How to Use the Solar Calculator
The best way to learn about local rebates, your home’s energy potential, and your eventual return on investment is to use our ModSun Solar Cost Calculator (see above). Enter your home address in the box, then click Check My Roof. You’ll get an instant picture of your roof’s productivity, your average energy expenses, and installation costs in your area—whether you decide to buy or loan. We’ll also provide system size recommendations and information about rebates and incentives you may be eligible for. Just select More Info under each purchasing strategy to learn more, and then connect with a solar pro.
Solar Panels in Fargo, North Dakota
Solar power in Fargo is an emerging energy option for residents. While few North Dakota residents are taking advantage of the financial incentives such as tax credits and property tax exemptions, that should change significantly in the coming years. Prices are dropping on solar powered systems- installation and the technology itself are becoming less expensive as it becomes more common. Although North Dakota is one of the least populated, and least densely populated states in the country, if more homes installed on-grid solar power, the impact on the state’s energy grid would be impressive. If your home is in a remote area of North Dakota, installing off-grid solar power systems is an excellent option. For off-grid systems, residents store excess solar power in batteries. These batteries then power the home when solar power is not available, like at night.
For residents near the larger cities, energy cooperatives such as Cass County Electric Cooperative are taking advantage of North Dakota’s wide open spaces and installing a solar garden near Fargo. Residents will be able to take advantage of this renewable resource by reserving solar panels and utilizing the solar energy that is produced by “their” panels, up to two panels. However, there are no tax incentives or rebates for residents who participate in this solar garden. This is because residents are purchasing only the solar output, and not the panels themselves.
How Does North Dakota’s Weather Impact Solar Power?
North Dakota has extreme temperature differences between the summer and winter months: summers are hot while the winters are very cold. During the winter months, Fargo can receive around 50 inches of snowfall annually. While this makes it difficult for solar panels to produce enough energy during the winter, all is not lost. There are plenty of bright winter days, and solar panels are just as effective in the cold weather as they are when it’s warm. However, generally during the summer, the solar panels on your home will generate enough solar energy to roll over into the cold winter months. This greatly reduces your household’s carbon footprint and can reduce the strain on Fargo’s power grid as well.
Installing solar panels on the south facing part of your roof ensures that they will receive the maximum amount of direct sunlight. When considering possible installation areas, look out for buildings that cast shadows, tall trees, or anything that will prevent direct sunlight from reaching the solar panels. Keep in mind that solar panels still generate power even during partly-cloudy and cloudy days. The output may only be 10-25% of what it would produce on a sunny day, but the panels are still working for you. It is only when the panels are blocked by something that the output is near nothing.
Solar Tax Incentives for Fargo, ND residents
North Dakota offers many financial incentives for solar energy, though sales tax incentives are not one of them. However, because installing solar panels on your home greatly increases the value of your property, there is a property tax exemption and residents also receive a 30% federal tax credit for the year solar panels were installed on your home.
The North Dakota Public Service Commission regulates the energy services for North Dakota. To find out about solar projects, questions about solar regulations or anything regulatory, you can contact the North Dakota Public Service Commission at:
600 E. Boulevard, Dept. 408
Bismarck, ND 58505-0480
What is Net Metering in Fargo, ND?
Net metering is a way of measuring how much electricity passes between Fargo’s power grid and your own solar powered generator. The process typically uses a standard electrical meter, one you’ve probably seen on the side of your home, to record the flow of energy between your (solar powered) generator and the your city’s power grid. Any extra power your solar panels produce will then flow to the power grid. This action can offset your home’s energy cost when using the power grid’s resources, and reduce how hard the grid must work during On-Peak hours- when everyone is using their utilities. North Dakota winters are especially taxing on a city’s power grid.
The biggest benefit of net metering is that Fargo residents can roll over solar power generated during the summer to winter usage. North Dakota has bitter winters, so this rollover is not something to be taken lightly. However, North Dakota utilizes more of a FIT program than true net metering because there is a fixed price for the excess power your home generates using solar power. North Dakota’s FIT program pays residents only for excess power generated, though at a lower rate than what they charge.
Can I Afford Solar Power in North Dakota?
Installing solar panels on your home not only reduces the strain on Fargo, ND’s power grid but it dramatically increases the value of your property. However, it is a serious financial investment. There are loan and grant programs in North Dakota to help you install solar panels and other renewable energy utilities if you qualify. Talk with your bank if you’re interested in a home improvement loan.