Green / Eco-Friendly

Ask me anything about selling electricity to the grid in Ontario

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  • Jun 27th, 2017 9:54 am
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Deal Addict
Feb 7, 2006
1233 posts
22 upvotes
the biggest issue with the solar panels are the assumptions the customer has to accept.

1) the government won't pull the plug on the system
2) the goverment won't change the rate (VERY LIKELY), thus eating into your profits
3) The panels don't have any issues (damage, repairs, etc etc)
4) The panels will produce the amount of elec. all the models forcast they will (PS- are u gonna go and shovel snow off them in the winter time if there is snow on them)
5) It's going to be as sunny as the models predict (if you're looking at the data, look if they based it on 1 year, 10 year average, 5 year average, or if they just took the sunniest year on record)


If you can live with all this then go for it, personally I don't trust points 2,4 and 5.

I already called out 1 company in their presentation about their data and their sources... never heard back from where they got their data.
Member
Jan 25, 2010
375 posts
25 upvotes
Montr
hamant wrote:
Jul 29th, 2010 5:40 pm
the biggest issue with the solar panels are the assumptions the customer has to accept.

1) the government won't pull the plug on the system

Even if the government does, people who get approval and install the system enter a binding 20-year contract with the government. So even if the government does pull the plug, it won't be able to do it for people who have already installed the system or they will face legal charges. Thus, there is no risk for the customer here.

2) the goverment won't change the rate (VERY LIKELY), thus eating into your profits
The agreement mentioned above is at the rate currently on offer, and the government will be bound by the contract to pay this rate for the next 20 years. The rate will definitely change in the very near future, but it will only affect the ones whose contracts have not already been signed (i.e. systems that have not already been installed.) The government cannot change the rate on the people who enter the contract with them (i.e. install their roof systems) before the rates are changed. Thus, there is no risk for the customer here.

3) The panels don't have any issues (damage, repairs, etc etc)
This is very true. Though the panels are known to be very long lasting (there are 30-year old systems currently working), the inverter will need maintenance after 5 years. Also, if the system has trackers installed, the trackers fail often (and need maintenance every 1-2 years).

4) The panels will produce the amount of elec. all the models forcast they will (PS- are u gonna go and shovel snow off them in the winter time if there is snow on them)
This will very much depend on the installer/supplier you choose and what realistic numbers they give you. There are tremendous ways of making accurate estimates on your systems return. These estimates take into account shading by snow/trees as well as other factors (outside temperature etc.). The one thing you can't rely on, is a 30-story building being built in front of your house (and panels) in the next 20 years. Now THAT, is something you cannot estimate and will probably ruin your installation, but, every building being built in an area must hold public hearings, so you'll have a voice to object to it being built.

5) It's going to be as sunny as the models predict (if you're looking at the data, look if they based it on 1 year, 10 year average, 5 year average, or if they just took the sunniest year on record)
See above about the estimation techniques.


If you can live with all this then go for it, personally I don't trust points 2,4 and 5.

I already called out 1 company in their presentation about their data and their sources... never heard back from where they got their data.
I hope this helps.
Jr. Member
User avatar
Mar 17, 2008
102 posts
103 upvotes
Oshawa
Sean,

You mention that the inverter will need maintenance after 5 years.

I have seen many times from various sources to expect the inverter to need replacing every 10 to 12 years, but you are the first regarding 5 year maintenace. :-0

Can you elaborate on (A) why and (B) type of maintenace and (C) the cost thereof.

Thank you. I'm still struggling a little to understand this stuff. :confused:
Member
Jan 25, 2010
375 posts
25 upvotes
Montr
Dan,

My guess is 10 years is the "commercial" time that they say inverters need to be maintained so they can sell the product, but in reality it is anywhere between 5-10 years.
Kind of like the CFL lamps that they say they last for super long time, but really you need to change them every 6 months, if that!

Have a look at this article I think it'll answer almost all of your questions:
http://ecmweb.com/ops_maintenance/photo ... intenance/

Really, I have a business in LED lighting (hence the lighting example above), I'm just basing all my information on a solar installation course I attended as an enthusiast with 20 other solar installers who already had experience in the field. The 5-year number comes from their (as well as the instructors') experience.

I hope it helps.
Deal Addict
Feb 7, 2006
1233 posts
22 upvotes
Sean_A wrote:
Jul 30th, 2010 2:51 am
I hope this helps.
super helpful!
Thanks
Jr. Member
User avatar
Mar 17, 2008
102 posts
103 upvotes
Oshawa
Sean_A wrote:
Aug 1st, 2010 8:00 am
Dan,

My guess is 10 years is the "commercial" time that they say inverters need to be maintained so they can sell the product, but in reality it is anywhere between 5-10 years.
Kind of like the CFL lamps that they say they last for super long time, but really you need to change them every 6 months, if that!

Have a look at this article I think it'll answer almost all of your questions:
http://ecmweb.com/ops_maintenance/photo ... intenance/

Really, I have a business in LED lighting (hence the lighting example above), I'm just basing all my information on a solar installation course I attended as an enthusiast with 20 other solar installers who already had experience in the field. The 5-year number comes from their (as well as the instructors') experience.

I hope it helps.

Thank you, Sean. I meant to thank you earlier.
Deal Addict
Jul 4, 2004
3610 posts
288 upvotes
Ottawa
FYI, OPA has just announced the results to the 30 day consultation period. It's good news for some and not quite as bad news for others.

- applications for ground-mount made before July 2nd will be grandfathered at $0.802 (not just approved or conditional offers). Also those pending applications will get until May 2011 before having to meet new provincial content
- applications for ground-mount as of July 2nd will get $0.642
- business that lease land and rooftops no longer allowed to participate in microFIT (not exactly sure how that will work or be enforced since you can apply under a different name and you can assign contracts).

http://www.powerauthority.on.ca/Page.as ... entID=7298
Newbie
Nov 6, 2010
1 posts
Toronto
I am very new to this concept and would like clarification of what you mean by 2 KW. Over what time frame would your system produce 2 KW? Also, what is the approximate cost of installing the solar panels on a 2000 sq foot house? Thanks.
Newbie
Apr 6, 2008
18 posts
2 upvotes
suziecue wrote:
Nov 7th, 2010 3:45 pm
I am very new to this concept and would like clarification of what you mean by 2 KW. Over what time frame would your system produce 2 KW? Also, what is the approximate cost of installing the solar panels on a 2000 sq foot house? Thanks.

2 kW is the total power of the installed solar panels, for example 10 panels of 200W each. It relates to the energy they can generate, but it's not the same thing. For example, in Toronto a 1kW solar system will generate around 1150 kWh per year.

The size of the system is generally restricted by the size of the available properly oriented roof or by the amount of money one wishes to invest, whichever comes first :-). The size of the house is irrelevant by itself; it's not the same if you have 2000sq in a bungalow or in a 3 stories townhouse. In the latter case, the available roof is a lot smaller, so less solar panels can be installed. If you want to do a quick calculation of the solar potential of your roof, read here. Or here for a more detailed view.

As for the price, there are many variables in the mix. But a general rule of thumb for most systems is between $7-8 for each W of installed power. So a 2kW system should be around $14000-$16000 plus tax. If you have something special with your install, the price may go higher.
Regards,
Vasile

SearchingForGreen
Newbie
Jan 23, 2011
1 posts
london
If I had a contract with a 15 kw system could I add more pannels to make it a 20 or 30 kw system or would I have to do more than one contract. Thank you.
Member
Jan 27, 2011
337 posts
137 upvotes
madmax03 wrote:
Jan 24th, 2011 12:23 pm
If I had a contract with a 15 kw system could I add more pannels to make it a 20 or 30 kw system or would I have to do more than one contract. Thank you.

I'm mostly familiar with the microFIT, but I know that there is some allowance under the FIT (projects >10KW) for "incremental" projects. What I do not know is if the rates you would recieve (on your increased generating capacity) would be those in the original contract or not, or how that would be calculated.

I suppose this is not much help, hopefully some of the more informed posters will report back soon!
Deal Addict
Jul 4, 2004
3610 posts
288 upvotes
Ottawa
madmax03 wrote:
Jan 24th, 2011 12:23 pm
If I had a contract with a 15 kw system could I add more pannels to make it a 20 or 30 kw system or would I have to do more than one contract. Thank you.

As long as they are still accepting applications into the program, you can always apply for capacity increase so there's no issue. You cannot however have multiple contracts for one address. Also since most of the discussion in this thread is specifically for microFit, it's important to note that at 15kw, you're looking at FIT (which has different rules and requirements) not microFit and similarly, if you have an existing 10KW (microfit) and want to increase it, I believe the whole contract has to switch to FIT.
Newbie
Feb 6, 2011
1 posts
Quinte
Hi, You mentioned that 2011 would be more expensive, and if possible to set it up before Jan 1/11. Unfortunately, we are a little late, and am wondering if you know what would be involved in setting up panels to sell to hydro one.

The house is in Quinte West, abt 150 km east of Toronto.

The house sits upon a high hill, definitely has plenty of hours without shade. The attached garage itself has a square footage of 888 feet so I believe a larger set up could be done here.

Any guidance, info, or links would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you!
Jr. Member
Jan 15, 2007
192 posts
13 upvotes
Ours is waiting to be hooked up to the grid now so hopefully in the next couple of weeks, we will be up and running. If you are doing a roof mount, you will get the .802 still. Find an installer, they will tell you if your place is suitable, etc. Let them help you fill out the microfit application and then wait for an conditional offer. Once approved, it gets installed. Not really anything to it. Hard part is deciding which installer. The one we used has installed a few in our/your area recently. From what we hear, the panels are performing well. If you would like their contact number, pm me.

It is important to get your application in asap so that you will be locked into today's rates. Looks like is is taking at least 3 months just to get approval. It doesn't mean you have to go ahead with the installation. It doesn't cost anything to apply although some installers may ask for a refundable deposit (if you are denied an offer or you change your mind about proceeding) to help you with the forms. You have a year from the date you receive a conditional offer for installation.

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