Farmers have always harvested the sun through their crops, now they can harvest electricity from the sun and sell it to the Ontario power grid. The FIT and MicroFIT programs offer new revenue opportunities revenue for your farm, in a time when making ends meet for a farmer is harder than ever. The Ontario Power Authority (OPA) offers 20-year contracts at a guaranteed rate: Think of it as a crop that needs no fertilizing, weeding, irrigation, or harvesting. Once 'planted' there is no labour or fuel cost, yet this crop will make money every year, for at least 20 years.
Farmers are used to dealing with capital-cost-allowance type of equipment, and should therefore feel right at home with the tax aspects of solar PV. The cost of the equipment is fully depreciable against the revenue generated by the solar electricity. Large investments are no stranger to a farmer either, and getting financing for solar PV should not be a problem. Many banks now recognize that a FIT or MicroFIT contract is in essence a contract with the government, while energy production from solar PV is very predictable over a 20-year term.
There are two solar options suitable for the farmer:
Please contact us and let us know how we can help you. We know you are busy running the farm and do not have time to study every detail. We will do that for you, from start to finish. We take great pride in being there for our customers, and our installations are to the highest standards. Our estimates of energy production and revenue are always honest and conservative; our goal is for you to be a happy customer!
Solar Payback and Return-On-Investment for Farmers
A reasonable (and conservative) estimate for the energy production of fixed solar modules is 1,140 kW per KW of solar PV per year. With that in mind, let us take a look at a 100 kW barn roof solar PV installation, assuming a roof that is close to south-facing and with a roof pitch between 20 and 45 degrees:
With $925,000 in profit over the 20-year contract term this is a 'crop' that should appeal to a farmer!
For ground mounted solar PV we install Deger 9000NT trackers. These are high-quality German designed units, that are now manufactured in Ontario (to meet the MicroFIT requirement for Domestic Content). Each unit holds very close to 10 kW, in fact, with the currently available Ontario manufactured PV modules we can install 9,870 Watt on them. Here are the numbers for a Deger tracker:
With $106,300 in profit over the 20-year contract term this is nothing to complain about. Moreover, the OPA will award multiple MicroFIT contracts for multiple addresses, allowing for multiple fields to utilize a 10 kW solar tracker.