Every once and while we will be talking to someone about solar power. "How many batteries do I need" question comes up from time to time. The answer for the majority of solar systems...None. Just yet...when "Time of Day Power Pricing" comes to Saskatchewan, power storage will be much more relvant.
In Saskatchewan, SaskPower offers a program Called NET Metering which also offers a rebate on the total installed cost.
Here are excerpts from a great article with explanation of How NET Metering works: (Source: How Stuff Works)
"You've seen the dire warnings on the news about shrinking energy resources, ever rising utility rates and increasing environmental problems. In your effort to become a better global citizen, you've installed solar panels on your roof. You're also being careful to turn off your lights and appliances when you leave for work each morning.
While you're away, your house is generating energy but you're not using it. Meanwhile at night, when you have the lights and TV on, your solar system is sitting idle. You could buy an expensive battery to store the extra energy you generate during the day, but there's another option that allows you to send your extra power to the grid in exchange for banked energy credit that you can use when you need it. It's called NET metering.
When your home is equipped with a renewable energy source (such as solar power), it sends the excess energy that's generated back into the grid. An electrical converter called an inverter turns the DC (direct current) power coming from your renewable energy source into AC (alternating current) power, which matches the voltage of the electricity flowing through the power line.
As that excess energy is being generated, your power meter spins backward rather than forward, giving you a credit that you can use to pay for your future energy use. ( NOTE: SaskPower NET Meter Program resets every April)
Annualized net metering provides a more accurate measurement because it takes into account your changing energy usage and solar power production over the four seasons.
The most obvious benefit of net metering is to consumers. If you install net metering in your home, you can reduce the amount of money you spend each year on energy. You can even make money (SaskPower Small Producers Program) if you produce more than you consume and your utility company pays you for that excess energy at the retail rate.
Here are a few other benefits of net metering:
It enables people to get real value for the energy they produce, without having to install a second meter or an expensive battery storage system.
It allows homeowners and businesses to produce energy, which takes some of the pressure off the grid, especially during periods of peak consumption.
It encourages consumers to play an active role in alternative energy production, which both protects the environment and helps preserve natural energy resources.
Homes that use net metering tend to be more aware of, and therefore more conscientious about their energy consumption."
The amount of power a solar system can generate should be designed to reduce your power consumption between 95% and 110% of your current power consumption for the best Return on your Investment.