As concerns about climate change and energy security continue to grow, many individuals and businesses in Vancouver are turning to solar power as a way to reduce their carbon footprint and save money on electricity bills. Grid-tied solar systems have become a popular choice for those looking to harness the power of the sun while still staying connected to the local electrical grid.
What is a Grid-Tied Solar System?
A grid-tied solar system means that is connected to the BC Hydro grid. When the sun is shining and the solar panels are generating more power than is needed on-site, the excess energy is fed back into the grid. Conversely, when the panels aren’t producing enough power to meet the site’s needs, electricity is drawn from the grid to supplement the system’s output. BC Hydro offers a great program called BC Hydro Net Metering which makes the solar buyback rate 1:1.
Benefits of a Grid-Tied Solar System
One of the primary benefits of a grid-tied solar system is the ability to offset the cost of electricity. By generating electricity, homeowners and businesses can reduce their reliance on the grid and lower their monthly electricity bills. In some cases, it’s even possible to generate more electricity than is needed on-site, resulting in a net surplus that can be sold back to BC Hydro through the Net Metering Program. When you sell excess power back to the grid, you will receive a credit on your monthly bills.
Another benefit of grid-tied solar is the relatively low installation costs. Because the system doesn’t need to include expensive batteries for energy storage, grid-tied systems can be more affordable than their off-grid counterparts. Additionally, because the system is connected to the grid, it’s not necessary to invest in backup generators or other equipment to ensure that electricity is available during periods of low solar production.
Grid-Tied Solar in Vancouver
Vancouver is an ideal location for grid-tied solar, with its mild climate and abundant sunshine during the summer months. In fact, the city receives an average of 1,590 hours of sunshine per year, making it one of the sunniest cities in Canada. This means that solar panels installed in Vancouver can generate a significant amount of electricity, even during the winter months when there’s less sunlight. Panels don’t strictly require direct sunlight in order to generate power, rather solar irradiance can be achieved from indirect sunlight meaning panels still function on cloudy and overcast days.
In addition to the environmental benefits of generating clean energy, grid-tied solar is also eligible for a number of financial incentives. For example, the federal government offers a $5000 rebate for residential solar installation and a 30% tax credit for commercial solar installation.
Ultimately, grid-tied solar is an excellent option for those looking to reduce their carbon footprint and save money on electricity bills. With Vancouver’s mild climate and abundant sunshine, solar panels can generate a significant amount of electricity throughout the year. Additionally, with a number of financial incentives available, the installation of grid-tied solar can be a smart investment for homeowners and businesses alike.