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Sr. Member
Mar 7, 2009
780 posts
11 upvotes

MicroFIT price change

The OPA has announced that they are going to be lowering the rates for ground mount MicroFIT projects. What this affects is trackers. The old rate was 80.2 cents and the new proposed rate is 58.8 cents. The rate for rooftop projects is still 80.2 cents.

The dissappointing thing about this is that the OPA had said unofficially that they would wait 2 years before they reviewed the rates so that businesses had some stability to plan around. Just another example of why you should not trust the government.

Just a note, this does not affect people who already have a contract with OPA

http://www.powerauthority.on.ca/Page.as ... _ExpandID=
52 replies
Newbie
User avatar
Apr 9, 2010
37 posts
Toronto
good news, except for prospective solar project owners :)

I say good news because I think 80.2 is too high. I dont know how they come up with that # in the first place
Member
Jan 25, 2010
375 posts
25 upvotes
Montr
tackle wrote:
Jul 2nd, 2010 11:08 pm
good news, except for prospective solar project owners :)

I say good news because I think 80.2 is too high. I dont know how they come up with that # in the first place
80.2 was never going to stay but is only aimed to start things off at a fast pace.
Plus, with the domestic content, the Solar industry is bringing tremendous value to Ontario in terms of jobs and investments that 80.2 is very much worth it.

p.s: Can you tell I live in Montreal and I'm jealous?
Deal Addict
Jul 4, 2004
3292 posts
157 upvotes
Ottawa
This sucks !!! I was really hoping to get a system going but hadn't gotten around to getting it done (just spoke to my bank last week and looked like everything was going to be okay to get a loan).

Anyone who thinks this is a good thing is missing the point of the project completely.

The rate might seem high but it was really a good thing. How much do you think it costs to build a hydro dam or a nuclear reactor - we pay for those through the hydro rate, taxes, etc? What's the long term cost of non-renewable energy? Having private citizens own part of the hydro generation and generating clean, renewable was a great thing. Do you live in an area that has rotating blackouts? Large adoption of microFIT would have helped that significantly (probably gotten rid of it all together). The estimated cost of the massive blackout several years ago was 10 billion (although the cost was more than just in Ontario), again, this would help prevent that - even at $0.80/kw or more, they would not spend anywhere even close to that. A significant portion of the FIT/microFit is job creation - government spends millions / year on job creation, this was just another way. Now that might now happen anymore (and companies that have started could end up possibly suing for damages ...), etc.
Deal Addict
User avatar
Oct 30, 2001
1124 posts
18 upvotes
Well the payout was too high for ground based system. An article was saying that the rate of return with this type of system was around 40%.
The 80.2 cents is so high due to added cost in installing them on roofs and was just a loophole that they closed.
Deal Addict
Jul 4, 2004
3292 posts
157 upvotes
Ottawa
voodoo401 wrote:
Jul 5th, 2010 11:16 am
Well the payout was too high for ground based system. An article was saying that the rate of return with this type of system was around 40%.
The 80.2 cents is so high due to added cost in installing them on roofs and was just a loophole that they closed.
Actually, speak to installers but according to my research, roof mounts / mounting is cheaper than ground mounting and even if it was more, it wouldn't be 30% more (in their provincial content, OPA rates the cost of the mounting to be 9% of the project so even if the mounting for ground mount was free, the rate shouldn't go down by 30%, it should only go down by 9%).

As far as 80.2 cents being too high, how did you come up with that? There's more to this project than simply buying electricity.
Deal Addict
Jul 4, 2004
3292 posts
157 upvotes
Ottawa
voodoo401 wrote:
Jul 5th, 2010 12:32 pm
http://www.thestar.com/business/article ... n-loophole

So the star got every thing wrong?
Thanks for the link.

Actually, from what I've heard they did get it completely wrong. The specific installer I heard from said he charges $2k more (on a 10kw install) for ground mount installs and despite the extra fee makes less money on it. I was initially looking at roof mount but now had decided to go for ground mount and my cost for the mounting material itself is significantly higher (my budget for the racking hardware doubled when I went to ground mount and that doesn't include labour). The only scenerio I can see there being a significant difference is for very high buildings where you would need a crane or something which adds a significant cost but even then, the cost of the equipment still far outweighs those cost so the difference is pretty insignificant (if you are spending $100k on solar equipment, another $10k for a crane is noticeable but it's just 10% of your overall cost).

But if nothing else, the numbers don't work at all, the mounting hardware is just not that expensive. If they were saying a 10% return, it means roughly on a $100k install, they are seeing $10k return so using the same numbers, they are saying that to get the $10k return, they'd install it for a $30k ground install (giving them a 33% return)? That just doesn't make any sense, the racking system might contribute $20k to the cost but that's it (and it's not even that on a roof mount). Even if the ground mount was free, the system should be at a minimum $80k giving them a 12.% return - not 30-40%.

Just another example of very poor and uninformed reporting.
[OP]
Sr. Member
Mar 7, 2009
780 posts
11 upvotes
voodoo401 wrote:
Jul 5th, 2010 12:32 pm
http://www.thestar.com/business/article ... n-loophole

So the star got every thing wrong?
Yes the Star is wrong.

It is impossible to get a %40 return on a ground mount system. A 10 kw system in Ontario would produce $9220 a year. So to get a %40 return you would have to get the system installed for $23,050. I can tell you that the wholesale cost of the equipement would be more than $35,000. Add labour, electrician cost, permits, overhead, profits and many more costs and you are up to $60k plus. If you could get a 10k system installed for $60k (which I doubt) you would get a %15 return.

The OPA seems to be trying to encourage small residential systems in cities. This makes sense to me because that is where they need the power. If every second house had a small PV system on it the blackouts might not have happened today. I don't think these type of systems will catch on like they have in Germany for several reasons.

First, many houses are not suitable for PV because they don't have a roof that faces south or they have shade form buildings or trees. There are a lot of trees in Toronto.

Second, people move often in North America so they don't want to make a 20 year investment in thier homes. I would imagine Europeans move less often. We also use crappy ashphalt based shingles in NA so the panels will last longer than the roof. They use better roofing material in Europe

There are then many issues that make installing on a roof more expensive. If you don't have a fairly new roof you should have it reroofed first. It should also be completely covered with ice and water shield where the array will be. You will need an engineer to produce a stamped drawing. There is the fear of water leaks, home insurance etc..
Newbie
Jul 3, 2010
4 posts
Brighton
Thought i would throw out some ballpark numbers for your consideration. These are best case scenario type numbers.

Pitched Rooftop Costing: (microfit using 11,040kW of panels going through 10kW worth of inverters)
Panels $2.70/watt = $29,808
Inverters $0.62/watt = $6,200
Roof Top Racking $0.40/watt = $4,000 (Ontario Made)
Wiring/Disconnects/Conduit $1,750 (approx)
Lightening Protection $200-$3,000 (depends on how protected you want to be - i'll use $1,000)
Hydro Disconnect/Reconnect and New Meter $1,000
Engineered Stamped Drawings $2,000
Permit $250
Labour: $9,500
Subtotal: $55,508
HST = $7,216
Total Installed Cost= $62,724 (if you want web based monitoring add $1,000)
Should generate between $9,000 and $10,800 roughly depending on where you are in Ontario)

Fixed Ground Mount :( microfit using 11,040kW of panels going through 10kW worth of inverters)
Panels $2.70/watt = $29,808
Inverters $0.62/watt = $6,200
Ground Racking $0.75/watt = $7,500 (Ontario Made)
Wiring/Disconnects/Conduit $2,750 (approx assuming you are within 75' of your meter base...more if you are further)
Concrete Foundation/Ballast: $1,000
Lightening Protection $200-$3,000 (depends on how protected you want to be - i'll use $1,000)
Hydro Disconnect/Reconnect and New Meter $1,000
Labour: $12,500 (now you have to trench, dig and pour a foundation and remove the excavated material, not to mention clean up after all of this so the home owner is happy)
Subtotal: $61,758
HST = $8,028
Total Installed Cost= $69,786 (if you want web based monitoring add $1,000)
Should generate between $9,000 and $10,800 roughly depending on where you are in Ontario)

Dual Axis Tracker: (microfit using 11,040kW of panels going through 10kW worth of inverters)
Panels $2.70/watt = $29,808
Inverters $0.62/watt = $6,200
2 DEGER 5000HD = $24,000 (Ontario Made)
Wiring/Disconnects/Conduit $3,750 (approx assuming you are within 75' of your meter base...more if you are further)
Concrete Foundation/Ballast: $5,000
Lightening Protection $200-$3,000 (depends on how protected you want to be - i'll use $1,000)
Hydro Disconnect/Reconnect and New Meter $1,000
Labour: $14,500 (now you have to trench, dig and pour a foundation and remove the excavated material, not to mention clean up after all of this so the home owner is happy)
Subtotal: $85,258
HST = $11,083
Total Installed Cost= $96,341 (if you want web based monitoring add $1,000)
Should generate between $12,500 and $14,500 roughly depending on where you are in Ontario @ $0.802 and between $9,100 and $10,600 with the new rate @ $0.588.

Again, these are ballpark numbers that are based on 2010 domestic content requirements. Come 2011 I'd be prepared for the panel prices to rise somewhat, especially if the OPA changes the rules mid stream and certain panel manufacturers reconsider investing in Ontario... . In the end, if you're talking about a pitched roof you're going to be cheaper than any type of ground mount, assuming the roof is able to handle the additional 5lbs per square foot (approx.). Even beefing up the roof trusses is not that difficult to do. Rebuilding the roof, well, that gets expensive. And on the subject of ROI. Why do people talk about ROI without indicating the percent financed vs. cash up front for the system? Kind of a meaningless and misleading number without the whole picture.
Newbie
Jun 1, 2009
27 posts
1 upvote
brampton
ontariosolarreporter wrote:
Jul 6th, 2010 12:49 am
Thought i would throw out some ballpark numbers for your consideration. These are best case scenario type numbers.

Pitched Rooftop Costing: (microfit using 11,040kW of panels going through 10kW worth of inverters)
Panels $2.70/watt = $29,808
Inverters $0.62/watt = $6,200
Roof Top Racking $0.40/watt = $4,000 (Ontario Made)
Wiring/Disconnects/Conduit $1,750 (approx)
Lightening Protection $200-$3,000 (depends on how protected you want to be - i'll use $1,000)
Hydro Disconnect/Reconnect and New Meter $1,000
Engineered Stamped Drawings $2,000
Permit $250
Labour: $9,500
Subtotal: $55,508
HST = $7,216
Total Installed Cost= $62,724 (if you want web based monitoring add $1,000)
Should generate between $9,000 and $10,800 roughly depending on where you are in Ontario)

Fixed Ground Mount :( microfit using 11,040kW of panels going through 10kW worth of inverters)
Panels $2.70/watt = $29,808
Inverters $0.62/watt = $6,200
Ground Racking $0.75/watt = $7,500 (Ontario Made)
Wiring/Disconnects/Conduit $2,750 (approx assuming you are within 75' of your meter base...more if you are further)
Concrete Foundation/Ballast: $1,000
Lightening Protection $200-$3,000 (depends on how protected you want to be - i'll use $1,000)
Hydro Disconnect/Reconnect and New Meter $1,000
Labour: $12,500 (now you have to trench, dig and pour a foundation and remove the excavated material, not to mention clean up after all of this so the home owner is happy)
Subtotal: $61,758
HST = $8,028
Total Installed Cost= $69,786 (if you want web based monitoring add $1,000)
Should generate between $9,000 and $10,800 roughly depending on where you are in Ontario)

Dual Axis Tracker: (microfit using 11,040kW of panels going through 10kW worth of inverters)
Panels $2.70/watt = $29,808
Inverters $0.62/watt = $6,200
2 DEGER 5000HD = $24,000 (Ontario Made)
Wiring/Disconnects/Conduit $3,750 (approx assuming you are within 75' of your meter base...more if you are further)
Concrete Foundation/Ballast: $5,000
Lightening Protection $200-$3,000 (depends on how protected you want to be - i'll use $1,000)
Hydro Disconnect/Reconnect and New Meter $1,000
Labour: $14,500 (now you have to trench, dig and pour a foundation and remove the excavated material, not to mention clean up after all of this so the home owner is happy)
Subtotal: $85,258
HST = $11,083
Total Installed Cost= $96,341 (if you want web based monitoring add $1,000)
Should generate between $12,500 and $14,500 roughly depending on where you are in Ontario @ $0.802 and between $9,100 and $10,600 with the new rate @ $0.588.

Again, these are ballpark numbers that are based on 2010 domestic content requirements. Come 2011 I'd be prepared for the panel prices to rise somewhat, especially if the OPA changes the rules mid stream and certain panel manufacturers reconsider investing in Ontario... . In the end, if you're talking about a pitched roof you're going to be cheaper than any type of ground mount, assuming the roof is able to handle the additional 5lbs per square foot (approx.). Even beefing up the roof trusses is not that difficult to do. Rebuilding the roof, well, that gets expensive. And on the subject of ROI. Why do people talk about ROI without indicating the percent financed vs. cash up front for the system? Kind of a meaningless and misleading number without the whole picture.

why did i do my breakdown there was already one here.
Jr. Member
User avatar
Jan 15, 2007
179 posts
10 upvotes
That can't be right. Why install a Dual Axis Tracker for an extra $25000 if it won't generate more?
Deal Addict
Jul 4, 2004
3292 posts
157 upvotes
Ottawa
paullyn59 wrote:
Jul 6th, 2010 7:23 am
That can't be right. Why install a Dual Axis Tracker for an extra $25000 if it won't generate more?
Look at the numbers again - with the old rate, he's estimating $12.5-$14.5. With the proposed rate you won't make any more money but you'll still be generating more.
Jr. Member
User avatar
Jan 15, 2007
179 posts
10 upvotes
But he is saying that a "Fixed Ground Mount" at a Total Installed Cost= $69,786 will generate the same as a "Dual Axis Tracker" at a "Total Installed Cost= $96,341".

They are both ground mounts so would be under the new $0.588 rate.
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