Obama’s Solar Panels Pay For Themselves… Over 110 Years

The solar panels on the roof of the Denver Museum of Nature and Science that President Obama touted as the future of green energy have one little problem.  It takes approximately 110 years for them to pay for themselves, and the only have a projected life expectancy of 20-25 years.

The Independence Institute reported, via LGF:

Before signing the $787 billion stimulus package into law on Feburary 17, 2009, President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden toured an array of solar panels on top of the Denver Museum of Nature and Science. The photo-op allowed the President to once again extol the virtues of the coming “green” economy.

According to the Denver Post's article on the event, “The sun generates enough energy on the museum rooftop to power about 30 homes.”

This sounds quite promising, but getting facts to back up the claim is another story.

The Independence Institute asked the Denver Museum of Science and Nature to provide certain statistical information regarding the now-famous solar array. Specifically, the Institute asked for:

1 ) Two years worth of electric bills prior to the installation of the solar array,
2 ) All electric bills following the completion of the installation.

The Museum denied those requests. 

Why not proudly display the cost savings from such a bold advance in technology?

A 2008 article in the Denver Business Journal sheds further light on the subject. The article notes the total price of the solar array was $720,000. And Dave Noel, VP of operations and chief technology officer for the Museum, was quoted as saying, “We looked at first installing [the solar array] ourselves, and without any of the incentive programs, it was a 110-year payout.” Noel went on to say that the Museum did not purchase the solar array because it did not “make sense financially.”

Additionally, most solar panels have an expected life-span of 20 to 25 years

Just like the MSM to ignore the nasty details

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  • Festus Garvey

    Math is not my strong suit…but a 110 yr payout would mean this Museum has an electric bill of about $550 per month…hell the average house has a bill in the $125 range and I know folks with $250 bills and they do not heat with electric…

    Math check…720000 / by 110 yrs = 6545 per year, / by 12 months = $545.  And that assumes the cost of electricty does not increase one cent in the next 100 years.  

  • Doesn’t some dude have to maintain them though?  Listen I actually think solar energy is really cool, but it isn’t cheap.  

  • nomad943

    The panels are worthless without the inverters to turn the DC into the 120v ac that we know and enjoy. In general todays inverters are guaranteed to be toast in 10 years.

    Even if you utilize all the stae and federal grants to pay down about 75% of the cost of a residential instalation, you will never get your money back in 10 years, and the fed and the state get  …. what is that they get for all that money? Oh yeah, the same warm fuzzy feeling they got from earth hour and the likely gratitutde of whatever lobbyists are pushing this agenda.