SOLAR ENERGY: Radiant light and heat, from the sun, has been harnessed by humans since ancient times using a range of ever-evolving technologies. Solar energy technologies include solar heating, solar photovoltaics, solar thermal electricity, solar architecture and artificial photosynthesis, which can make considerable contributions to solving some of the most urgent energy problems the world now faces.


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Check out this time lapse video of our ten K solar system installation for the Huntsville Medical Mall.

Solar • F.A.Q's

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    How does a solar electric system work?

    Sunlight excites electrons in solar panels, and electricity flows to the inverter where it is converted from direct current (DC) to alternating current (AC). Most systems are connected to the grid through the local utility. Local utilities partner with TVA to pay solar system owners for their solar electricity. This program is called TVA Green Power Providers, and solar system owners will receive 9 cents above the retail rate (GSA-1). Currently, this is about 19 cents per kilowatt-hour. TVA also pays solar system owners $1,000 after installation. Green Power Providers incentives for 2013 will be available for a limited time. TVA will stop approving new systems once they receive applications that reach their 7.5MW program capacity.

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    What size system do I need?

    System size is usually determined by available roof space and budget. On average 1 kilowatt of power produced requires approximately 100 square feet of roof space and costs approx. $6,000. Systems start at about 2kW. We will measure your roof to verify space and shading. Another consideration is electric bill amount. Systems can eliminate electric costs or offset a significant portion. We can analyze your bills to determine the appropriate system size.

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    How much does solar cost?

    The cost depends on the amount of suitable space for the panels, the system size, and the amount of money you want to invest in solar. The smallest system we install is 2kW, costing approx. $13,000 and requiring about 200 square feet of suitable space. Typical residential systems range between 2 and 10 kW, costing approx. $6,000 per kW. Prices include everything required to provide a fully installed, roof-mounted grid-tied system. Add-on costs would be required for ground-mount systems ($1.25 per watt), long distance ground work, concrete work, extended travel, AC modules or battery pack up (battery systems start at $17,500).

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    What are the available incentives?

    • An uncapped 30% federal tax credit is available in which 30% of the total cost of a solar installation is credited against your federal taxes. Businesses are eligible for MACRS Accelerated Depreciation as well.
    • TVA's Green Power Providers Program will pay the base rate plus 9 cents per kWh for all solar electricity production. For example, a 4 kW system generates about 430 kWh per month on average, so 4 kW would generate about $82/month on average. This would appear as a credit on your monthly bill. Click here to view an electric bill with solar.
    • TVA pays $1,000 to customers who install grid-tied solar electric systems.

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    What are the financing options?

    Please email us at or call us @ 256-319-3420 to discuss current and available finance options.

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    What steps should I take to decide if solar is right for me?

    • Gather your last 12 electric bills to determine your annual use.
    • Think about how much how much money you want to invest in solar.
    • Think about what site might be the best location. Solar performs best on south-facing roofs. East/west roofs with low pitch are also suitable. There should be little or no shading from trees, chimneys, and dormers. If the roof is not suitable, we can install panels on another structure or on poles.
    • Once you decide you want to move forward, we will conduct a site evaluation.

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    What happens during power outages?

    A grid-tied solar system must shut down until utility power returns so that it doesn't back-feed the grid. When grid power goes out, the inverter will automatically shut off. When the grid power is re-established, the inverter will automatically turn back on after it has synchronized with the utility grid.

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    Will my system work on cloudy days?

    Usually, yes, but it will be less productive. Production is proportionate to the thickness of cloud cover.

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    How will I know if my system is producing what it should?

    The inverter’s faceplate shows production data. You can compare your actual production to our estimates to ensure your system is on track. Production monitoring that can be accessed on-line is available at an additional cost.

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    How long does it take to install the system?

    For a typical residential system, it takes about three days to install the PV panels and equipment. Then, the system must pass a final State electrical inspection which normally takes one business day to schedule and pass. It can take another 7-10 business days for the utility to install the separate solar meter. The local utility and ACE, LLC Solar will turn on the system once the utility company has installed the solar meter.

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    What are the panel and inverter warranties?

    Solar panels have a product warranty for 10 years and a limited power performance warranty for 25 years. Solar inverters are warrantied for 10 years. Please email us at or call us @ 256-319-3420 to discuss details and warranties.

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    What if I need a new roof or I am building a new house?

    You want your roof to be in the best condition possible because the average working life span of a solar system is around 30 to 40 years. Thus, we don't recommend installation on composition shingle roofs over 10-years-old. If you are building a new house, click here for guidance on building a solar-ready home.

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    Can the solar panels withstand high winds and hail?

    The panels are supported by high quality stainless steel and aluminum racking systems designed and mounted based on American Society of Civil Engineer (ASCE) wind load provisions. All solar panels are tested to UL-1703 standards and are capable of withstanding one inch (2.5cm) hailstones at 50MPH. They are covered with tempered glass, akin to a car windshield. Additionally, the panels can be covered by homeowners insurance.

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    Do I need approval from my homeowners association?

    Some homeowners associations have rules regarding the installation of anything on your roof or grounds. If you belong to a homeowners association, contact them and ask about neighborhood guidelines. In our experience, most homeowners associations decide in favor of solar system installations.

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    Will adding solar increase the value of my home?

    Yes! A solar system reduces electric bills, so it is a valuable asset to any homeowner. Click here for a Berkley Lab report summary showing an average selling price increase of $17,000. Click here for an NREL report summary that found homes with solar sell 20% faster and for 17% more.

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    What do I need to know about solar system installation?

    We mount solar panels on your roof and run wires through conduit to a solar meter. From there, we also run wires through conduit to your breaker panel. In the same vicinity as your utility meter, we mount an inverter, AC disconnect, and the solar meter. This equipment can be mounted either inside or outside and takes up about 15 square feet (3' x 5' area).