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g Province Announces Solar Rebate for Residential Properties

Posted: June 25, 2018 @ 2:52pm / Updated: June 25, 2018 @ 2:52pm

Nova Scotia has announced the SolarHomes program, which will provide a rebate of $1/watt on a residential Solar PV installation, up to a maximum rebate of $10,000. Nova Solar Capital was on hand for the announcement in Dartmouth today, and we're thrilled that there's federal money coming to help expand solar in Nova Scotia.

The full details aren't available yet and the program is planned to begin sometime in August, but will be retroactive to installations completed beginning today. We're looking forward to helping our customers take advantage of this rebate to make solar even more affordable. This will be a great compliment to our financing program and will make solar a reality for many more Nova Scotians.

If you're interested in solar for your property, click on the register tab and fill in some information to help us do a free, no-obligation preliminary assessment. We'll get in touch with you to discuss your solar options!

f Battery- Backup System Test Installation

Posted: May 30, 2018 @ 4:21pm / Updated: May 30, 2018 @ 4:21pm

Nova Solar Capital

 

Grid-Tied AC Coupling Residential Battery-Backup System Test Installation

 

What are we offering, and why?

A battery backup system is a natural complement to solar PV, but the ability to use a backup system with micro inverters is a fairly recent development, and at Nova Solar capital we want to test one to understand its installation and operating characteristics in a real-world situation.

We will install the backup system with one of the first solar installations purchased from Nova Solar Capital or leased from Solar Scotia Energy (the solar CEDIF) in the 2018 season. The customer will purchase or lease the solar installation, but the battery backup will be provided at no cost to the customer and left installed for their continued use during its operating life. On completion of commissioning, the battery backup system will become the property of the customer. We would like to receive continued occasional performance updates as part of our test program.

The Nova Scotia Community College carries out research in renewable energy and we anticipate delegating to them the choice of site and we hope to work with them in designing the test program and monitoring regime. This test system is only available for one installation in our first round of new installations in 2018, and would be located somewhere within the Annapolis Valley, South Shore or HRM for monitoring purposes.

 

What is a Battery Backup System?

A grid-tied solar PV installation uses net-metering so that power generated in excess of what is consumed in the home can be fed back to the power grid to NS Power – essentially using the grid as your storage device - so you get the benefit of every kilowatt you create, either at the time of production or as a credit from NSP. However, when the grid goes down so does your solar as the micro-inverters must sense the grid in order to operate, as power fed back to the grid could cause serious injury to workers working on the power lines. So even on sunny days you would be without power just like everyone else.

A battery backup system uses an inverter charger to take AC power from the grid or the solar array (or from a gas/diesel generator if you have one) into storage in a set of deep-cycle batteries. This is called a “Grid-Tied AC Coupled” system. If the grid goes down, the backup system is isolated from the grid and the inverter uses the battery backup to signal the micro inverters in the solar array that they can deliver electricity. The solar electricity is then used to power essential home services such as lighting, the fan on a forced air oil furnace, fridge/freezer etc or a TV. If the solar is not producing sufficient power, or it’s dark, the solar power is supplemented by power drawn from the battery backup or from a plug-in generator. If it’s dark, the battery storage is recharged from the solar array the next day with any excess power left over after essential loads are met. In principle, and depending on loads, the combination of the solar array and battery backup can keep these essential home electrical services operating for days or even weeks. When grid power is restored, the entire installation will be restored to grid connection. The diagram above shows the main components.

 

System Specification

Battery backup systems were originally designed for off-grid applications using string inverter technology but the system we plan to install is designed to work with a modern grid-tied micro inverter system and includes, provisionally, the following components:

  • Inverter charger unit. (Magnum Energy MSPAE-4024)
  • AC Load centre with breakers; for essential circuits- lights, refrigerator, water pump etc
  • Mini Panel with isolation breakers (Magnum MMP175-30D mini)
  • Magnum Energy ME-RTR inverter remote panel
  • 8 Series/Parallel Batteries 24VDC@920Ah or 48VDC@460Ah (Rolls Surrette S6-460AGM)
  • Battery monitor w/shunt (Magnum ME-BMK )
  • Surge suppression Device (to protect from lightning strikes and power surges)

The approximate installed retail value is about $12,000 plus taxes. The system will be installed with a 12 month installation warranty from Nova Solar Capital and will be subject to manufacturers’ warranties on materials.

Next Steps

Contact us if you would like to participate or have any questions. We anticipate finalizing the first group very soon in order to get the bulk hardware ordering completed to allow the installations to be underway in late June/July.

Phone: 902 812 1050 or email: info@novasolarcapital.com

f Residential Solar Energy Growing

Posted: May 23, 2018 @ 2:58pm / Updated: May 23, 2018 @ 3:01pm

More great press about us today in the Chronicle Herald! Read the story here -> http://thechronicleherald.ca/southshorebreaker/1572274-residential-solar-energy-growing-firm

f Nova Scotia's Residential Solar Installations Growing

Posted: May 11, 2018 @ 9:35am / Updated: May 11, 2018 @ 9:35am

Wednesday, May 9 (Kentville, NS) – Nova Scotia’s residential solar energy generation grew by 69% in 2017. The province’s only Solar PV Projects Development Company, Nova Solar Capital, expects the trend to continue as 2018 installations begin this summer.

“More solar came through Nova Solar Capital than any other company in Nova Scotia last year,” says Nova Solar Capital’s President & CEO, Dr. Andrew Bagley. “We completed 42 installations alone in our first year, accounting for 44% of the residential market. Now, our team has grown from three to seven full-time employees who are passionate about bringing renewable energy to more Nova Scotians.”

Nova Solar Capital manages the Solar Scotia Energy CEDIF, and the majority of the company’s residential solar customers were also investors in the CEDIF. Nova Scotians can invest in Solar Scotia Energy from their RRSP savings and receive NS equity tax credits worth up to 65% of their investment.

This season, Nova Solar Capital is looking to test a battery backup system during their first group of installations by installing one at no charge to the homeowner (an approximate $12,000 value). The backup battery provides automatic power backup and can enable homes to be powered indefinitely by a solar installation during extended power outages, which has previously been unattainable for grid-tied systems.

Nova Scotians can learn more by visiting www.novasolarcapital.com/register.

f Second CEDIF Offering for Solar Scotia Energy

Posted: April 20, 2018 @ 2:54pm / Updated: April 20, 2018 @ 2:55pm

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Second CEDIF Offering for Solar Scotia Energy

Kentville, N.S., March 2018:

Solar Scotia Energy Inc. has launched its second share offering to finance the mass installation of Solar Photovoltaic (PV) systems on residential homes in Nova Scotia and provide the opportunity for sales of solar hardware to third parties.

The first share offering closed on December 12, 2017 and raised nearly $1.1 million, resulting in leased solar installations for nearly 40 homes across the province, in addition to sales of solar hardware equivalent to 22 average-sized installations.

Solar PV is experiencing rapid growth in Nova Scotia. The growing trend of solar PV installations in Nova Scotia can be observed from Chart 21(a) on page 22 of the Offering Document, and is reproduced below. At the end of 2016, residential solar PV generation represented just 0.015% of Nova Scotia Power’s total generation, so in the issuer’s view there remains significant room for this market to grow.

 

 

 CEDIFs are RRSP eligible investments, and investors may also qualify for the 35% non-refundable Equity Tax Credit applicable to Nova Scotia Taxes otherwise payable, which may be carried forward 7 years and backwards 3 years. Investors may be eligible for further non-refundable NS Equity Tax Credits of 20% for a second 5-year holding period and 10% for a third 5-year holding period of the investment. ETC rollovers after the initial 5-year holding period are not guaranteed and additional conditions apply.

For investors with a passion for the environment and a belief in the benefits of solar energy, this is an exciting opportunity that will help bring Nova Scotia into the new energy frontier. More details can be found at www.solarscotiaenergy.ca.

f Nova Scotia Solar Firm Installing Panels Around Province

Posted: December 15, 2017 @ 1:04pm

Another great article about us in the Chronicle Herald! We're looking forward to expanding our residential program in the new year, and we're excited to work with farms and businesses looking to go solar!

 

http://thechronicleherald.ca/business/1527539-nova-scotia-solar-firm-installing-panels-around-province

 

f Nova Solar Capital wins AVCC Outstanding New Business award

Posted: November 3, 2017 @ 3:41pm

Kentville-based Solar Projects Development Company Nova Solar Capital Inc. was named Outstanding New Business of the Year at the 2017 Annapolis Valley Chamber of Commerce Business Awards last night in Wolfville. The judges noted “some factors contributing to winning this award are: being a leader in a growing industry, their investment in a strong foundational team, and their carefully crafted business model”.

Nova Solar Capital is currently in the installation phase of its first residential project that has seen over 1 million dollars invested in more than 40 installations taking place on properties throughout Nova Scotia. This phase alone will increase the installed capacity of solar PV in Nova Scotia by 30%.

This increase in solar generation will take approximately 10,000 tonnes of CO2 out of the atmosphere over the lifetime of these systems (25-30 years); which is the equivalent of planting two to three thousand trees in Nova Scotia, or taking 44 cars off the road.

Nova Solar Capital is now taking bookings for the spring installation season. For more information visit www.novasolarcapital.com

f Join us at the Energize NS Discovery Fair - October 27 & 28 in Bridgewater

Posted: October 5, 2017 @ 11:45am / Updated: October 5, 2017 @ 11:51am

We're very excited to take part in Nova Scotia's first ever Energy Discovery Fair! Come visit our booth, we'd love to talk solar with you! Find out more info at www.energizebridgewater.ca/energize-nova-scotia/

Energize NS

 

f Mass Installation Project begins with Successful Solar CEDIF

Posted: July 18, 2017 @ 9:06am / Updated: July 18, 2017 @ 10:05am

Solar Scotia Energy is the first successful solar CEDIF in Nova Scotia. It has recently met its minimum funding needed to begin and to date has raised nearly 1 million dollars.

The funds invested in Solar Scotia Energy are being used to purchase Solar PV hardware for the primary purpose of financing solar PV arrays on residential homes in Nova Scotia. Customers who are having these arrays installed on their homes are paying an annual lease payment at a very attractive 3.5% fixed over 10 years; at the end of the term there is a $50 buyout fee and the solar PV system becomes their property free and clear. The system will continue to generate free electricity for an additional 15 to 20 years.

Solar Scotia Energy will also use its purchasing power and ability to go direct to the manufacturers to create a solar hardware distribution business in Nova Scotia. This will allow existing solar PV installers in the Maritimes to source hardware from a Nova Scotia company rather than going through distributors in Ontario or elsewhere.

The mandate of Solar Scotia Energy Inc. is to help grow the solar energy industry in Nova Scotia, and is sub-contracting installations to local installers. The addition of a local hardware distributor will help to continue to create economic growth in the province in the emerging renewable energy sector.

The residential installations that will be undertaken in just the first phase of the mass installation project that is being managed by Nova Solar Capital Inc. will increase the installed solar capacity in Nova Scotia by 20%. It is the largest residential solar project ever undertaken in Atlantic Canada.

There is still an opportunity to invest in the Solar Scotia Energy CEDIF; the close date is September 14th. For further information, visit www.solarscotiaenergy.ca.

f The Economics of the Tesla Solar Roof

Posted: May 12, 2017 @ 5:20pm / Updated: May 12, 2017 @ 5:22pm

Tesla Solar Roof or Solar CEDIF?

Introduction

Tesla has just launched its beautiful Solar Roof and although it's currently only available in the US, they're promising it will be available outside the US sometime next year. So, what does it cost for a typical roof and how does that compare to a regular solar installation you can get today through Nova Solar Capital's CEDIF?

The Numbers on the Tesla Solar Roof

You can go to Tesla's website and enter the address of your property (US only), the floor area and the number of storeys. With this data, the website identifies your roof area, latitude, the local weather conditions, and the orientation of your roof. It assumes conservative estimates on loss of useful roof space to obstacles (chimneys, skylights etc), and uses local power rates and an annual power cost escalation rate to calculate the amount of generation from solar tiles and the annual cost of power saved. From the roof area and the proportion of solar and non-solar tiles, it calculates the cost of the roof. The difference between the cost of the roof and the power saved is the savings to the homeowner. The default settings include a Powerwall battery backup but this can be unselected to have just a standard grid-tied system, and the US investment tax credit is also included but is given as a separate number so it can be excluded as we don't have investment tax credits on solar PV in Canada.

As the Solar Roof isn't yet available in Canada, a house in Bangor was evaluated to make a comparison with Nova Scotia. Bangor is the same latitude as Halifax but more comparable to the Annapolis Valley for annual hours of sunlight. The 2-storey house evaluated has a south facing roof clear of obstructions and trees. The footprint of the house is about 30' x 37' with a 12/12 (45 degree) pitched roof. The total floor area of the house is about 2,200 sq ft.

This data was put into the Solar Roof Calculator and it estimated that 70% of the roof could be covered with the solar tiles, with the rest being non-solar. The calculator says the cost of the roof is $46,100 and the value of energy produced over 30 years based on escalating the current electricity price of 16.02¢/kWh by 2% per year is $52,600 - all US dollars. We can calculate back to the implied annual output of the solar to produce this value of electricity and it is about 8,700kWh per year. At Nova Solar Capital we have evaluated this roof for solar and found that the maximum potential output is 12,100kWh so 8,700kWh is about 30% less than our estimate of the roof's potential.

Tesla says this roof would qualify for a tax credit of $12,400. The benefit of the power savings over 30 years ($52,600) over the cost of the roof ($46,100) is a net $6,500 giving total benefit of $18,900 with the tax credit. In Canada we don't get the tax credit, so on this calculation the benefit would be US$6,500.

There are a couple of fairly large flaws in Tesla's analysis. The first is that Tesla's calculations seem only to be for the south-facing half of the roof and as aesthetics are the main reason for using the Tesla Solar Roof, customers would certainly want to cover the other side of the roof with non-solar tiles. Using a bit of math, we can work out that the extra cost for this house in Bangor is $15,500 so the total cost would be $61,600 which is $9,000 more than the 30 year power generation.

The other flaw is that Tesla's calculation ignores the time cost of money (interest). If interest rates are 10%, depositing $100 today at 10% interest rate will become worth $110 in a year's time. By analogy, receiving $110 in savings in a year's time is worth just $100 to us in value today. So, $52,600 of power savings over the next 30 years is worth a lot less than $52,600 in value today; the value today, assuming 3% interest rate, is just $33,265 - even when taking into account the escalating cost of power. So, in reality, buying this Tesla roof loses the buyer $15,935 over its lifetime ($61,600 - $33,265 - $12,400 = $15,935) $US. We can do a similar analysis for a Nova Scotia buyer by translating the US roof cost into Canadian dollars and using NS Power's current power tariffs of 15.063¢/kWh and removing the tax credit. The roof cost at current exchange rates would be $85,000 and the value today of the power savings would be $31,300 giving a net loss of $53,700 because the roof cost is far greater than the power savings.

The Tesla Solar Roof is good for 30 years whereas asphalt shingles only last for about 15 years. A regular solar panel installation protects the underlying shingles so a roof in good shape with solar should be good for 30 years. The other side of the roof would need re-shingling twice over the life of the Tesla Solar Roof's lifespan, at a total cost of, say, $6,000, bringing the Solar Roof's cost down to about $47,700 for a Canadian customer. Bear in mind, that the Tesla Solar Roof only replaces 70% of your energy requirement: you would still have to buy 30% from the electric utility.

So, what do we say about Tesla's Solar Roof? It's a great product; the aesthetics are wonderful and it's surely the route solar PV has to follow. But don't buy it because of the economics as it is unlikely to pay for itself in its lifetime, buy it because you want renewable energy and it's beautiful.

The solar CEDIF: If you're serious about saving money with solar

Nova Solar Capital is promoting a solar CEDIF which helps people offset the financing of a solar installation on their home with equity tax credits worth 65% of the investment. The credits are 35% in the first year, 20% in year 5 and 10% in year 10. We would install a 9kW system for a cost of $30,000 on the house in Bangor if it were located in Nova Scotia, generating power of 11,000kWh per year and, unlike the Tesla roof, supplying the customer's entire electricity needs. The equity tax credits for this installation would total $19,500, bringing the net capital cost to just $10,500. Applying NS Power's current tariff of 15.063¢/kWh escalated at 2% per annum, the value today of the power savings and the 10 years' tax credits are respectively $39,300 and $18,600 (total $57,900) giving a net profit to the homeowner of $27,900 in value today on the $30,000 system cost. Furthermore, the investment can be funded from homeowners' own RRSP accounts, so no need to borrow from a bank. This net profit compares to a net loss of Tesla's Solar Roof for a Canadian buyer of $47,700 plus the value today of the 30% of power bought from NS Power which is $11,800. Buying an installation through the CEDIF gives value today profit of $27,000 compared to value today loss of $59,500 for the Tesla Solar Roof. A buyer would be $86,500 better off buying their solar through the CEDIF.

2% annual increase in power costs is very conservative for NS Power rates, which have increased on average over 5% per year for the last decade, and with carbon pricing and power from the beleaguered Muskrat Falls project (currently running 90% over budget) there are prospects for substantial further increases in the pipeline. If we assume power rate increases of 4% annually over the next 30 years, the value today of the power savings and 10 years' of tax credits is $69,000 giving a net profit to the homeowner of $39,000 in value today.

For those concerned about aesthetics of solar on their house, an installation can be ground-mounted, perhaps in a less visible area of the back yard. A ground-mount for the 9kW system costs approximately $6,500 and can be funded through the CEDIF qualifying for the same 65% equity tax credits as the solar installation.

The close date for our solar CEDIF was recently extended to July 10th. Interested parties should contact us by mid-June at the latest.

 
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