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Incentives and/or grants to install solar panels?

Discussion in 'TRIBE Main Forum' started by alexd, Sep 2, 2010.

  1. alexd

    alexd Administrator Staff Member

    Do incentives exist to install rooftop solar panels in Toronto? I seem to recall they have some kind of plan in place for business customers where businesses can sell excess electricity back into the grid... Does such a plan exist for residential homeowners?

    Or, is there some kind of government grant or rebate you can get to install residential solar panels?

    Ever since "time of use" billing has come into effect, my rates have gone through the roof, even though I have shifted all my usage into the lowest price tier (except for my fridge). I am thinking that if I can install enough solar panels to power my fridge, notebook, router, and ADSL modem during daylight hours and run on batteries through an inverter I won't have any usage at all during the peak and mid-peak periods, and maybe even have enough energy to power stuff during off-peak as well...
  2. Hybrid

    Hybrid TRIBE Member

    I know that the Ontario power authority will give you 62.4 cents per kwh for what you put back into the grid. That means for a 14Megawatt setup you'll make about 11,500$ a year, but the gear will cost you about 52,000$.
  3. alexd

    alexd Administrator Staff Member

    Well, that sounds amazing. A loan for that much would be payed off in 5 years with interest and after that: cha ching!

    Is there a formula to calculate how many megawatts you can theoretically produce based on the area you have available for solar panels?
  4. Sal De Ban

    Sal De Ban TRIBE Member

    the company you buy the equipment from would be able to show you a chart.
  5. alexd

    alexd Administrator Staff Member

    This would be an awesome way to avoid paying for hydro and instead get them to pay you! I will investigate
  6. rulz

    rulz TRIBE Member

    yes residential program exists but after calculating all the maintenance expenses ( not including the diminishing value of your house) its pretty worthless.
  7. Hi i'm God

    Hi i'm God TRIBE Member

    Yeah I believe you have to replace the panels every 5 years or so anyway.

    Now if you were to combine this with a small wind turbine and some geothermal then maybe you have a chance.
  8. headwinds

    headwinds TRIBE Promoter

    great thinking! I'd love to do the same with a mixture of solar and wind -- they seem to be the easiest to install on the roof without having to drilling into the core to get geo (<-- or is easy there an easier way to get thermal?)

    $52K sounds outrageous... I was under the impression it could be done for closer to $3 - 5K if the serious eco-saver in you just wants to cover the cost of running a few appliances. You probably won't make any money but you'll at least lower your monthly costs -- possibly break even eventually ( 10+ years) even contribute back to the grid. Or am I dreaming?!
  9. MissBlu

    MissBlu TRIBE Member

    hold up, re-think/do your numbers...

    it depends on what program you are under for your price per kW. and you have to have approval from your local hydro source and possibly HONI.

    1 megawatt = 1,000 kilowatts

    and a 14MW system would be sooooo huge, you would never fit it onto a Toronto property, let alone a roof.

    on a typical Toronto roof, you probably are not going to produce enough power to feed back into the grid. also depends on your roof pitch, the direction it faces, the type of modules you are using, etc. you could use the hydro yourself being self-sustaining - however i don't think you will be able to feed back into the grid. there are many factors to consider before choosing to put on a solar system...

    if you're serious, i can put you into contact with someone.

    persionally, i would wait awhile before installing solar, Europe is light years ahead of NA, and the technology will be here soon too..
  10. MissBlu

    MissBlu TRIBE Member

    many panels are have 20 year warranties

    and please tell me you're not thinking of one of those crappy tire windmills
  11. saskboy

    saskboy TRIBE Member

  12. lobo

    lobo TRIBE Member

    This is pretty much what I've heard/read over the last year or so. Seems that because our hydro rates are so "low", it takes much much longer to break even to the point where you might be ready to replace those original panels with new ones negating any savings. Contributing back to the grid is harder too. A coworker put up some panels on his house and he dished out about $15K. He's setup to sell back to the hydro utility as well but not sure how well it's doing.

    There's a funny article about going green by the creator of Dilbert:

    Dilbert Creator Scott Adams Tries to Build an Eco-Friendly House - WSJ.com

  13. erika

    erika TRIBE Member

    I`m interested in this as well but the time to recoup the investment seems pretty long in the current setup. My hydro bills are pretty low to start with (no AC, turn lights off, etc..), so it would take a while, which is too bad.

    If you guys find out more let me know.
  14. Maui

    Maui TRIBE Member

    Your better off to get 2000 gerbils running on those wheels and harness that energy. The gerbils will multiply and you can exponentially increase your profit every 3 months.

    Unless they start eating each other like mine did as a kid. One serial killing gerbil can eat 10 other gerbils in one day. No joke.
  15. Hi i'm God

    Hi i'm God TRIBE Member


    There's a wicked looking one by the power stream building in Vaughan that would totes fit in my backyard.

    Good to know about the warranties I'm probably getting the lifespan mixed up by how long it would cost to recoup the original purchase and install costs.
  16. silver1

    silver1 TRIBE Member

    One thing that needs to be considered is Ontario Government's ability/willingness to reneg on any deals they make.

    I heard on the radio that when this program started, it was 80+ cents per kWh they were paying out and a ton of farmers who had excess land jumped on board, but then the government changed the deal down to 60ish cents.
  17. Wiseman

    Wiseman TRIBE Member

    I'm waiting for home nuclear reactors.
  18. MissBlu

    MissBlu TRIBE Member

    it's not even ONLY the government...

    you still gotta get hydro to accept and take the power.
  19. kyfe

    kyfe TRIBE Member

    I've been looking into this for a while, looking at a 1-3MW PV install on my roof. I have a prime location with no obstructions. for what i want to do it's around 20-25K in part/labour to get it up and running.

    as for the micro fit plan (which alex is what you'd go under) I believe the purchase price is about $.80-.84 per kw/hr the 62 is for the Fit program that businesses go under.

    either way your ROI is about 11-15 years the system should be good for 20-25 year with marginal maintainence costs
  20. pig-pen

    pig-pen TRIBE Member

    alex - The Ontario Power Authority administers the microFIT program which covers residential renewable energy. The FAQs should answer most if not all of your questions.

    microFIT Program - FAQ
  21. alexd

    alexd Administrator Staff Member

    Thanks kyfe and pig-pen
  22. taki

    taki TRIBE Member

  23. agentRC4

    agentRC4 TRIBE Member

    do they sell the solar singles in TO now? I've seen them in the states down south. I like the idea of shingling your roof with solar panels. The apparently last just as long as a regular roof.

    Do you have to sell your power back to the city? Can you determine the rate? or are you screwed on both points?
  24. MissBlu

    MissBlu TRIBE Member

    i would like to stress that i would wait a couple of years before putting panels on my roof... technology is improving, and it will all make its way to Canada.

    also, its not as simple as sticking them on your roof and generating enough power to power your home or have enough to send back to the grid.

    like i mentioned before, i know people who build home solar systems, and i work in renewable construction (so i'm not talking out of my ass) OR you can continue to ignore me alexd...
  25. pig-pen

    pig-pen TRIBE Member

    MissBlu - what is this new european technology you refer to that hasn't come to canada yet?

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