatest equipment.<<

    That's not practical. The market value of a used solar system is less than the costs of removing it from your roof; the costs of patching the roof; and the costs of installing it on a new roof.

    No one is going to buy an obsolete system. You will have to pay someone to remove it and cart it away.
    Apr 20 02:31 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • SolarCity Retained Value Redux: The Utilities Strike Back [View article]
    mswyman,

    Thanks for the link.

    I noticed that they are trying to sell their solar producing assets in pieces to investors for a few hundred dollars a month.
    Apr 20 02:20 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • SolarCity Retained Value Redux: The Utilities Strike Back [View article]
    mswyman,

    I don't think that the panels will stop working in 20 years. I think that they will be obsolete. I still have all my old computers and they all still work. But they are not useful anymore because they are too slow and stodgy.

    My 285 watt panels at 15.5% efficiency will no longer be useful before 20 years are up. They will be taking up roof space which I could use for 3600 watt panels operating at 31% efficiency. Since it isn't easy to add more roof, I'll just throw away the obsolete panels and micro-inverters and buy new ones. that way, instead of powering half my house's needs, the system will power all of them with gobbles of leftover production to sell to the grid. Electronic equipment goes obsolete long before it stops working.
    Apr 20 02:16 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Intel Tablet Contra Revenue Will Cost About 3.5 Cents Per Share In Q2 [View article]
    Mike,

    You need a better translator.
    Apr 19 10:09 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Micron Technology: Worth Between $29-33 Per Share, Strong Buy On Market Correction [View article]
    Vet,

    Micron will file an 8-k within four business days of the transaction.
    Apr 19 07:20 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • What Is Wrong With Solar Leases And PPAs And How Can The Industry Fix Them? [View article]
    CA,

    Thank you for the time and thought you put into this article. Actually, thank you for the previous ones also, which I have now read.

    You have raised all the right questions. I don't think your stated methodology for finding the answers will work though.

    First, the solar leasing companies are not likely to ever voluntarily adopt your solution. If they valued leases fairly it would kill their marketing and their financing. Customers won't sign up for a system that has a projected annual cost higher than its savings in electric bills.

    Second, it will kill their financial results and their ability to borrow against those now-worth-less leases.

    I just had an engineer-salesman from a local solar installation company at my house trying to sell me an addition to my solar system. He told me that the system was good for 35 years without any maintenance. When I responded that there was no data supporting that and 15 years was even a stretch his retort was "Well, I'm a salesman."

    Actuaries cannot help. They need a large sample of data to predict from and that data does not exist. We can't count how many solar systems are still viable after 20 years because there aren't any to speak of out there. Even a ten-year old sample is too small to be useful.
    So we have to use our own heads. A typi9cal homeowner's rooftop area is limited. "Good" rooftop area is even more limited. Solar panels facing north do not generate power efficiently. Solar panels blocked by trees don't either. Etc.
    The useful life of an existing system depends on what is available to replace it and use the available rooftop area in a more useful way. The amount of wattage a solar panel can produce from the same amount of sunlight is growing at a very high annual rate. The wattage rating of the same size panel increases every year and the efficiency with which that panel can convert sunlight into DC power also increases every year. In the last year available panels went from 255 watts to 300 watts and efficiency ratings on those panels went from 15.5% on the 255s to 18.3% on the 300s. That works out to an increase from 39.5 watts per panel to 54.9 watts per panel or 39% more. An actuary can't rationally use one data point like that to project anything. Even ten data points aren't enough. My head can do some off-the-cuff projections though.

    Let's start with capitalizing that 39% annual increase. 1.39^5 is 517% and 1.39^10 is 2673%. The magic of compound capitalization rates. Let's arbitrarily cut that 39% presumed capitalized growth rate in half to 19.5%. That works out to an increase over five years of 244% and 594% over ten years.

    Visualizing my own system in that context tells me that I might well be able to power my whole house and two electric cars in five years by replacing my system with one with newer panels and micro-inverters.

    What would that cost me? Well, prices are dropping at about 12% annually but higher wattage panels and higher capacity micro-inverters cost more than their lower wattage brethren. Let's assume that the price drops balance out the higher wattage increases. If that proves true, I'll be able to replace my whole system in five years cost-effectively and power my whole house with three times the current production left-over. Maybe I can sell the left-over wattage to the utility? It can store it and deliver it at night. Hmm. Enough me's and we won't need any coal or gas generating plants. Oops. That opens a host of questions about how the utilities pay for maintaining the grid. maybe they will dump the coal and gas-fired plants and pay me only what it would have cost them to produce that energy saving enough profit potential to cover their needs? Or maybe not?

    I welcome anyone pointing out my mistakes. I always make some. Mistakes are very valuable to me. I have learned much of what I now know by making them. Ah, if only I'd made more of them quicker. Maybe then I'd be smart enough to figure this out.

    But no matter. I only need to figure out a little bit of it to make a lot of money in this cockeyed economic environment.
    Apr 19 01:25 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • SolarCity Retained Value - A Word To The Investors [View article]
    CA,

    >>The modeling is too complex.<<

    Yes, it's complex. But that is where the money is.

    >>There are too many variable and too much uncertainty.<<

    There are a lot of variables and there is a lot of uncertainty. Many of those variables lend themselves to off-the-cuff guestimates which reduces the uncertainty by orders of magnitude. That is where the big money is.

    Besides, a Monte Carlo simulation on all the variables over all their respective ranges would take a super computer a lot of years. The human mind is better at this sort of problem.
    Apr 18 08:05 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Intel: My Take On The Earnings Report [View article]
    Russ,

    >>fab 42 is secretly getting equipped.<<

    How do you secretly equip a plant that big? If Intel can do that, do you think they would consider hiding my house from the tax collector? I'd pay a fair price. I just got my bill.
    Apr 18 07:01 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
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