Green / Eco-Friendly

Ask me anything about selling electricity to the grid in Ontario

  • Last Updated:
  • Jun 27th, 2017 9:54 am
Tags:
None
Sr. Member
Dec 12, 2009
525 posts
24 upvotes
quick question about this topic.

If I fitted my house with solar panels, would I be
a) only be selling to grid and then use from the grid.
b) use up the energy sell remaining to the grid.

of course preference is a), but does the contract allow you to do such thing?
Jr. Member
Jan 15, 2007
192 posts
13 upvotes
You are selling to the grid. After the contract is up you can continue to sell to the grid or you can use it yourself.
Newbie
Apr 6, 2008
18 posts
2 upvotes
xuemike wrote:
Feb 10th, 2011 10:50 am
quick question about this topic.

If I fitted my house with solar panels, would I be
a) only be selling to grid and then use from the grid.
b) use up the energy sell remaining to the grid.

of course preference is a), but does the contract allow you to do such thing?

Option a) is called Feed-In Tariff (FIT). Option b) is Net Metering. The currently available FIT and microFIT contracts use option a), as you may guess :-)
Regards,
Vasile

SearchingForGreen
Newbie
May 13, 2009
77 posts
2 upvotes
Hey, I have a 100 watt panel and a grid tie inverter that I purchased from ebay just for the hell of it. I don't expect to get paid, but I calculated that at 80% efficiency and about 9 hours of sunlight, I could generate about 14 KW a month and put it back into the grid. I don't expect to get any money from the government, but will the grid tie actually work in putting such a small amount of electricity back into the grid?

If I were to grid tie around 80 watts, when I turn off all the power to my house, and go outside to check the meter, will the arrow actually point in the other direction? Let me know
Newbie
Apr 6, 2008
18 posts
2 upvotes
anoopi wrote:
Feb 10th, 2011 12:58 pm
Hey, I have a 100 watt panel and a grid tie inverter that I purchased from ebay just for the hell of it. I don't expect to get paid, but I calculated that at 80% efficiency and about 9 hours of sunlight, I could generate about 14 KW a month and put it back into the grid. I don't expect to get any money from the government, but will the grid tie actually work in putting such a small amount of electricity back into the grid?

If I were to grid tie around 80 watts, when I turn off all the power to my house, and go outside to check the meter, will the arrow actually point in the other direction? Let me know

In Toronto, a new 1kW solar system can generate 1100-1200 kWh/year if installed in ideal conditions, so your 100W toy will be around 110-120 kWh/year, a lot less that your 168kWh estimatie. And that's for a new panel, because they slowly degrade over time.

But I wouldn't recommend connecting it to the grid. First of all, anything connected to the grid should be certified and properly installed. Ever considered what happens if your house will burn down due to a shortcircuit or if the inverter just blows up? Do you think the insurance will pay you anything?

Second, your installation is a hazard for Hydro workers. If they work on the network in your neighborhood and disconnect your house, they don't expect to find live wires because generally the houses are consumers, not generators. Your inverter should automatically shutdown in this case if it works properly, but the rules are that the solar installations also have a manual switch to disconnect them. Hydro workers know in advance about the microFIT installations in the area and disconnect the switch just for safety (that switch is outside th house and accessible to them). At least that's the theory :)

Third, I don't think you will see the meter in reverse. The meter may be bidirectional or not (depending on the model), but your house probably needs more than 80W anyway. In my house we have a minimum hourly consumption of 150Wh, and that's overnight when only the fridge is on (we generally disconnect all the electronics at night).
Regards,
Vasile

SearchingForGreen
Newbie
May 13, 2009
77 posts
2 upvotes
icabrindus wrote:
Feb 10th, 2011 6:53 pm
In Toronto, a new 1kW solar system can generate 1100-1200 kWh/year if installed in ideal conditions, so your 100W toy will be around 110-120 kWh/year, a lot less that your 168kWh estimatie. And that's for a new panel, because they slowly degrade over time.

But I wouldn't recommend connecting it to the grid. First of all, anything connected to the grid should be certified and properly installed. Ever considered what happens if your house will burn down due to a shortcircuit or if the inverter just blows up? Do you think the insurance will pay you anything?

Second, your installation is a hazard for Hydro workers. If they work on the network in your neighborhood and disconnect your house, they don't expect to find live wires because generally the houses are consumers, not generators. Your inverter should automatically shutdown in this case if it works properly, but the rules are that the solar installations also have a manual switch to disconnect them. Hydro workers know in advance about the microFIT installations in the area and disconnect the switch just for safety (that switch is outside th house and accessible to them). At least that's the theory :)

Third, I don't think you will see the meter in reverse. The meter may be bidirectional or not (depending on the model), but your house probably needs more than 80W anyway. In my house we have a minimum hourly consumption of 150Wh, and that's overnight when only the fridge is on (we generally disconnect all the electronics at night).

Thanks for the info.
Deal Addict
User avatar
Mar 8, 2002
4214 posts
814 upvotes
Ottawa
MacGyver on May 9 2010 wrote:
May 9th, 2010 10:46 pm
I haven't read the contract or terms, but what if the government down the road decides to disband OPA or unilaterally tear up FIT contracts by passing legislation? Are individuals and companies who bought into this left holding the bag?
http://www.thestar.com/business/article ... ut-on-hold
http://www.thestar.com/news/ontario/art ... bine-plans
Speak of the devil. Who exactly the devil is - well, I'll leave that up to you to decide.
Newbie
May 13, 2009
77 posts
2 upvotes
I posted in this thread a while ago about a grid tie inverter and how you have to let ppl know if u have one: for the purposes of saftey for people working on the power lines. If they were to disconnect power, and you were pumping electricity into the grid, they would get electrocuted.

Question: Based on what I have gleaned about the grid tie inverter, it will only work if there is power coming from the wall outlet to the inverter, right? By this, I mean that if you connected the inverter to your solar panels on a sunny day and touched the end of the 3 prong plug that comes from the inverter with your fingers, you would not get shocked/electrocuted, right? So I am thinking the the power from the inverter has to "meet" power from the wall outlet for it to be pumped into the grid, right? So, if the power is disconnected, how will the power from my grid tie actually "meet" the power from the grid?

Maybe I am getting mixed up here, because after typing the above, I just realized that it is possible to pump power into the grid with the main turned off.

SO I guess my question now becomes: How do you not get shocked when you touch the 3 prong outlet that comes from a working grid tie inverter?

Confused.
Newbie
May 13, 2009
77 posts
2 upvotes
Can anyone who pumps energy into the grid automatically get money, or do you have to set up an account first?
Member
Jan 27, 2011
340 posts
147 upvotes
anoopi wrote:
Feb 21st, 2011 5:38 pm
Can anyone who pumps energy into the grid automatically get money, or do you have to set up an account first?


If you are interested in selling electricity to the grid at this time, you need to go through the OPA:
http://microfit.powerauthority.on.ca/

this thread also has some good details on the process.
Newbie
Apr 6, 2008
18 posts
2 upvotes
anoopi wrote:
Feb 21st, 2011 5:35 pm
Maybe I am getting mixed up here, because after typing the above, I just realized that it is possible to pump power into the grid with the main turned off.

SO I guess my question now becomes: How do you not get shocked when you touch the 3 prong outlet that comes from a working grid tie inverter?

Normally, the inverter is driven by the mains; no mains, no power output. But that's not good enough for safety, because if the inverter malfunctions it *may* potentially generate power into the grid. That's why they require a physical power switch. Kind of a belt-and-suspenders thing :-)
Regards,
Vasile

SearchingForGreen
Jr. Member
Jan 15, 2007
192 posts
13 upvotes
With a 10k setup, the most the meter can read is 100 kwh/day?
Newbie
May 13, 2009
77 posts
2 upvotes
I have a question/comment

If you grid tie, and you have a smart meter, how will the electricity company know whether or not you are pumping electricity back into the grid? They only have the means to monitor how much you use and at what time of the day. Since the electricity that you generate does flow back through the smart meter, the electricity company will have no way of knowing that you are pumping electricity back into the grid.

Can anyone respond?
Newbie
Apr 6, 2008
18 posts
2 upvotes
anoopi wrote:
May 6th, 2011 12:51 pm
I have a question/comment

If you grid tie, and you have a smart meter, how will the electricity company know whether or not you are pumping electricity back into the grid? They only have the means to monitor how much you use and at what time of the day. Since the electricity that you generate does flow back through the smart meter, the electricity company will have no way of knowing that you are pumping electricity back into the grid.
You will have a separate meter for the solar panels, which measure the power you generate.

Vasile
Regards,
Vasile

SearchingForGreen
Newbie
May 13, 2009
77 posts
2 upvotes
icabrindus wrote:
May 6th, 2011 9:55 pm
You will have a separate meter for the solar panels, which measure the power you generate.

Vasile


Yes, but if you only have 500 watts of grid tied solar panels, it would generate way too little for it to be worth the hassle. Your bills will still be lower whenever the sun is shining.

Top