Testimony from a Solar Customer

Ground-mounted 9kW solar array, Butler, Ohio
Ground-mounted 9kW solar array, Butler, Ohio

I have a 36 panel ground mount 9 KW solar system. I wanted American made products so I had to pay slightly more. I went with Sharp solar panels and Enphase Microconverters. The solar panels are connected in series and so far my output slightly exceeds the prediction by Third Sun Solar, so I am very pleased. It was installed by Third Sun Solar in cooperation with my electric provider, Butler Rural Electric. It is a ground mount in a field with no shade and serves my home in Butler County, Ohio. The solar panels are located around 450 ft from my house. They ran three large underground cable wires that connect to my meter at the house.

I contacted three solar companies before making a decision. I was surprised by the differences in layout that each of the three companies proposed. One company for example insisted I would lose a lot of energy by having such a long distance between the panels and my house and insisted the panels needed to be connected in parallel. The other two companies agreed that connecting them in series was better, but <company name deleted> insisted they could only run a cable that far if they used my barn as a substation.

As mentioned earlier in my review of <company name deleted>, I was seriously misled by the salesperson who has since left the company and that would have charged several thousand dollars more than my quote from Third Sun Solar, for a smaller system (32 solar panels), vs 36 panels and a true 9 K system.

I chose Third Sun Solar and I can’t say enough positive comments about this company. They were very professional in all my dealings with them and I could not be happier with the result. It took them a full week to install the solar system (36 panels). I elected not to have the panels put on my roof as that has a disadvantage in terms of needing to take them down and reinstalling when the shingles on the roof need to be replaced, and heat build-up from the roof can also reduce efficiency. I did not want to replace my shingles which should be good for another 15 years or so, while the life span of the solar panels which should be maintenance free for 30 years or more. Don’t trust a salesman when he says their company will take the panels off and reinstall for no cost when your shingles do need replacing.

Anyway, for the month of March which is still not quite done, I am exceeding the predicted output. So far my panels have produced 1,061 kWh so I will receive a check for 1 SREC for March and most likely a total of 12 SREC credits per year. My system is reducing my electric use from Butler Rural Electric by 75% and some months I will not use any net electric from my electric company. After choosing to go with Third Sun Solar, I noticed that my electric company has a small 2.3 K solar system installed at their facility in Hamilton, Ohio and that was installed by Third Sun Solar as well.

Bottom line, all solar companies are not the same. I have full trust in Third Sun Solar which is located in Athens, Ohio.

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