Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Solar Power Possibilities

Twenty-five coal miners died so we could have electricity.  If you have ever considered putting some solar panels on your roof, now's the time.  In Ontario, feed in tariffs (FITs) will pay for most home systems (under 10 kW). 

From the CREW site:  A FIT contract pays Ontario generators of solar power $0.80 per kWh of electricity produced, as compared to the $0.07 +/- per kWh of electricity we pay our hydro utility for consumption of electricity, plus delivery and debt service charges = about $0.12 kWh for this community. A 2 kW PV system can generate up to $1700 per year of income and offset about 2 tonnes of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

After all is said and done, with FIT, the prices are guaranteed for 20 years from the time you sign up, and your system will be paid off in about 10 or 12 years regardless of the size. But it's a limited time offer, and judging from the way the home-energy retrofit program was dumped without a word of warning, I'd get in there pretty soon.

Our hydro bills average to about 500 kWh/month which would require a 3.5 kW system (if I did all the many calculations right) which will cost about $35,000, but it's not really feeding the home's energy.  It works by feeding the grid.  So you still pay regular hydro bills, but you get cash back every month based on the amount of electricity your panels create.  Really, just get whatever size of system you can comfortably afford regardless how much power you use.  I wish I had read that bit before embarking on all that figuring!

The question is, after the 20 years, after the system is paid for, will the gov. dump the 80 cent payout and keep all that electricity homeowners are generating for free?  I wouldn't put it past them.  But if lots of us jump on this at least we'll need a lot fewer coal mines.  And you can always convert the panels to produce off-grid later.

1 comment:

Blogger said...

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