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.


  1. Can someone please find an argument that would show me how this can possibly be a net benefit to our economic well being as a taxpayer?.

  2. I suppose increasing the size of the nuclear stranded debt drain makes more sense.... Paid to go off the grid?? Where do I sign up??

  3. Honestly, use your head. You have a parallel connection meaning you are feeding the grid, regardless of WHO uses it, you are feeding the grid. Twenty years from now the .80 which won't be offered forever anyway will seem very reasonable.

    Currencies are going through devaluation that .80 cents wont be worth as much down the road so it is in line with inflation and devaluation.

    What you thought our dollar just gain 40% against the usa dollar, no their dollar has lost so much value they are dragging us down with them.

    MicroFIT is the way to go - don't listen to naysayers who only wish they installed a system. Take it from the winners who are getting paid and that's GOVERNMENT, SCHOOLS and just a few residences - this guy is just trying to get people to be discouraged and that's that.

  4. No, fancy charts don't mean anything. Here is what happened, these MicroFIT owners were paid .80c/kW to reduce system load. For example:

    Person uses 10kw for an hour during mid day. His/her solar output during that period is 9kwh. Customer pays for 10kwh and gets paid for 9kwh of solar delivery. However, from the eyes of the OGCC (our power overlords) they have used only 1kw of grid power during that hour. The path of least resistance to the load from the solar system is the homeowners 10kw load. Therefore that household has reduced its load by 9kw. That 9kw can now go elsewhere or not be produced at all, by, say Nanticoke. If the homeowner has no load when the solar is producing, that energy goes down the line to the closest load source, essentially reducing line load as seen from the distribution station.

    Yes they are paying cheap rate for their own generation and getting paid well for their own generation, but they are reducing overall system load. You might not agree with the process, but that's how it works.

    Curious, what credentials do you have on distribution system design, electrical theory, and hydro-electric utility operations?

  5. Dear Richard,

    Sadly you are grossly mis-informed on how MicroFits and selling energy back to the grid works. CitizenOne is partly correct, but is also a little off track. Only EXCESS generation is sold back to the grid. As a PV, wind, or biomass, system produces electricity the kilowatts are first used to meet on site demand. If production exceeds demand, extra kilowatts feed into the grid, essentially turning the homeowner’s electric meter backwards. At the end of each metering period, the utility company credits the owner for the extra kilowatts, paying out either monthly or annually.

    All this being said, hopefully you now understand why your article makes no sense.

  6. On Sept 7 at 8:20 Anonymous stated "Only EXCESS generation is sold back to the grid." proving he doesn't know what he is talking about with the FIT program... Under FIT, all of the generated electricity is sold back to the grid.
    My experience is also that people who put in PV systems start using more electricity - so the "savings to the grid" is less than their systems actually generate. In some case possibly they use more than they "save"!!
    The FIT program is going to die soon. Even if Hudak isn't elected next month - it's done-for within a year.

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