MicroFIT & FIT
MicroFIT is a program sponsored by the Ontario government to encourage individuals and businesses to take part in producing clean electricity from a renewable energy source such as wind, water, sun, or biological sources. In doing so, the government is subsidising the electricity produced by paying a guaranteed higher price ($0.29 per kWh) for Rooftop than its market value ($0.17 per kWh) during the 20 year contract period.
This incentive generates enough return on investment to cover the costs of a typical project while enabling you to earn a reasonable rate of return.
One major difference between FIT and MicroFIT program is the amount of permitted electricity generation. FIT program permits generating between 10 kW to 500 kW of electricity per project whereas MicroFIT maximum power generation allowance is 10 kW.
How it works
MicroFIT is executed through IESO (Independent Electricity System Operator) and OPA (Ontario Power Authority). Eligible applicants must register and submit an application in addition to a series of supporting documents to obtain a conditional approval from IESO. The applicant can then start the design and installation of the system themselves if they have the knowledge and expertise or use a MicroFIT or FIT professional to do it for them. A post inspection will then be conducted by IESO and if approved, a final contract will be made and the electricity generation will commence followed by the monthly income associated with the amount generated.
Further information may be obtained by contacting the Ministry of Energy.
This program allows homeowners to produce electricity from renewable energy sources for their own consumption and send the excess amount to the grid (distribution system) in return for a credit toward their energy cost. In essence, the “net” cost would be the difference between the electricity supplied versus the amount consumed. Net Metering systems are a great investment considering the ongoing price increase of electricity and a perfect way to increase the value of one's property.
How it works
Once you start supplying electricity to the grid, your local distribution company will subtract the value of electricity supplied from the value consumed and will charge you the “net” difference between these two amounts. If you produce more than you consume during a billing cycle, you will receive a credit on your next bill that can be carried forward for up to 12 months or less depending on your distributor company. The eligibility criteria depend on the distribution company but usually include:
Off-grid is a solar system that is independent of the electricity distribution grid. It is also known as a Stand Alone, or a Battery Backup System. An Off-grid system may be used to cover all the energy needs of a building or just as a backup source of electricity. It can be an efficient solution to provide electricity to a remote location, a boat, or RV. The advances made to storage solutions and batteries are making off-grid an even better choice for customers in terms of efficiency, and safety.
How it works
PV solar panels capture the energy and send it to a battery bank which will store the electricity. A charge controller will be used to protect the batteries from overcharging, and an inverter will convert DC power to AC. In addition, a monitoring system must be installed to ensure that the electrical usage is regularly checked and kept below the maximum output of the panels and batteries. Finally, and depending on the situation, a backup generator may also be added to the system.