Scott and Ruth Otley were so pleased with the 18 kilowatt system originally installed by SWT Energy that they decided to add another 7 kilowatts of capacity to take full advantage of the available net-metering limit offered by their local utility. With only about 10 kilowatt needed to offset their consumption, the excess power is contributed to the grid. Lincoln Electric System pays the Otley's the full-retail rate for the power generated turning their investment in the system into a reliable profit center. The new array was oriented southwest to make the most of their local utility's rebate program. Lincoln Electrical System offers a $375 per kilowatt rebate for South, Southwest facing solar arrays. Scott and Ruth received a $2,625 check from "LES" for the additional capacity as part of their net-metering agreement. Additionally, the Otley's will earn between $2000 to $2500 per year for the additional power they sell back to LES.
The Otley's photovoltaic system was engineered by SWT Energy to generate power for four to five decades, long after the system paid for itself. That pay-off was easily reached thanks in part to the array's annual production combined with a 30% federal tax credit. Future systems of this size have the potential to pay for themselves even sooner as rates increase.