Solar Panels- 10 years ago, the wholesale price was about $4 per watt. That's $1200 for a 300 watt panel. That same panel was $0.61 per watt or $183 dollars in 2015. Solar systems are much cheaper now.
Tax Credit- Whatever the cost of your system, you will get 30% of that off your federal tax bill next year. If your tax credit exceeds your tax bill, you can roll it over to the next year.
Net Metering- Alaska requires utilities to bill you monthly for the net between your production and your usage. This means the electricity you produce is worth the retail rate if your array is sized correctly.
Grid Tie- This means no batteries. You export your extra electricity to the grid or utility on sunny days and then import when it is cloudy or at night. Alaska receives as much sun as the tropics. We just get it mostly from March to September. Sharing the plusses and minuses with the utility balances the summer and winter production and means you get paid (and offset carbon dioxide) for every watt you make. The cost benefit is much better with grid tie systems because the costs of batteries, generators, and maintenance are eliminated.
ROI- The simple return on investment for systems in Anchorage and the Matsu Valley are 7-9%. That is as good or better than most mutual funds these days, and with less risk. This is an excellent part of a portfolio when combined with the other benefits that matter to you.
Carbon Offset- Current manufacturing of solar panels is efficient with the energy and resources necessary to make and ship them. A panel will offset its carbon cost in 6 months to 2 years. This is 50 to a hundred times better than when panels were first made in the 1970's. Because panels last at least 30 years, a typical 3000 watt system in Anchorage will eliminate 100,000 pounds of carbon dioxide in its lifetime. That's the same as not driving an average car for 8 years!