Canadian TV, Computing and Home Theatre Forums banner

1 - 8 of 8 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,659 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Enmax, Calgary's city owned power company, has finally announced a Solar and future Wind program today:

http://www.generatechoice.ca

I signed up right away but things don't look promising at all as they are showing there will be at least $40/mo in fees and no info on the rate for generated power fed into the grid. My sign up is for an evaluation so I will report more as the process moves along. An enticing first look shows they are planning on only charging a nominal fee for the installation ($1500) and nothing for the equipment with ongoing support and warranty. The available info is rather limited so I am trying not to get too excited just yet.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
42 Posts
The system is grid connected and doesn't require batteries for backup. Any PV
power produced that is not immediately consumed is exported from your
home to the the electricity grid and credited to your account. In
effect, the whole power utility system is your battery.

The Enmax PV system is sized to produce about 20 per cent of the
average Albertan's power consumption, which means you might shave $15
off your monthly bill. You may have noticed, though, it will cost you
$40 monthly to lease the system from Enmax, and $1,500 to install it.

There's no economic benefit to this. You have to want to demonstrate
environmental leadership: that's the whole point. Oh, and it's cool.
And if you get the wind turbine and the PV modules, the city of
Calgary will pay Blue Rodeo to play at your next house party.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,659 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Interesting. I haven't heard a single thing from Enmax since signing up on the first day. I have heard several ads on the radio about the new program but have yet to be contacted. I am doubtful there will be any economic 'value' in getting such a small system but, never the less, I would like to at least have them come and do an evaluation. I am also interested in solar thermal but there is no info available on that yet despite them saying it would be available for consumers over 2 years ago. Perhaps they did blow the budget on the private concerts.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,659 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
I called Enmax yesterday as I still haven't heard from them yet. It turns out they are just 'gathering information from those who are interested' for now and will start contacting those people sometime in February. I guess there will still be some time before there is any chance of finding out just what is possible within city limits. Supposedly they will also be offering a wind power option next spring too so I will post again when I know more.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,659 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Wow, I can't believe it has taken this long but I finally got a call from Enmax on Thursday to say they are finally ready to start doing the site surveys. I had been told this call would come at the end of Feb. or beginning of March so this is more than a little late. I called just a couple of weeks ago and was again told I would be getting a call 'soon'.

I was asked when a good time for the contractor to come would be and I told them anytime before next Thursday would be fine or after the 30th as I will be out of town between then. I got a call from the contracted company yesterday to set up an appointment and was asked if next Thursday would be OK.:rolleyes:

I guess we are off to a great start.

I have an appointment for the first Thursday in Sept and will report again once that is done. It seems the terms may have changed so I hope the contractor can answer my questions as the original Enmax employee that called me couldn't.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,659 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
That's what I'm thinking too but I need to get ALL of the info before I can determine if there ever will be. The pricing options have changed since it was first announced and there is no longer any mention of the monthly 'administration' fee either.

I should know more later this week.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,659 Posts
Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
Sorry for the delay but I have been busy and spare time has been spent in another thread.

Enmax contractor showed up on time and was extremely interested in all of the 'environmentally friendly' equipment I already have. He told me I can install up to 3 PV systems, if I like, for a total of 3.9kWatts of 'free power'. They are also offering wind and solar thermal but I wasn't provided any details on either of those.

There is NO monthly administration fee, as was previously stated in their communication info. The rate that is 'paid' for the generated power is the same as whatever the customer is paying at the time of connection.

There are three payment 'options':

1. $0 Down and $59.99/mo
or
2. $1500 and $39.99/mo
or
3. $3500 and $16.99/mo

There are other possible charges that can be added for non-standard installations but mine would be fairly straight forward with no extras. The end of contract 'buy out' fee is $350. That comes at the end of the 15yr contract and you then own the system and don't have to pay the 'removal' fee.

All maintenance/repair/replacement of the system is included, 'free' with the contract. There is a $950 removal fee but, unless you physically move and want to take the system with you, you don't need to pay that. The contract and installation is completely transferable in the event you sell your home.

There is no 'outright purchase' option as Enmax will receive 'Carbon Credits' for each customer they sign up on the leasing plans.

The PV arrays use micro inverters so the line running from the roof to your panel is an AC one and you feed into your panel through a double pole breaker. The micro inverters, that are either on each panel or set of panels, have 'line sensing' technology that shuts down their output if the mains go down. This means if you have no power coming into your home from the grid, you will not have any 'backup' coming from your array either. It's a safety thing and since each array is only about 1.3kW, you wouldn't be able to run much in your home anyway with just one array connected.

My bigger problem is my roof line as both the house and garage run North/South. I could install one array in an 'awning' type of arrangement on the South end of the house but I doubt this would really be practical. So, it looks like I am SOL for now but it was interesting to dream anyway.

While this might be a good idea for someone with the ideal roof line, unfortunately for me, it doesn't seem like a viable option. I am curious about having one array powering a pump for a solar thermal collector that would 'charge' my geothermal system year round but it seems this contractor isn't interested in this idea because my emails on the subject have gone unanswered.

Being ahead of the bleeding edge is really tough sometimes.
 
1 - 8 of 8 Posts
Top