Saskatchewan’s Small Power Program

Moustafa YoussefBlog

Saskpower Small Power Program

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

Saskpower Small Power Program

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.

Small Power Program

The customer is reducing their consumption at the balance rate of 6.971c/kWh not 13.2c/kWh. Small Power program would be more cost-effective than Net Metering.

 

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.

 

Solar Net Metering in Saskatchewan

Moustafa YoussefBlog

Solar Net Metering

Saskatchewan has a world-class solar potential. Actually Regina and Saskatoon’s solar potential are higher than Calgary and Edmonton. There are two ways to go solar in Saskatchewan (going off the grid is the third way), namely net metering and the Small Power Producers Program. Both programs offer Saskatchewan homeowners, businesses, farmers and developers the opportunity to reduce their living and operating costs by investing in green and local power generation. Let’s look at solar net metering in Saskatchewan.

Net Metering

Net-metering is a type of settlement that many utilities use to credit solar generators for their solar energy. It equates the energy a service imports from the grid to the solar energy that is exported to it. So for example if over a month a home consumed 500kilowatt-hours of electrical energy (kWh) from the grid and exported 100kWh, then the homeowners will only be charged 400kWh. Therefore the solar power system generates revenue at the same rate as to which Saskpower charges for consumption. These rates are printed on the bill and are available on Saskpower’s website. Participants of the program can decide the size of the system based on their goals, budget, and other aspects.

Net-Metering Rebate

Saskpower is also offering a 20% rebate on  cost of installation up to $20,000. Let’s look at an example of how a solar power system will perform in Saskatchewan.

Saskpower Net Metering

During the day, solar energy feeds the loads in the building/service. Any excess energy is transmitted to the grid through a bidirectional meter to do usefulwork elsewhere. Appliances draw power from Saskpower at night, cloudy days or whenever there isn’t enough solar power.

Example of Solar Net Metering in Saskatchewan

Let’s say a shop consumes about 2,000 kWh per month and its owner is considering installing solar on the shop’s roof.  The owner lives in an urban area and so their Small Commercial Rates incur 13.2 cents per kWh for the first 14,500kWh consumed per month, so they pay about $400 per month for their energy consumption.

The owner is considering installing a six thousand watt system (or three kilowatt for short) to take up half the available viable roof space. The system is expected to produce an average 630kWh per month. This means that on an average month their consumption will be reduced to 1,370kWh.

The system will produce 630kWh of solar energy every month which will either feed the shop’s loads or go to the grid to do useful work elsewhere in the neighbourhood. In either case the energy generated effectively reduces the shop’s consumption at the consumption rate of 13.4c/kWh, which means the owner will save an average $84 per month or $1,000 per year.

The system’s payback depends essentially on three factors 1)how much sunlight the system receives 2) cost of installing the system, 3) future cost of energy. As you can imagine, the higher Saskpower’s rate are in the future, the faster the system’s payback will be. Let’s take an example.

Let’s say the shop owner installed the six kilowatt system for a total cost $16,000. After rebate the total cost is $12,000. This means that at current rates the payback is 8.3% or 12 years.

 

Rebates for Solar Installations in Alberta

Moustafa YoussefBlog

mono-crystalline-solar-modules

The government of Alberta has announced that it will be investing 36 million dollars into residential and commercial solar power in the province.  The money is collected from the carbon levy and will help Albertan homeowners and businesses to adopt a solar power system. The incentive takes the shape of a rebate on the cost of installation, reducing the total cost by between 25-33%. This incentive is estimated to quadruple the existing solar capacity in the province.

Rebates for solar installations for homes, businesses and non-profits

Energy Efficiency Alberta is offering a 75 cents per watt rebate on the cost of installation. The size of a PV system is measured by its capacity with units of power, W.

Residential systems have a capacity around 2-10,000W or 10kW, and have an installation cost of around $3 per watt.

For a 3kW,  the rebate will reduce the installation cost by around $2,250.

Neighbour Power is a turn-key provider which handle all aspects of your system’s realizing including the rebate process.  Please fill out the form below to obtain a proper site assessment.