We are so fortunate to live in the prairie province that gets more sunlight than anywhere else in the country and most places in the world, and we should take advantage of that!
Overall Solar Rating: A
Saskatchewan is in the top 3 best provinces in Canada for solar power.
As of 2018, more than 800 solar panels systems have been installed. Broken down, thats 400 residential installs in Saskatoon, Regina, Prince Albert, Swift Current, and Moose Jaw, as well as an additional 400 installs on rural properties across the province.
What is the right size for your system?
One of the first things to consider is how big your system needs to be. You may also be wondering if you can completely off-set your electrical usage.
The answer to these questions all lies in knowing how much energy you use in a year. Your monthly SaskPower Bill will show your usage (in kWh).
You can figure out your yearly energy usage by adding the amount shown for 12 consecutive months. Taking one month and multiplying it wont work, every month has different energy needs!
After finding your energy usage, you can calculate the size of your solar system by using the following equation: Size of system needed= yearly energy use (in kWh)/1,335h (1,335h equals the annual average equivalent of full sunlight hours in Saskatchewan)
Where is the best place for your system?
When you know the size of your system, you need to know the ideal position. Residential Saskatchewan homeowners tend to put panels on their roof, while rural homeowners opt for the roof of their house, shop, or a ground mount system in their yard.
For roof installations:
- South facing is ideal, east and west are good, but north is only alright.
- Roof mounted panels are harder to clean snow off of.
- Performance output on Solar panels is typically guaranteed for 25 years.
- Your roof’s slope is not the most optimal angle for solar production.
For ground installations:
- More expensive upfront due to piling requirements, mounting materials, power line trenching.
- Cheaper in long term because they are more efficient as they are mounted at optimal angles.
- Easily placed to avoid shading.
- Systems can be much larger than roof mounted ones.
What will installation cost?
You will need to know the size of your system. To calculate, multiply the size of your system by the cost per installed watt.
System cost= size needed x cost per installed watt
Solar Performance Payments: B
The Net Metering Program from SaskPower allows you to earn credit for the excess energy produced with your solar system. Credits can be carried forward month after month until it is set back to zero once a year. You can break even using this system (pay nothing for electricity!).
Solar Rebates & Tax Credits: B
Every homeowner and business that installs a solar system under SaskPower’s Net Metering program becomes eligible for 20% cash rebate. SaskPower will provide you with a one-time cash payment worth 20% of total system costs.
Electricity Costs: B
Saskatchewan has the second highest electricity rates in the country and low fixed rates. This means high cost savings and low fixed rates, meaning very little ongoing fees.
High electricity rates enable Saskatchewan solar systems to have the lowest pay-back period in the country!
Solar potential: A+
Our beautiful province has the highest potential for solar energy in the entire country!
The average solar system (5 kW) in Saskatchewan can produce approximately 6,678 kWh of electricity per year.
Renewable Energy Policy
Portfolio Standards: C
Saskatchewan has a goal to produce 50% of its electricity via renewable resources by 2030. SaskPower committed to develop 60MW of utility scale solar in the next couple of years. The first 10MW solar farm is due to begin in 2019 near Swift Current.
Solar power in Saskatchewan: To sum it up
Saskatchewan has incredible solar potential, high electricity prices, rebates up to 20%, net metering program, and highly skilled solar installers.
Being in the top 3 provinces for switching to solar power, there’s no better time to go solar in Saskatchewan!