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Customer-Based Generation Programs

Are you interested in generating your own electricity? Saskatoon Light & Power offers two programs to support those who wish to generate electricity locally and sustainably.

Many residents and businesses are choosing to generate their own electricity. Customers wishing to generate their own electricity may apply to participate in one of two programs: The new Net Metering Program or the Small Power Producers Program (formerly called the Customer-Based Generation Program).

Energy Graphic

 

Net Metering Program

Saskatoon Light & Power’s Net Metering Program is designed for residential and commercial customers who wish to generate their own electricity. The Net Metering Program allows customers to generate electricity for their own use, and ‘bank’ excess electricity for future credit on their power bill.

A typical residential photovoltaic system will produce approximately 60% of the electricity needed during the year. However, most of electricity generated occurs during the daytime when the electricity consumption is at its lowest. The Net Metering Program allows the customer to bank excess electricity on our electrical grid, and to ‘withdraw’ the banked electricity when it is needed.

Banked electricity will be used to offset your current month’s electricity consumption. Any excess banked electricity will be used to offset future monthly bills. Electricity can be banked up to one-year, ending March 31st of each year, at which time accounts are reset.

Customers can connect up to 100 kilowatt (kW) in capacity that utilizes a clean or renewable resource. A bi-directional Utility meter is used to record the electricity flowing to the electrical grid. Full details on the program and terms and conditions may be found in Administrative Policy No. A07-022, Power Producer Policy .

Download the Net Metering: What You Need to Know Brochure.

 

Small Power Producers Program

Saskatoon Light & Power’s Small Power Producers Program is ideal for residents or businesses that want to generate some of their own electricity, and earn money by producing some electricity back onto the grid. SL&P matches the SaskPower Small Power Producers purchase rate, which is currently set at 0.10610 $ per kilowatt-hour ($/kWh) in 2016, and increases by 2% each year.

Customers can connect up to 100 kW in capacity that utilizes a renewable or clean-energy resource. A bi-directional Utility meter is used to record the electricity flowing to the electrical grid. Full details on the program and terms and conditions may be found in Administrative Policy No. A07-022, Power Producer Policy.

 

Net Metering Rebate

The province offers a rebate program for environmentally preferred technologies including solar. The program is administered through SaskPower and is available to SaskPower, Saskatoon Light & Power and City of Swift Current electricity customers until November 30, 2018. The program is a one-time rebate, equivalent to 20 per cent of eligible costs to a maximum payment of $20,000, for an approved and grid interconnected net metering project. 

Saskatoon Light & Power (SL&P) customers apply for this rebate directly through SaskPower.

 

Program Cost

For a single-phase system, there will be a $100 cost for a witness verification test. This is billed to you at the end of the project. For three phase systems, the customer will pay the cost of the bi-directional meter (~$600), plus the $100 cost for a witness verification test.

An interconnection study may be required, which is at the discretion of Saskatoon Light & Power. An interconnection study is typically required only for non-residential projects. The interconnection study cost is $300. 

 

Application Guidelines

To apply for the Net Metering Program OR the Small Power Producers Program

Application Guideline

  1. Apply      
    1. Complete one of the following Applications for Interconnection:
      1. Solar Photovoltaic (PV) Self-Generation Application
        1. This application is intended to be used for:
          • Solar Photovoltaic (PV) installations under or equal to 15 kW total capacity;
          • Solar PV installations at a residential location; an
          • All Solar PV is installed on one structure.
        2. Applications to include:
          • Electrical Single Line Diagram.
      2. Request for Preliminary Interconnection Study & Self-Generation Application
        1. This application is intended to be used for:
          • any generation interconnections that are not by Solar Photovoltaic (PV) source; or
          • Solar PV applications that do not meet the requirements of the Solar Photovoltaic (PV) Self-Generation Application above.
        2. Applications to include:
          • Protective Device Information – Manufacturer’s Name and model, Settings, Protection Scheme;
          • Site Plan showing the generator, inverter, and transformer locations; and
          • Electrical Single Line Diagram. 
    2. The application can either be completed by the homeowner or the contractor, but must be signed by the Primary Account Holder. 
    3. The applications reference the following documents that should be read in conjunction:
      1. Administrative Policy No. A07-022, Power Producer Policy; and
      2. Saskatoon Light & Power (SL&P) Interconnection Guidelines.
    4. The completed application will be submitted to:  
      • Nathan Ziegler, P.Eng PMP, Sustainable Electricity Engineer,
        Saskatoon Light & Power
        322 Brand Road
        Saskatoon SK  S7J 5J3 
        Nathan.ziegler@saskatoon.ca, (306) 975-3045
      1. SL&P will either approve the application or request more information. A letter will be mailed to the customer informing them of the approval to proceed with their self-generation project.
  2. Install Your System
    1. For helpful hints on the Installation Process including required permits and inspections, see SaskPower’s Net Metering Process site.
  3. Request an Installation Inspection
    1. SaskPower will inspect the installation and install a Non-Utility Generation (NUG) sticker to the meter after inspection. Once the NUG sticker is attached, contact the Sustainable Electricity Engineer at SL&P to perform a system witness test at: Nathan.Ziegler@saskatoon.ca or (306) 975-3045 
    2. The witness test involves a visual inspection of the generation system and testing the Voltage Loss Protection.
  4. Interconnection Operating Agreement
    1. After a successful Installation Inspection, an agreement will be mailed to Primary Account Holder, who must read, sign and return this to Saskatoon Light & Power.
    2. Once we receive the signed copy, a Saskatoon Light & Power representative will sign the agreement and a copy will be sent to you for your records.
    3. A copy of the signed Interconnection Operating Agreement is required by SaskPower to claim your Net Metering Rebate.

 

Outside SL&P Service Area

For Saskatoon residents who do not live in the Saskatoon Light & Power Service Area, SaskPower offers both a Small Power Producer’s Program and a Net-Metering Program to its customers.

 

Environmentally-Preferred Technologies

Saskatoon Light & Power’s customer-based generation programs are pre-approved for solar photovoltaic projects (solar panels), and we will consider all environmentally-preferred generation technologies such as wind, biomass, micro-cogeneration (combined-heat and power), geothermal, and fuel cells under 100kW in size.

If you are interested in an alternative technology, you will be asked to provide details about the technology that supports your request, and to demonstrate a greenhouse gas emissions savings over combined-system natural gas electricity sources (assumed to be 420 Tonnes of Carbon Dioxide equivalent per Gigawatt-hour (CO2eq/GWh)).

 

Frequently Asked Questions

Which program is better for me?

If you think you will generate less electricity that you will consume in a one-year period, the Net Metering Program is likely more beneficial, as you will be credited for the electricity at the same rate as you pay. If you want to sell all of the power you produce, or produce more power in a year than you will consume, then the Small Power Producers Program may be a better option, as all the excess electricity generated with your system is sold to SL&P.

 

How big of a solar system would I need to cover my needs?

A typical residential solar system will generate 1,225 kilowatt-hours per kilowatt (kWh/kW) a year. A typical house uses between 8,000 to 10,000 kWh per year, so a typical house would need between a 6.5 and 8 kW of solar panels to generate all the required for their home. To estimate your requirements, divide your yearly kWh consumption by 1225.

 

Will generating my own electricity help me reduce my carbon footprint?

Yes. Saskatchewan residents use more energy and produce more greenhouse gas emissions per person than anywhere else in Canada. About 80% of Saskatchewan’s electricity comes from fossil fuels (coal and natural gas). The Saskatchewan electrical grid intensity is 660 tonnes CO2eq per GWh, which is one of the highest in the country. The carbon emissions intensity of a typical solar system is less than 100 tonnes CO2eq per GWh.