CAN YOU GO OFF-GRID WITH SOLAR AND ENERGY STORAGE IN GTA?
Written by Nani Pradeepan, P.Eng.
The cost of PV keeps has come down substantially. Now, solar can compete with any other form of electrical generation. So, why don’t we just convert to solar based off grid? Off-grid solar is a system designed to help people function without the support of electrical infrastructure – utility’s electrical grid. A true off-grid house is able to operate completely independently of all traditional public utility services.
The sun doesn’t always shine. Nightfall, clouds, storms and seasonal variability in number of daylight hours make solar PV an intermittent source of power. The intermittency of solar makes it challenging to off-grid. So how feasible is it for the average household in GTA to go off grid – and is it really worth it? The short answer is that unless your electricity usage is minimal, it’s not very easy to disconnect from the grid and still have all the comforts you are used to. Even with the cost of solar and energy storage having fallen as much as they have, installing a stand-alone solar system really only makes sense if you are in a home where getting grid-connected is something you would have to pay for.
If you are in a major urban centers like GTA, deciding whether or not to truly get off the grid should be something you consider very carefully. To do so, you will either have to significantly change the way that you use electricity or spend a significant amount of money on a solar-plus-storage system large enough to get you through a cold, dark winter.
So at this time best options available for people in urban centers like GTA is to participate in programs like Micro FIT orNet Metering programs offered by the utilities. However, as the cost of utility power continues to rise, going off-grid will become justified in urban centers too.