Company Comparison: Great Basin Solar
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Nevada homeowners searching online for the best solar company are likely to find a confusing array of options. Two experienced, well-established companies are likely to emerge from the pack: Go Solar Group and Great Basin Solar. To make this easier for Reno’s solar-curious people, we have crafted a comparison of key facts between Go Solar Group and Great Basin Solar.
Educating Nevada Homeowners About Solar
Both companies show a willingness to help educate homeowners. Go Solar Group believes that customers who are laying out tens of thousands of dollars for a major home installation deserve as much detailed information as possible. Our blog serves that purpose, striving to give homeowners all the product and technical information they need to maximize the ROI of their solar array over its 25-to 40-year lifespan. Great Basin Solar provides on its website a step-by-step explanation of what homeowners should expect during the installation process, including help from the company with permits, inspections, and hooking.
Comparing Solar Panels
While solar power packages contain several components, solar panels control how much solar energy the array will produce. Comparing the solar panel options is essential to ensure you get the best system for your specific situation. The solar panel that works best for you may not work out for your neighbors!
Go Solar Group’s Solar Panels
Go Solar Group prefers using Axitec: AC-315MH/120SB. These monocrystalline solar panels use German engineering. With a 315-watt capacity, they convert solar energy at almost 19 percent efficiency. Most solar panels range between 15 and 20 percent efficiency, with premium solar panels reaching up to 23 percent.
Go Solar Group offers premium solar panels from LG, Solaria and Silfab for special circumstances. Go Solar Group offers several solar panel brands to help customers balance price with quality. For typical installations, the company recommends Axitec solar panels, a German-engineered product that offers the maximum return on investment — top quality and reliability with moderate pricing.
Axitec solar panels carry a 15-year manufacturer’s warranty and a guarantee that they will produce at 90% of capacity for at least 15 years, and 85% through 25 years. The industry standard is 85% for 15 years and 80% for 25 years. (Silicon cells naturally degrade bit by bit each year, causing energy production to decline incrementally.) Go Solar Group carries three other top-quality panels, giving its installers the flexibility to tailor solar arrays to homeowners’ design and aesthetic needs. One is made by LG, a top-ranked manufacturer; another by Solaria, a moderately priced brand praised for its aesthetic appeal, and a third by Silfab, a made-in-the-U.S. option.
Great Basin Solar Panel Options
Unfortunately, Great Basin Solar’s website doesn’t show its solar panel options. However, according to EnergySage, Great Basin Solar is an authorized SunPower dealer, and SolarReviews states that the company uses Q Cells, LG, SolarWorld and SunPower branded solar panels.
Optimal solar panel performance requires a good inverter. Solar panels start the process, but they aren’t the only component; a quality inverter will maximize the system’s power.
A quality inverter will convert the direct current (DC) generated by the solar panels to an alternating current (AC) with minimal energy loss. Nothing in the house could use the electricity the solar panels generated without an inverter.
Great Basin’s Inverters: Plenty of Variety
Like their solar panel selection, Great Basin Solar does not make their choice of inverters public. However, according to SolarReviews, Great Basin Solar uses SMA, Enphase, Solectria Renewables, OutBack Power, and SolarEdge. The solar market has two main inverter types. These include string and microinverters; both have their pros and cons. Determining the best inverter type for your situation makes choosing an inverter easier.
Why Go Solar Group Uses SolarEdge Inverters
While we’ve used SMA in the past and trust the brand, Go Solar Group uses SolarEdge inverters exclusively for multiple reasons. First, SolarEdge inverters have a wide range, meaning they work on small and large kilowatt systems. Solar homeowners will almost certainly only ever use one inverter if they use SolarEdge. Secondly, SolarEdge inverters have higher efficiency ratings than other models currently in use. SolarEdge inverters are up to 50 percent more efficient than industry standard inverters, meaning more electricity goes into the home. Finally, SolarEdge inverters come with a quality warranty. SolarEdge’s 12-year warranty lasts two years longer than the industry standard and can extend to 20 or 25 years.
Battery Backup Options
While solar homes don’t need a solar battery to function, solar storage plays a significant role in emergency preparedness and grid independence. Without a good battery backup, your home still relies on the grid for electricity at night and during poor weather. During a blackout, solar homes with battery backup have electricity even when the neighborhood doesn’t.
Battery Backup Through Great Basin
Again, Great Basin Solar doesn’t disclose its battery backup options on its website. However, SolarReviews states Great Basin uses Sonnen and LG Chem home batteries.
Go Solar Group’s Battery Backup Spread
Go Solar Group installs the Tesla Powerwall 2 for those interested in a home battery. A Tesla Powerwall allows homes to continue functioning in down periods. This battery integrates with the breaker, seamlessly taking over during an outage. However, not everyone wants a home battery.
For those who only want emergency power, Go Solar Group offers two Goal Zero Yeti battery packages. These solar batteries come equipped with several ports, allowing devices to plug directly into the battery during power outages. Go Solar Group also offers two additional, less expensive battery backup options for those who want to keep the lights on during a power outage or other emergency, or simply make their solar battery backup portable. Goal Zero’s Yeti 1500 can power an average fridge for about 28 hours, and its Yeti 3000 can store about twice as much power, making it great for camping. Great Basin Solar makes no mention online of battery backup of any kind, but the industry website SolarReviews.com says it offers LG Chem and Sonnen home battery brands.
The “Tesla Powerwall Certified Installer” Credential
Tesla, Inc. maintains a list of organizations certified to install the Powerwall. While Go Solar Group is certified with Tesla, Great Basin Solar is not. Those who want a Tesla Powerwall should consider this. While other home batteries on the market will work, Tesla Powerwall batteries remain the most efficient and cost-effective option. Because of this, finding a Tesla Powerwall certified installer is a must for those who want a home battery.
Earning Back Solar Costs: Company Programs
The services a solar company offers can make a big difference in a homeowner’s overall experience. Under Go Solar Group’s SunShare Customer Referral Program, customers can earn back part of their costs by paying individuals $500 for each referral who buys a solar array from the company who the customer refers, as long as all the referrals are eligible to install, qualify, and choose to install with us. There’s no limit to the number of referrals an individual can make, and people don’t have to be customers to earn cash for referrals, either, with the SunSplit Solar Referral Program we offer for non-customers.
Solar Company Certifications
Nobody wants shoddy work, especially when it involves electrical wiring! Making sure that your Nevada local solar installer is certified ensures a quality installation.
Go Solar Group NABCEP-Certified Employees
Go Solar Group is proudly North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) certified. Certification through this group shows that these top solar installation companies are committed to honesty, integrity, and ethical practices. Both Great Basin Solar and Go Solar Group are NABCEP certified companies in Reno, NV.
Great Basin Solar NABCEP-Certified Employees
Great Basin Solar’s staff members have 35 years of combined experience, the company says. Go Solar Group has been installing solar arrays in the Western U.S. and overseas since 2009. Both companies have positive customer reviews and key team members who have earned coveted certifications from the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP). The PV installer certification from this certifying body is the industry’s gold standard for expertise and integrity in residential solar installations.
Giving the Benefits of Solar to Nevadans
Go Solar Group is unique in offering customers a chance to participate, free of charge, in its charitable clean-energy programs overseas. The company’s founders started the business in 2009 after a service mission in Africa, as a humanitarian effort. For every solar array installed in the U.S., Go Solar Group micro-finances an equivalent system for a family in Uganda.
With the company’s help, 1heart1mind.org, Go Solar Group’s nonprofit partner, has installed high-quality solar products in 5,300 households in Uganda, sharply reducing the use of dirty, hazardous kerosene lanterns and expanding children’s after-dark study time by 3 million hours. The partnership also has financed a solar-powered boarding school for Ugandan children, including clean study light, a headmaster, and teachers. Customers can enjoy knowing that by working with Go Solar Group, they aren’t just improving their own quality of life and reducing their carbon footprint — they’re helping a Ugandan family do the same.