Cost of a PV System
What Does a PV System Cost?
When deciding to go with a PV system, the one question everyone has is “Well, how much does it cost?”. A PV system comes with a mix of fixed costs, maintenance costs, and daily operating costs. To start things off we are going to go over everything you’ll need to pay to get your PV system set-up, installed, and producing power!
The model for pricing a PV system is usually a “per watt” method, where all the costs are broken down to a per-watt rate. Under most circumstances, the costs include the modules, the inverter, the labour , supply chain costs, electrical and structural system balancing, installation overhead, and applicable taxes and permits/inspection. In New Brunswick, the cost per installed watt ends up ranging from $2.65 to $3.24. As you can see you will require a permit and safety inspection to convert to solar power. This is to ensure that the PV system passes all legal regulations when it comes to the electrical and structural wiring and mounting of the panels.
How Big Should My PV System Be?
You can calculate the size of the system you’ll need by taking your yearly energy use in kWh and then divide that by the annual average peak sunlight hours in your area. For example, if you live in New Brunswick and you use 26,000 kWh per year, and New Brunswick has an annual average of 1,142 peak sunlight hours, then your calculation would be 26,000/1,142. This will tell you that you need to have approximately a 22.8 kW system. A 22.8 kW system is 22,800 Watts and per watt, it cost $2.65 to $3.24 yielding a system cost of $60,420 to $73,872. These costs may seem large at first, but below you will find the different options to finance a PV system as well as incentives and programs that will not only provide you with savings, but funding to convert to renewable energy sources.
Operating and Maintenance Costs
Operating and maintenance costs pertain to all of the costs that you’ll have after you install your PV system. These include both scheduled and unscheduled cleaning and repairs, which are required to maintain the peak performance of your PV system. The scheduled maintenance refers to the recommended cleaning of the modules which is two times per year. Unscheduled maintenance refers to any major storm that dirties the panels or snow removal off of solar panels, and as such is left up to the discretion of the owner.
There are a few types of repairs that are commonly done to solar panels as a result of general wear and tear. Some of these include broken glass panels, cracked panels, loose connections, or replacement inverters. The cost for repairs consists of the materials needed to do the repairs and the labour on an hourly basis.
If you end up leasing from the system from Naveco Power, then we will cover the operating and maintenance costs for you. This means that you’ll be able to save even more money, and time as you won’t have to worry about a thing.
Incentives in New Brunswick
NB Power offers a net metering option that allows customers to connect their renewable energy generation unit to the distribution system of NB Power. By doing this, they can offset their consumption while also being able to use the power that they are not generating from NB Power when their generation units cannot keep up to their usage. Ultimately, this allows businesses to use a mix of renewable energy that they are producing and energy from NB Power when they cannot keep up to usage, meaning that they will always have power and never encounter a shortage. With this being said, it also works in reverse. When you are generating excess power, NB power will then “buy” the power from you as long as the meter does not pass 100 kW.
Instead of paying you monetarily, they will provide credits on your future bills with them that will provide a discount the next time you have a bill.
Commercial Building Retrofit Program
NB Power also offers a program called the “Commercial Buildings Retrofit Program” which allows for commercial building owners to be compensated for energy-efficient building upgrades. They provide financial incentives up to $3,300 for any energy audits and up to $100,000 for any retrofitting project that reduces non-electric fuels.
If you enjoyed this blog and want to find out what options you have when it comes to paying for your PV System, stay tuned for the next blog!
If you’ve made it this far then you must seriously be considering a PV system. In the next blog, we will go over all of the different financing options you have available!
About the Author
Oriana Cordido has a Bachelor of Arts degree with a double major in International Relations and Economics. She is currently responsible for providing knowledge and awareness about solar energy, and creating solar proposals for customers wanting to reduce their energy bills. You might be reading this blog if you're curious about how your business can save money. If this is something you've ever thought about, she's your go-to girl!
She has considerable experience in the field of social entrepreneurship as she was the Team President and Co-Founder of Enactus UNB which is an international non-profit organization dedicated to inspiring students to improve the world through entrepreneurial action.
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