Munro Farms, Carp, Ontario
Solar For Your Farm
Today the price of electricity has become one of the largest input costs farmers have. Farm operations are becoming more energy intensive and electricity has doubled in less than 8 years.
Solar is helping farmers significantly reduce the cost of electrical bills. Today we have over 200 farmers who have microFIT, FIT and Net Meter systems and are harvesting sunshine and reaping solar rewards.
2017 is the last year to get paid to generate solar through the IESO microFIT program. Most farmers buying solar today are installing Net Meter systems that allows them to produce their own power and store excess energy on the grid as a credit.
We can help you significantly lower your energy bill and protect yourself from future rate increases. Scroll down to learn more.
Ferme Franche et Fils, Lemieux, Ontario
Solar Protects Against Rising Electricity Prices
Farm families are installing solar to protect their operations from rising electrical costs. When measured in context Solar Energy is now the lowest cost energy source. Solar panels have 25 year warranties and we design and build systems that when properly maintained last decades.
This graph from the Ontario Energy Board ( OEB Historical Consumer Electricity Prices) shows Tiered Rate electricity charges have doubled from Nov. 2008 to May 2016.
Malette Drainage, Lefaivre, Ontario
Which type of solar program is right for your farm depends on your objectives are:
- Making money – the IESO microFIT Program
- Reducing your electrical bill – Net Metering < 10 kW
- Generating your own power – Net Metering > 10 kW
See the table below to see which is right for you:
Finger Farms, Dalkeith, On
IESO microFIT Program
The IESO microFIT program was first started in 2009 to stimulate the adoption of Green Energy in the Province of Ontario and more than 23,000 Ontraians have, many of them farmers.
The microFIT program requires the customer to apply to the IESO to get approval prior to starting construction and has 6 months once approved to complete the project. 2017 is the last year for the microFIT program which is being replaced by the Net Metering program.
The microFIT program pays out at a guaranteed rate for 20 years and can be cancelled with 30 days notice by the customer or transferred to the next home/farm owner if the property is sold.
10 kW DC Solar Electric System or less is $0.288 kWh and can generate up to $3600 a year (south facing roof at 30 degrees with no shade)
The microFIT program offers consumers the security of knowing they have a 20 year power purchase agreement with the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) at a fair rate offering typically a 9-11% return. These returns are in line with returns on other energy assets procured by the IESO.
Financing is available for microFIT systems, consider that you will need to add a few dollars a year to insure the panels and there is a cost for the second meter. Because microFIT is an investment you can get the HST back if you are registered for HST.
Ferme Sylvimarc, Casselman, On
With a net-metering system you can use the electricity produced from your solar system to power your farm. Any electricity you don’t use will be exported to the power grid for a credit that can be applied against your bill. Then later you can use a credit from the summer months to lower your winter bill!
As the de facto replacement for the microFIT and FIT programs, Net Metering was originally legislated in Ontario in 2006. Net Metering regulation (Ontario Regulation 541/05) states that the electricity you return to the grid must be calculated in the same manner as the electricity you consume from the grid. The current regulation allows credits to be carried for 11 months and in July 2017 this is expected to increase to 12 months.
Net Metering is simple. We install the solar and connect the power directly into your farm electrical grid. When the sun is shining you use the solar power first before using power from the grid. If the solar is not bright enough you will use power both from solar and the grid. When there is more solar than load on the farm you export power to the grid as a credit.
During the day you export excess power for use at night, and in the summer you export excess power for use in the winter.
In the end, you could have virtually no power bill except the usual customer charges such as load meter fee. It is great having a low power bill while having the reliability and instantaneous power capability of the grid.
iSolara Solar Power is the largest Net Meter installer in Eastern Ontario and we have a very solid process to deliver that out. We take one year of your power bills, check your hydro capacity, calculate your annual use, design a system to displace it (or as much as possible) and then provide you a proposal that details what your savings are. Once installed your power bills will be under your control.
Protect yourself from rising energy costs today.