Friday, August 19, 2011

Solar Production, real numbers

Someone posted a link to a solar company that has real time and historic solar power output from their customers.

This is what I've been looking for, and will be databasing all this data.  But I can show you something very interesting. Take for example this location:

Notice the power output for each month of the year (selecting year in the drop down).  Winter months are around 800kwH a month, while the summer is 2500.  An average home uses some 3500 for the month in winter, and about 3000 for the summer, depending on how hot the summer is. 

This chart shows the consumption of an average home for the year, and the solar output for the same months:

Solar Production% of consumption
      35,196.0    13,985.8

So you can see that a double pillar of 235 panels will not produce as much power as an average home consumes.  This means the home owner of the panels would use more power than his panels provide.  Thus these panel owners do not have a net contribution to the grid since they use more power for their homes than the panels provide.

The best part of this is how much they are making compared to how much they are paying for their own consumption.

Revenue c/kwh
Jan$204.82 $     0.05 $    686.67 $    0.80
Feb$166.29 $     0.05 $    892.79 $    0.80
Mar$224.87 $     0.05 $ 1,407.35 $    0.80
Apr$68.45 $     0.03 $ 1,066.74 $    0.80
May$97.92 $     0.04 $ 1,620.84 $    0.80
Jun$168.93 $     0.05 $ 2,041.09 $    0.80
Jul$151.42 $     0.05 $ 2,338.31 $    0.80
Aug$168.03 $     0.05 $ 1,162.82 $    0.80
Sep$174.54 $     0.06
Oct$85.26 $     0.05
Nov$92.94 $     0.04
Dec$146.24 $     0.05
$1,749.71 $11,216.61

So these people are paying about $1750 a year for their grid power, and getting some $22,000 for their solar power.  But since their net contribution is zero, it means you, the rate payers, are paying these people $20,000 per year for NOTHING!  You are paying these solar contracts to essentially be off the grid.

Can someone please find an argument that would show me how this can possibly be a net benefit to our grid.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Ontario Liberals entrench 1,800 renewable power projects

Ontario’s Liberal government has entrenched the legal rights of 1,800 proposed renewable energy contracts – making it impossible for a new government to cancel them.

The Liberals have changed the terms for approving contracts under its feed-in tariff program or FIT.

Under the old system, the Ontario Power Authority, which signs the contracts with power developers, could unilaterally terminate proposed agreements at a relatively late stage of the approval process.

But a new directive from energy minister Brad Duguid will entrench the contracts at a much earlier stage in the process.

That will protect 1,800 contracts now in the pipeline from cancellation.

Collectively, the projects represent 3,500 megawatts of generating capacity, the equivalent of close to 10 per cent of the province’s current total capacity.

The issue is politically significant one, since Conservative leader Tim Hudak has vowed to cancel the FIT program if the Conservatives win the provincial election on Oct. 6.

Hudak has said the high prices paid under the FIT program are “unsustainable.”

While the Conservatives would not tear up existing contracts, projects that were only part way through the approval process would have been at risk of cancellation under a new government.

The new rules will reduce the scope for the power authority to cancel agreements for FIT projects.

Duguid said the changes will provide “stability and certainty” for renewable power developers and for their suppliers.

That will make it easier to finance renewable projects, and for power developers to place firm orders with equipment manufacturers, he said.

Duguid said the government has been discussing the issue with the industry for the past year.

But he used the occasion to take a swipe at the Conservatives.

“There’s no question Tim Hudak’s irresponsible plan to dismantle our programs and destroy our clean energy economy is something that’s creating a great deal of instability in our economy right now,” Duguid said.

No Conservative official was available to respond.

Proposed projects will still have to get environmental approval, show that they have a purchase agreement with an Ontario manufacturer and submit a financing plan before they can proceed.

Creating a clean energy sector and adding 50,000 jobs to the economy by the end of 2012 is a key plank in the Liberals’ election platform. The Liberals say they’ve created 20,000 jobs to date.

Peter Tabuns of the New Democratic Party shrugged off the significance of the announcement.

He said many renewable energy developers can’t connect their projects to the grid. Without connections, the projects can’t deliver power or get revenue.

“I think that’s the largest ongoing issue,” he said.

Robert Hornung of the Canadian Wind Energy Association offered cautious endorsement of the changes.

“It reduces project development risk,” said Hornung. “It clarifies in essence what’s required to firm up FIT contracts. That greater certainty makes it easier for them to go and secure financing.”
The association was polling its members yesterday to see how they reacted to the changes.