Solar Production, real numbers, and you are paying…

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:

Month Home
Solar Production % of consumption
Jan 3739 856.2 23%
Feb 3209 1113.2 35%
Mar 4466 1754.8 39%
Apr 2126 1330.1 63%
May 2193 2021 92%
Jun 3110 2545 82%
Jul 3000 2915.6 97%
Aug 3340 1449.9 43%
Sep 3030    
Oct 1873    
Nov 2102    
Dec 3008    
        35,196.0     13,985.8  
        27,971.6 Projected

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.

Month Home
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  
       $22,433.22 Projected
       $20,683.51 Profit

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.


About J. Richard Wakefield

J. Richard Wakefield has published three fiction novels, Blinding White Flash, Blinding White Flash Invasion and The Barn. The sequel to The Barn, The Cunningham Arrests, is going to the publisher in 2015. He was a firefighter for 22 years in Toronto, and a professional computer programmer for 25 years. He lives with his wife, Dorothy, in Southwestern Ontario.
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2 Responses to Solar Production, real numbers, and you are paying…

  1. Lorne WHITE says:

    A/ I don’t know whom you have used for your ‘average’ home, but the OPA has stated that the average home (dwelling) in Ontario consumes 1,000 kWhrs/mo, NOT 3,500 or 3,000.
    Our 1,300 sq.ft. bungalow (3 older adults and no air conditioning), consumes ~600 kWhr/mo. as a year-round average (and that includes me falling asleep on the couch watching TV).

    The OPA sets our cheapest Winter rates on <1,000, and
    our cheapest Summer rates on <600, to encourage us to use less air conditioning.

    B/ The current average rate Ontarians pay -just for the power itself- is $.07 (NOT $.05 as above). However, to calculate what the homeowner pays, simply divide the bill by the actual number of kWhrs consumed as listed on bill (not including the Line Loss factor). You'll find it's ~$.17 /kWhr to have it Delivered (and pay the Stranded Debt, HST, etc). Would you mind re-doing your figures for us?
    You'll find that the homeowner above is consuming far less than 3,500 and 3,000/mo. and therefore their FIT or microFIT produces More than they consume.

    However, there are 4 points to remember:
    – OPG (and perhaps the Ontario government?) did Not need to go to the bank and borrow any money to build new generation, as they have done with Big Becky, and must soon do with our ungodly and always-over-budget Nuclear plants that provide ~65% of Ontario's power at the moment. All money for Solar and Big Wind is borrowed privately with the promise of a 20-year contract rate. Remember, the bill for the Nuclear portion of the Green Energy Act TRIPLED in June 2009 from the original budget of $26B to $87B … at the moment ….

    – microFIT allows 'smaller' people to invest in Ontario energy, not just huge corporations.

    – Even if a 10KW microFIT Solar generates only enough for 1-3 homes, it still means that OPG has less power to produce. Caclulate the average reduction with even 10,000 homes on microFIT. And the power is produced Where it's needed (with little no Line Loss), as well as When it's needed during the day.

    – Solar and Wind don't cause asthma and alzheimers (mercury), and that's predicted to reduce our soaring Health costs by $3B.

    There Are problems with Solar and Big Wind concerning fluctuating and semi-predictable production, but they are being solved by STORAGE (some methods already exist, and some are being developped).

    Finally, the real problem with Ontario energy is going to be COST (Solar & Big wind are part of this, but so is always-over-budget NUCLEAR). I've heard of a mine in north-western Ontario where they ship the ore to Tennessee for smelting & refining because the TVA charges only ~$.06/kWhr vs their Ontario hydro bill of ~$.16/kWhr. If we can't compete with the USA -our largest trading partner- where will we work, how will we live?

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