What is a Grid-Tie system?
A Grid-Tie system combines your renewable energy source to your local utilities power grid. The advantages of this is that during periods of low renewable energy generation, the local utilities power grid will suppliment the power you are lacking.
The other advantage is during periods of excessive power generation, you can feed the excess power to the local utility grid and be credited for the power you have generated. This is known as grid interactive.
In Ontario, the provincial government will pay 0.42 cents per kWhr of solar photovoltaic energy fed back into the local utility grid. If the homeowner generates more energy then they use, then the difference would be credited back.
Any solar system from 1kW to 10kW will have a positive impact on your utility bill.
Reduce Electrical Demand
Every watt conserved saves 4 to 10 dollars per watt in the price of your PV system.
What Size System Do I Need?
The size of PV system, whether it be hybrid, autonomous, grid-tied or Grid-interconnected, depends on your average daily electricity use in kilowatts per day (kW/hrs) See Green Power to calculate your needs.
Do I Need Battery Backup?
If you are planning a stand alone system, where there is no local hydro available, the answer is yes. You cannot do without it. The generated power from your PV system has to be stored before you can use it.
A grid-intertie system is connected to the grid and during the dark months (December, January) or during times of high energy use, power is drawn from the utility company. You do not have to have a battery backup. However, during a power failure, you will also be left in the dark with everyone else until the utility company restores power to the utility grid.
A grid-interconnected system with battery back up, will allow you to keep your essential loads like lights, fridge, computer and coffee maker up and running during a power failure; at the same time being the envy of all your neighbours.
Can I Add Wind Turbines or Micro Hydro
Adding one or more power generating systems to your PV system is called a Hybrid. The hybrid system such as solar panels plus either a wind turbine or a micro hydro will allow for power generation even if the sun is not out or during the night. Your supporting equipment, inverters, regulators chargers and balance of systems will have to be calculated for peak power production.