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Solar panels generating more than power

May 9, 2008 12:00:00 AM PDT
More and more Southern California homeowners are turning green and going solar.Southern California is well known for it's star power, but while the studios rely on the stars to generate electricity more and more homeowners are turning to solar power for their electricity.

Click in the Eyewitness News Story Window above to watch a video on how Rob Bushman got started.

"It was time to do it," said Rob Bushman, who has installed solar arrays.

Now there are average sized homes and there are Rob Bushman sized ones.

At 65-hundred square feet, Bushman says his house was eating up some $2,000 in electricity each month.

So Bushman decided to go solar, really solar.

"It's a 40 kilowatt system," said Bushman.

"It's got 192-210 watt modules," said Michael Kahn.

"Dual access trackers," adds Bushman.

"It's solar power, also known as photovoltaics," said Kahn.

That's a lot of fancy talk that essentially means Bushman won't be paying any power bills soon.

On a hillside next to his home he's installing 24 solar arrays that move with the sun.

"There is a lot of power at lot of power," said Bushman.

But it is not cheap. The price tag is $375,000. Kahn says an average home would need a substantially cheaper rooftop system. When coupled with state and federal subsidies, the price would be roughly $45,000.

Still pricey, but that would be 30 to 40 years of essentially free electricity.

"That's a lot of electricity," said Kahn.

Solar systems like Bushman's do not just generate power, but they generate money.

It is like pennies from heaven, only in the case of Bushman's system, it's millions and millions of pennies from heaven.

"It's gonna make about $25,000 to $30,000 a year worth of electricity," said Kahn.

"For the first 60 months, the first five years, I get a check back from Edison for all the power that I generate," said Bushman.

That means of the $375,000 spent, Bushman expects nearly $200,000 will be paid back to him.

So even though paying for the array will require quite a few work days. Once it goes online, every day will be a Sunday.

 

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