There are several fundamental issues with the net metering program. I am a Canadian Electrical Engineer living on the outskirts of Ottawa. I live in a 4 bedroom house that has AC and a pool. My Hydro consumption last year was ~24000 KWh. I am interested in installing a solar panel system that would provide enough energy under a net metering solution to cover my current energy consumption and future proof it to allow me to have charging stations for what will eventually consist of two electric vehicles.
If I take the 164 Wh/km spec for a modest Nissan Leaf and drive it 20000km per year that energy support is 164 Wh/km *20000km = 3280000Wh or 3280 KWh.
If I double this for 2 vehicles that energy becomes 2*3280 or 6560 KWh.
Combining my normal household usage with the requirement to support charging for two vehicles the total potential usage is 30560 KWh.
The current net metering rules allow an individual to install a 10KW(Maximum) system.
Size of system needed (kW) = yearly energy use (kWh) / annual equivalent full sunlight hours (h)
annual average ‘equivalent full sunlight hours’ in Ontario = 1,166h
If I plug in my numbers this is 30560kWh/1166h = 26.2 kW. This number is 2.62 more times than the maximum allowed 10kW system that is currently allowed under the current rules. One may ask will the grid be capable of supplying the extra energy that is required to convert drivers over to electric vehicles. Increasing the size limits for the system used in net metering is a way to mitigate the ability of the grid to provide power to the expected increased load as systems are converted from fossil fuels to electrical systems.
A second comment that I have is regarding roof top vs. ground mount systems. The literature is heavily skewed towards roof top systems. For folks that live in rural areas. ground mount systems are more practical. Clearing snow loads from the panels to achieve maximum efficiency is much easier and safer. The user also does not need to think about the age of the roof when it comes to the installation of a system. As an example a person may have a 5 year life remaining on their roof. Replacing shingles is an expensive process. A person with a roof that has 5 years of life remaining on a roof will be less likely to install a system since it will need to be taken down to address the short lifetime remaining on a roof. It becomes a deterrent. This deterrent does not exist with ground mount systems since the lifetime of a roof is not a factor in the decision.
Submitted November 23, 2021 8:12 PM