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You’ve found the perfect solar company, agreed on which solar panels and inverters to install, and signed the customer agreement. You’re excited to start using clean renewable solar energy at your home, get the solar panels up and start saving money on your electric bill… but how long does it take to install solar power systems? As far as getting solar panels on your roof goes, the solar installation process is fast, taking an average of 2-3 days to complete. But there is a lot more to the solar process than installation. Before you can fully enjoy your lower electricity bill, there are a few steps that have to happen after you’ve signed the solar agreement with Osceola Energy.

[su_dropcap style=”flat” size=”2″]1[/su_dropcap]Site Visit and Solar System Engineering (24 Hours of Signing)

solar panel install layout
First, we custom-design your solar energy system with your specific electricity needs and roof size in mind.  Our experts calculate and project the sun’s angles over the course of a year, and determine the optimal area to install each solar panel. We also measure and map out any roof obstructions (vents, skylights, AC units). Depending on your schedule, we can usually do a solar site visit in Albuquerque, Rio Rancho, Las Lunas, Corrales, and surrounding New Mexico cities within 24-48 hour. Every homeowner has a unique home and situation and we make sure you have the best system for YOU.

[su_dropcap style=”flat” size=”2″]2[/su_dropcap]Submit Interconnection Agreement and System Drawings to Utility Company and Permitting Offices (21 days)

 
After the solar system is engineered (and you approve of the layout) we send your unique system designs to the local government agency to obtain a building permit to start the installation. At the same time, we send your interconnection agreement to PNM (or local utility) so that they can begin their approval process. The length of time it takes to receive the permit is directly related to how busy that particular office is when we submit the request. On average, we allow 2 weeks for the permits to receive approval and PNM (or local utility) to confirm interconnection agreement. This lead time can become even longer as the permitting office and utility company become backlogged with requests – we expect this to happen as the solar tax incentives ‘sunset’ in 2016.
Osceola Energy will generally schedule your solar install date at this time in order to expedite the process and get your home or business running on solar power sooner!

[su_dropcap style=”flat” size=”2″]3[/su_dropcap]Solar Panel Installation (2-4 days)

Osceola Energy can generally finish a solar panel installation in 2-4 days. During this process, we mount solar racking, run wires, install the panels, solar panels, and any other electrical services needed for your solar energy system. Once the installation is to our quality standards,  our teams contact your local government inspector and have them come review the solar installation.

[su_dropcap style=”flat” size=”2″]4[/su_dropcap]Electrical Inspection (1 day)

The Albuquerque solar electrical inspector generally responds to solar inspection within 24 hours of notice. During this time, the inspector will look over the solar installation and ensure that it meets all solar and electrical code. Once the inspector approves of the solar installation, they issue a “green tag”, which is an acceptance of the system as it was installed. Our team then notifies the utility company of the inspectors green tagged solar install.

[su_dropcap style=”flat” size=”2″]5[/su_dropcap]PNM (or Local Utility Company) REC/Net Meter Installation (10 days)

REC Meter
Once the utility company receives notice of a green tag, they will order a REC (Renewable Energy Credit) meter for your solar energy system and schedule a time for installation of the meter. The REC/Net energy meter is a billing mechanism that credits solar energy system owners for the electricity they add to the grid. The utility company has up to 10 days from green tag notification to have the net metering installed.

[su_dropcap style=”flat” size=”2″]6[/su_dropcap]Final Inspection and Commissioning (14-21 days)

 
At this point, your system has been installed to completion and your getting antsy to have the solar panels start working to save money on your electric bill and utilize renewable energy. We understand and, trust us, we want you to start saving money with solar too!
Before we can flip the switch to solar, we have to wait for your local utility company to perform an ‘Anti-Islanding Inspection’ of your residential solar installation.

Islanding refers to the condition of a  generator (solar) that continues to feed the circuit with power, even after power from the electric utility grid has been cut off. Islanding can pose a dangerous threat to utility workers, who may not realize that a circuit is still “live” while attempting to work on the line.
Distributed generators must detect islanding and immediately stop feeding the utility lines with power. This is known as anti-islanding. A grid-tied solar power system is required by law to have a gridtie inverter with an anti-islanding function, which senses when a power outage occurs and shuts itself off.

This can take anywhere from one week to a month depending on your utility provider. PNM’s current solar inspection time is approximately 14-21 days. Once the final inspection takes place, your ready to go solar! This is the most exciting part of the process – as we turn on your solar energy system and watch the meter spin backwards!

In Conclusion

Overall, the solar install process usually takes between 50- to 60-days (up to 70) total from start to finish, but varies depending on your local government and utility company. Some projects go quickly, others can take a bit longer.
[su_youtube url=”https://youtu.be/UjNHYCBcUgM” width=”300″ height=”200″ responsive=”yes”]

While there are some waiting periods, Osceola Energy takes care of the entire process for you, keeping you updated through your online portal. When it’s all said and done, you’ll be producing your own electricity at a fraction of what your neighbors are paying, and helping the environment at the same time!

 

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