Going solar - where to begin?

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I will quibble with the recommendation for microinverters instead of string inverters. The OP may actually be looking at combination of both. ... String inverters reside in far nicer operating environments than microinverter does sitting under a panel.
I've been cooking Enphase M-215 units on my roof in South Florida since 2013. I've replaced one under warranty. I'm only running 220W panels using 215W microinverters, so I never saw much clipping even from day 1. Maybe when I break out my pallet of 275W panels and couple them to the box of M215's I have for my second array... Fortunately, neither of my setups will exist on an 8/12 roof. I can understand not wanting to crawl up on that to tinker with a faulty microinverter!

Long before I ever invested in solar, I went with a panel mount SPD. With the amount of lightning South Florida sees, and the frequency we blow the power lines into trees during storms, or drop power lines entirely, it's silly not to have a SPD on every house. My POCO will rent me one that plugs behind the meter, (I knew the electrical engineer who actually designed them). However, I've stuck with the brand that has been working for me for 25 years...

If I plug in my actual constructed parameters, PV Watts isn't too far off my real world output over the last 9 years...