Friday, 3 November 2017

Here's What Net Metering Can Do Even During The Month Of October

One of our solar arrays managed to create credit during the month of October. This happened even with the heat pumps turned on early in the billing cycle.


Tuesday, 24 October 2017

Solar - The Future Is Here

Michael from Sweet Spot Solar is giving a talk on Wednesday night (October 25) to the Kamloops Garden Club (Heritage House, Riverside Park) at 7PM entitled "Solar Power: The Future Is Here."



Tuesday, 29 August 2017

Your Return On Investment (ROI) For Solar Can Be Up To 5.8%

With our current sale on equipment, a roof-mounted solar array composed of 16 modules (4.24 kW DC) will cost you $7999 (all-in). If the installation comes to $4000, your full installed cost is $11,999.

This can return 5.8% for you and in 25 years it would generate $45,000 worth of electricity.

Here's how this works. This array will produce around 5000 kWh/year using Kamloops as a baseline on a house with a 20 degree pitched roof facing due South.

The average house in BC consumes 11,000 kWh/year. Since BC Hydro charges a 50% premium on electricity (so-called Step 2 pricing), most of the 5000 kWh/year produced by the solar array will go toward reducing Step 2. Currently, Step 2 electricity with the 5% rate rider and GST works out to 14.19 cents/kWh.

Over the past 7 years, BC Hydro rates have increased by 50%. We don't have a crysal ball to know what rates will look like in the future, but they won't go down! Using this as an annual average rate increase, we get the following table.


This table shows in the right-hand column the annual expected saving in a cumulative way. By year 12 the array has paid for itself. Most solar arrays will last 30+ years. We did include a degradation calculation (see decreased output per year) in this model since solar modules will lose on average about 0.1% of output over time.

The following graph shows the break even point.



Of course, financials are only part of the picture. A lot of our clients also want to "do the right thing" and to show how individuals can make a difference.


Thursday, 24 August 2017

End Of Summer Sale

Our best prices ever! Limited time offer on these grid-tie, battery-free systems.


Wednesday, 23 August 2017

A year in the life of a solar array on Gabriola Island

On August 23, 2016, a new solar array was commissioned on Gabriola Island. This array is composed of 28 LG310 Watt modules and Enphase M-250 micro-inverters. It was installed on this stunning garage.



Sweet Spot Solar estimated annual production for this 8.68 kW DC array at 9765 kWh/year under ideal conditions on an annualized basis.

For the year, the array generated 9290 kWh. For this year, the longer than normal winter combined with several weeks of smoke from forest fires reduced output by 4.87% from our original estimate.


Note the deep drop in production between the months of November and February. This is typical of a solar array at this latitude. During the Spring, Summer, and early Fall a solar array makes lots of extra power that gets banked as a credit with net metering through your smart meter to offset your winter bills. All without batteries!

From an environmental performance perspective, our monitoring software yielded the following calculations.


Wednesday, 9 August 2017

Our big tracker is in the news!

An article in InfoNews-Kamloops today profiles the tracker owned by our clients Penny and Charles.

Even with the incredible amount of smoke in the area for more than a month, this tracker is making enough power daily to power 2-3 average homes.





The article states:
After installing the largest sun tracking solar panel in B.C. on their farm in Black Pines just north of Kamloops, Charles Hays and Penny Powers expect to never pay for power again.
If all goes according to plan, the power company will pay them.
Charles Hays and Penny Powers hope their story will inspire others.
Charles Hays and Penny Powers hope their story will inspire others.






Thursday, 3 August 2017

Get credit for being sustainable

During the month of July, one of our medium-sized solar arrays generated a credit with BC Hydro of 448 kWh! It only used extra energy from the grid on 2 days. Email info@sweetspotsolar.com to learn more about doing this yourself.



Sunday, 23 July 2017

Dual axis tracker in Black Pines BC

A big thank you to electrician Amie Schellenberg from Lodgepole Electrical and general contractor Jono Beech for getting this big and bold tracker installed and running.

This 45 module tracker follows the Sun like a sunflower and it will produce more than 25,000 kWh/year.


By 11:15AM today it had already made more than 30 kWh of electricity - enough to power the average home in BC for a day.



It is located on the outskirts of Kamloops in Black Pines and you can see how beautfully it fits into the local environment.



To see how this came together, check out our featured post here.

Monday, 17 July 2017

A quick site assessment is only a click away

Thinking about solar but not sure how many modules you need and what all this might cost? Send an email to info@sweetspotsolar.com. We can provide you with an accurate ballpark figure or setup a comprehensive, free site assessment. with a detailed quote.
Here's a snapshot of how one of our solar arrays performed on July 16. This array made a credit of 23 kWh.
If you want to know how to do the same thing, give us a buzz.


Friday, 14 July 2017

Even on extremely smoky days our solar arrays make power

Even with several very smoky days in the interior of BC from forest fires, our new tracker on the outskirts of Kamloops managed to make a whopping 1000 kWhs or (1MWh) in just 13 days! It's best day resulted in 90.9 kWh - enough to power three average houses.





Thursday, 29 June 2017

Another illustration of how net metering works

Here's another example from one of our solar arrays of how net metering works. On June 28, 2017, this array composed of 23 modules on a 2200 square foot house produced a credit of 15 kWh. In other words, it sent 15 kWh of electricity into the grid and the smart meter recorded that surplus generation.


There are some features of this graph worth noting. First, between Midnight and 7AM the house pulled electricity (consumed) from the grid. By 8AM the house's solar array began producing more electricity than the house used and it continued to do so until 6PM. Second, the magnitude of the bars going down (credit) peaked at solar Noon, and the distribution of energy production follows a normal curve shape on a sunny and clear day - assuming that electricity consumption in the house is constant.

This array has already generated a surplus of 136 kWh for the month of June that will roll into July. A surplus in July will roll to August, and so on. With net metering, and a large enough solar array relative to consumption, you can create a substantial credit to reduce your winter billing. This is why solar works well and also why batteries are not required.


Wednesday, 28 June 2017

Solar Is An Excellent Investment

If you're a resident of British Columbia, you've probably noticed that your BC Hydro bills have increased in recent years. Since 2010, residential rates for electricity have increased a whopping 50% for an average annual increase of 7.14%.


With your own solar array, you can take back the power and control future rate increases.

Here's a typical example of a solar array that Sweet Spot Solar can do for you:

* 28 solar modules rated at 305 Watts each will build an 8.54 kW DC array that should produce on average 10,191 kWh/year under ideal conditions on an annualized, multi-year basis assuming a roof pitch of at least 23 degrees [in the interior of BC].

* Sweet Spot Solar's average price for the equipment is around the $20,000 mark (all-in with delivery), and one of our recommended installers can often commission such an array for $6000.

Assuming an installation cost of $6000.00, your array from us will cost $3.03/Watt. This is more than 30% below the British Columbia average.


* Your array is an excellent investment that will generate a return on investment of 5.6%/year. The payback time for the array is 12 years, and over 25 years it will save a total of $91,992.00 on energy bills for a profit of $66,092.00 (savings-installed cost).

To arrange your own quote, contact us at info@sweetspotsolar.com


Wednesday, 7 June 2017

Take that BC Hydro

Solar saves you money! This 2200 square foot house in BC has a solar array composed of 18 modules. During the month of May it used only 39 kWh from the grid, and its total bill from February to June is $186. The owners will likely not purchase electricity until October or November but by then a rolling credit of surplus production can be drawn upon. This is the beauty of net metering.
This house does not have access to natural gas and heats with electric mini-split heat pumps and uses electricity for hot water. It also charges an electric car!


Saturday, 3 June 2017

Arctic Energy and Emerging Technologies Conference and Tradeshow

Sweet Spot Solar's CEO Michael is a speaker at the Arctic Energy and Emerging Technologies Conference and Tradeshow in Inuvik NWT being held between June 12 and 14. The title of his talk is "Solar power: Energy, community capacity building, and sustainability." To learn more, click here.

Tuesday, 30 May 2017

Clouds and solar power production

How well do solar arrays work on cloudy days? Today in Kamloops we had a cloudy day with lots of storm activity circling the city. In spite of this, all of our monitored solar arrays managed to produce between 60-70% of optimal output.

Monday, 22 May 2017

A new array in Kamloops

Congratulations to Adrian and Sara for their new array. This array is located in the Lower Sahali neighbourhood of Kamloops.

Adrian provided the following endorsement:
Since moving to Kamloops, a city that boasts a lot of sun, I have been interested in installing solar panels. In February I flew over a massive solar farm in the deserts of Western China and was really impressed by the potential. But it was a recent trip to England (yes, rainy England!) that showed me that progressive people are installing solar panels all over the world on their homes. Working with Sweet Spot Solar was a wonderful experience, right from the home visit for an initial assessment, to the installation, and finally to the moment I saw on my mobile phone app that I was generating my own power. 



It is composed of 15 monocrystalline Silfab 285 Watt modules coupled with Enphase M-250 micro-inverters. This is a very high quality system that will produce approximately 5100 kWh/year.

The array is mounted on rails on their shingle roof and it is split into two sections.


Our installer worked around existing vent stacks to maximize roof coverage and it looks like several more modules can be added in the future.



On it's first full day of operation (May 22, 2017), this array made an impressive 28.9 kWh.




To learn more and to book your own free quote, visit our website at www.sweetspotsolar.com

Saturday, 20 May 2017

Cooking With The Sun - Solar Cooking Workshop Today!

The Sun provides us with free energy every day. Energy to make electricity, and thermal energy to cook with.

Today at our Gabriola Island location between Noon and 3PM we are offering a free solar cooking demonstration. Come and visit us at 733 Berry Point Road where you will see different types of solar cookers in action. You will also have a chance to see the island's first grid-tie solar photovoltaic array and to learn about that technology too.


Friday, 19 May 2017

A barn can be much more than a barn

Why waste a roof when it could be used to make electricity? Here's 32 315 Watt solar modules on the roof of a barn in Chase BC that we did this week. This array is 10.08 kW DC in size and it will make around 12,000kWh/year - enough to more than power the average BC home.


Thursday, 18 May 2017

Hail - You Mean Nothing To Me

How tough are solar modules? 

Tough enough to handle high winds, heavy snow loads, and major hail events. 

Check out the following review of a large (3000 module) array in Denver after a major hail storm involving golf ball sized hail fell. 

Roofs were dented and car windows were destyoed, yet only ONE of the 3000 modules were damaged.




Look up! There might be a new solar array on a roof in your neighbourhood

We started another solar project today in the Lower Sahali neighbourhood of Kamloops. Stay tuned for updates.

This beauty is being made with one of the best solar modules on the market - Silfab 285 Watt monocrystallines and Enphase M-250 micro-inverters.

Sweet Spot Solar's model is simple. We only sell the highest quality equipment at the lowest price possible. Why buy low-quality solar equipment and pay top-dollar when you could be buying premium product for almost the same price (or likely lower)?



Sunday, 14 May 2017

A new solar array in Chase BC

Congratulations Glen and Tralee of Chase BC for their purchase of a 48 module array. This array is composed of 315 Watt Canadian Solar modules and Enphase M250 micro-inverters. One of our recommended installers, Steve Wilford, mounted them over the weekend. We plan to make power tomorrow!



Wednesday, 10 May 2017

Plug And Play Will Make Your Day

Sweet Spot Solar primarily works with Enphase micro-inverters. These high-quality micro-inverters have a conversion efficiency of more than 96%, are plug-and-play for ease of installation and future expandability, and come with an industry-leading 25 year warranty.

They look like this and each solar module has one micro-inverter connected to it. All without batteries and nothing in your house except an extra breaker in your breaker box!


When combined with Canadian Solar 280 Watt monocrystalline modules, or equivalent, you will have a solar array that performs flawlessly with little maintenance.



We are installing a new array on Gabriola Island right now, so feel free to connect with us if you're in the area to see how all of this works first-hand.


Thursday, 4 May 2017

Use the Sun to your full advantage

Sweet Spot Solar is pleased to offer our solar clients the option of adding a high-quality, Canadian-made electric car charger as part of our product line. Since electric vehicles are coming on fast and improving every year, why not add a FLO charger to your home or place of business at the same time you do solar? We can even design and scale your solar array to meet the additional load requirements of an electric vehicle.






Saturday, 22 April 2017

A sale in Chase BC

A big congratulations to our sales team in Kamloops. They sold a beautiful, high powered solar array made of a whopping 48 modules to a new client in Chase BC. This array uses 72 cell, 315 Watt modules coupled with Enphase M250 micro-inverters. It will be spread across two barn roofs. 




This is how solar works in Kamloops

Our new solar arrays in Kamloops are performing extremely well. Here are some diagnostics from an array with 16 modules from today. This array generated close to 30 kWh with around 1.9 kWh/module. To put that in perspective, 30 kWh is enough to drive an electric car 180km, to run 15 computers for 24 hours straight, or to keep lit 20 60 Watt light bulbs running for 24 hours. OR to power the average BC house for the day with everything.