The next time you drive by a mass of solar panels, look really hard at the building and see who is actually causing your unaffordable Hydro Bills you receive every month in the mail!
These people “think” they are saving the world, or even more misguided, helping clean the air by producing “clean green energy”. Nothing could be farther from the truth! They are just bloody greedy and uninformed that they are being used by the Government and the big Green Industry to create a bucket load of profits off your hard earned dollars!
If it’s actually your neighbour, possibly take them off your “invite list for BBQ’s” this summer. They ain’t “good neighbours”!
Solar power is casting a dark cloud over Ontario electricity ratepayers
On October 17, the Ontario Energy Board announced an increase in the Regulated Price Plan rates that apply to most residential and many small business consumers. The 0.5 cent/kWh rate increase will cost a typical Ontario homeowner an extra $57 per year.
If they’re wondering what’s driving this, they should look up into the sky or at their neighbour’s roof.
Solar energy – one of the key pillars of the Green Energy and Economy Act (GEEA) – is casting a dark cloud over Ontario electricity bills and is a big factor in recent and future bill increases. In 2013, solar projects caused electricity bills to be about $550-million higher than they would otherwise have been. For a typical homeowner, this works out to $47 per year. Ontario will have an estimated 1,100 MW of solar installed by year-end and roughly 900 MW will be added in 2014. This addition will cause 2014 electricity bills to increase by another $435-million – equal to a typical homeowner increase of $37 per year. By the end of 2014, solar will be costing Ontarians $1.25-billion per year – while generating a paltry 2% of Ontario’s total electricity requirement.
How did Ontario get here?
Under the previous Renewable Energy Standard Offer Program (RESOP), Ontario contracted for 475 MW of solar capacity, to be paid $0.42/kWh for 20 years. Then in 2009, the GEEA was introduced with great fanfare, with the cornerstone feature being a Feed-In Tariff (FIT) program for renewable energy. The Act was a creation of the Green Energy Act Alliance, a group comprised of some well-meaning but also self-interested organizations bent on driving their green agenda. At the time, then Energy Minister George Smitherman claimed the GEEA would increase consumers’ electricity bills by no more than 1% per year. Sadly, this is far from reality.
A massive, long-term portion of the solar cost to be borne by Ontario electricity ratepayers could have been avoided had the Ontario Power Authority (OPA) held the line on one key aspect of the draft FIT solar pricing. The original price proposed in April 2009 for large, ground-mount projects was $0.443/kWh, with a planned price “degression” or decrease of 9% for each 100 MW of solar ground-mount capacity added. The idea behind the degression was to simultaneously anticipate and force reductions in the installed cost of solar generation. Solar advocates immediately protested the planned price degression and the OPA quietly dropped it. This was akin to a parent giving in to a child’s demand to be served cookies and ice cream at every meal.
The move will cause great harm to ratepayers. Assuming this decrease would have occurred on a non-compounded basis, by the time 400 MW of ground-mount solar was under contract , the associated price would have been 32.3 cents/kWh . This price is close to where it stands today and is likely uneconomic. So, had price degression for ground-mount FIT solar been maintained, its development would have effectively ground to a halt at no more than 400 MW.
A 10 MW solar project could be flipped for a windfall profit of $21-million
Example of a Solar Installation that affects your bills directly!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Project Type: Solar Rooftop
Applicant: VanDyk Family
Grants Awarded: G1 $16,200/G2 $18,900
Project Size: 90 kW
Status: Installation Completed and Connected
The Longhurst project was put in motion in November, 2010. Within a year, this family-owned solar roof-mount project was connected and feeding 90 kW of clean electricity into the grid.
Helen and Arie VanDyk worked together with their son Erik to realize their role as community power producers. Helen and Arie, the property owners and main investors in the project, installed the panels on the roof of the barn themselves. Their son Erik, partnered with his brother-in-law Adam to take on managing the project.
Their barn sits on 27 acres of Elgin County land, where you’ll find black beans, kidney beans, wheat and corn growing. Just down the road, the VanDyk’s project inspired two new 10kW microFIT projects installed by neighbours. Longhurst was connected to the grid on September 30th, 2011.
This project has received funding support from the Ontario Power Authority through the Community Energy Partnerships Program. Such support does not indicate endorsement by the Ontario Power Authority or the Province of Ontario of the contents of this material. The views expressed in the material are the views of the Recipient and do not necessarily reflect those of the Ontario Power Authority or the Province of Ontario.