Who’s holding the solar power?

A solar grid tie PV system generates power excess is fed back to the utility turning the meter backwards, a money machine.

Several months ago an article was published titled “Energy Heroes” about a $25,000 LiveSmart grant to a private business for their solar grid tie PV system.

A solar grid tie PV system generates power excess is fed back to the utility turning the meter backwards, a money machine. Well not quite.  When your power goes off, so does theirs. I won’t explain the details here.

In nine months it has made just over $200, if you borrowed $25,000 you would have paid $1,200 on your 25 year loan. The average home uses 25kwh/day of power, their solar system has generated a third of that, the average home would still have two-thirds of their power bill, plus the loan payment and solar systems degrade over time earning even less.

The application said the system would be in a highly visible location, has anyone seen it? No, it can’t be seen except with binoculars if you know where to look.

I asked LiveSmart BC why the data wasn’t public, their response: “it wasn’t part of the requirement.” Yet the application said there would be detailed data on the internet, tours, seminars, videos and other websites could create a link to this so the world could see their system performance. I’m still looking and haven’t found any of this.

To be considered for the grant, the applicant’s project was to show a 20 per cent energy savings, be innovative, replicable by others a benefit to the community and include a verified letter from an engineer supporting this.

I spent a career in solar power, where it made sense, remote locations where the  alternatives were more expensive. There was a similar grant a couple years ago for a solar demonstration system, we needed another.

Nelson now has $50,000 of taxpayers dollars in solar demonstration systems.   Who benefitted from your $25,000?

Subsidies don’t make unaffordable power affordable it just changes who pays.

Max Yanke


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