My gift to Ontario, 330Kw/hr so far

heynow999heynow999 Solar Expert Posts: 80 ✭✭✭✭
A funny thing has happened with my solar system. I am giving my power to the grid for free.

This will take a bit of explaining. Last summer there was a good rebate program from my local hydro company in my part of Ontario. It worked out to about 20% of the cost of the system. The Province of Ontario also has a nice PV incentive where they pay .42 cents a Kw/hr for electricity from PV. So if you put up a system in Ontario, and you have grid power, you just sell everything back to the grid. I think that is kind of how the do it in Germany. I also got an email from a supplier with a really good price on some blemished Evergreen modules. So I said now's the time to jump in and I installed 2.54 kw on my house. I had an electrician to deal with the grid connect part, but I dealt with getting approvals and signing the contract for the .42 cents. I also installed all the panels myself.

I got the approval, installed the panels, had the electrician do the final hook-up. Some guys came from the LDC and said, Here's the contract. We went over it, I signed it, they put a meter up, and I was off to the races. That was November 25th, 2008.

So a couple of months go by, and no cheque ever shows up for the hydro I am selling. I give my LDC a call and ask when I can expect a cheque. They are a little confused, and say they have to call be back. ( at this point I have to point out that PV is a very new thing here in Ontario, with the .42 cent program, RESOP, only being introduced a few years ago. Everyone one I spoke with was new to this) So they call me back, the LDC, and tell me they don't have the account set up to pay me. I call the OPA, which is the organization the manages the grid and runs the RESOP program, and they tell me that I haven't finished filling out the paperwork yet!?. I am not that worried as only about 10 weeks has passed , and they are probably the worst 10 weeks for pv production.

But here's where it takes a funny turn (if you are still with me). On February 23rd, 2009, the Ontario government proposed changes to the RESOP contract. Everyone expects the .42 cents to be raised to .65 cents or more, hopefully! But the Government has not announced the new rate. The law has to be debated and voted on. So... If I sign a contract now for .42 cents, I am stuck with that for 20 years, when I know if I wait a few weeks or months, I might be able to get .65 cents and I will look like a genius for putting solar panels on my house. SO I have to wait. My grid-tie system is up and running, pumping power into the grid that I will probably not get paid for. I have no batteries so I can't store the power. To go net metering does not make sense as my panels only produce $180 a year at the current rate of about .06 Kw/hr. What I will do is send a letter to the Energy Minister about my situation and see if I can get paid retro actively for the power I have produced once the new rates are announced.

I am not sure how this will all turn out, but it could work out really good if the new rate is high, and it is announced soon, I will keep everyone posted.

Thanks for reading

Peter

Comments

  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 29,207 admin
    Re: My gift to Ontario, 330Kw/hr so far

    Heynow--I would put some skylights on my roof, paint them black, and tie a step-up transformer from my $0.06 a kWh grid system and pump it out the $0.65 a kWh "renewable resource" meter...

    Nothing can go wrong. I mean that you're in Hydro-Quebec land--so all power is green--right? :p

    Wonder how large a substation can fit in a Toronto Back Yard? :roll:

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • heynow999heynow999 Solar Expert Posts: 80 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: My gift to Ontario, 330Kw/hr so far

    Yea, they frown on buying back there own power. I am not allowed to have batteries and be grid-tied as I might charge the batteries at night and sell it back during the day.
  • icarusicarus Solar Expert Posts: 5,129 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: My gift to Ontario, 330Kw/hr so far

    I have to confess that I have been out of the Province for a while,,, and being off grid I haven't paid much attention.

    So it sounds like if you wait,, you might get paid .65 of the life of the contract,, say 20 years,, or if you sign up now you'll get .42. It seems like it might be worth the wait if there is a reasonable chance that OPG is going to come through with this from the PP.

    Tony
  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,311 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: My gift to Ontario, 330Kw/hr so far

    tell them you'll wait for the 65 cents and that the power you are generating will wait too. hold that power hostage.
  • System2System2 Posts: 6,290 admin
    Re: My gift to Ontario, 330Kw/hr so far

    Peter,

    I've been told by credible sources at the OPA that existing RESOP systems will be "grandfathered" into the new Feed-In Tariff (FIT) program. I've also been told that the FIT rate for solar will be raised to $0.80/kWh. All of this is, of course, rumour and conjecture until the new Green Energy Act is passed here and the associated programs are rolled out.

    Unfortunately, the problems you describe with your Local Distribution Company (LDC) are not unique. Many of the smaller LDCs have been displaying an "institutional inertia" when it comes to connecting systems under the RESOP. Hopefully that will change under the Green Energy Act.

    Who is your LDC, if you don't mind me asking?

    Scott
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