In our last blog post we discussed Saskatchewan’s solar net metering program offered by Saskpower. The Small Power Program is another type of settlement that Saskpower offers which may be suitable for large power consumers.
The Small Power Producers Program is a Feed-in-Tariff agreement where Saskpower will pay for all the energy generated on-site for a guaranteed rate for 20 years. Depending on your energy consumption, applied rates, Small Power may be a better option for you.
Lets first look at how Small Power Systems are configured
As we can see, compared to net metering which has a single bidirectional meter, the Small Power program doesn’t affect the existing service. Instead a new meter is installed to measure all the electrical energy that is produced and exported to the grid. In reality, this energy turns around and goes into the service to feed the loads when needed but the systems are treated independently and they have different settlement rates.
Is the Small Power Program Right For Me?
To determine which of Saskpower’s Net-metering Program or Small Power Program is right for your situation we have to determine which settlement method will generate more revenue. In our last blog post we looked at a small commercial service that was consuming about 3,000kWh per month. The service is consuming less than 14,500kWh and so the customer is charged 13.2 c/kWh. Any greater energy consumption beyond 14,500kWh will be charged at a rate of 6.971c/kWh.
Let us suppose the commercial service is consuming an average 20,000kWh per month. Now the monthly energy charges would be 14,500 kWh at 13.2 c/kWh and 4,500kWh at 6.971 c/kWh, for a total cost of $2,228. Now let’s say it has a net-metered system that produces an average 1,000 kWh per month. Let’s re-calculate the savings.
Now the average month will have its energy charges reduced from 20,000kWh to 19,000kWh. The 1,000kWh that was exported reduced the charges at a rate of only 6.971c/kWh not 13.2c/kWh. This is much lower than in the previous example because the shop was consuming a total less than 14,500kWh per month. Although larger consumers are charged less for consuming more, they are also credited at a lesser rate for their solar exports under the Net-Metering Program.
This is where the Small Power Program can be cost-effective, for large commercial and agricultural services that have consumptions beyond the first block. To know whether Small Power is right for you please fill out our site assessment below or give us a call.