Monthly Archives: June 2017

Running Backward. As it Should.

A bespoke grid-tie solar system is a good thing to do if your priority is balancing electrical consumption with production. For our farm in Cawston, Argon Electrical & Solar Services Inc. of Oliver BC designed a solar photovoltaic panel array to generate more electricity during peak production times than we consume.

Full Array

Array at Farmersdotter

Instead of storing the excess electricity onsite it is fed back into the utility grid where its value can be credited back during times when the capacity to produce electricity is deficient.

As we enter summer in the Similkameen Valley, our energy production is balancing the coming winter demands and the meter is smartly running backward. As it should.

After twelves months we will realize a net zero effect on the calculated hydro we consume. Returning electricity to the grid and loonies to our pocket. We’ll see. All is good.

Every time we discuss this project the topic returns to cost.

Is the expense worth it?

Definitely. Especially if we were younger because the cost recovery is less than twenty years and the warranty of the PV array, inverters, and software is twenty-five years.

Inverters

Farmersdotter Inverters

The system was not cheap to install yet cheaper than just a short time ago.

And installation will get less expensive as technology becomes more efficient and hydro rates increase. We can imagine a realistic cost recovery at fifteen years or less in the near future. #NoBrainer

Case in point, since we decided last year to green light this project a recent hydro rate increase coupled with a cost decrease per kWh on hardware has shaved sixteen months off our cost recovery estimate.

#NoSiteC

But you’re not a youngster so is the expense still worth it?

Well, I would hope so but I bet right now someone is taking odds.

For us to properly evaluate the worth of the project, which goes beyond system components, we include the environmental benefits. Obviously then yes, the project is still worth it regardless of our age and cost recovery timeline.

It is the right thing to do.

Reducing carbon footprint is vital. Giving back and in this case selling back is an elegant solution in the pursuit to achieve balance. To become as much producer as the consumer. That feels good.

Besides, projects like this are attractive to some lenders and can be financed making your commitment similar to what you currently pay for hydro.

Ground Mount

Ground Mount

There you go. Do it. #VoteWithYourWallet

We won’t bore you with the nuts-n-bolts details for this project but add to the discussion with your comments and questions below. This stuff is important and if we can help you decide to go #ZeroNet then we continue to balance out. All good.


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