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Solar in Canada

Solar In Canada: Beyond the Ontario Feed In Tariff (FIT) Program

In most provinces, there is no Feed In Tariff Program. In a couple of provinces there is a "Net Metering" program where electricity displaced by a solar electric system is bought back by the electrical utility for the same price they sell it. Solar water pumping applications provide the same benefit by reducing the load the utility has to service, saving the pump owner money and potentially allowing the disconnection of the electrical pumping load from the grid entirely.

The Lorentz solar pump products are available with an AC backup power supply that can incrementally make up for a reduction in PV power or completely power the pump. The backup power supply is appropriate in critical applications where hourly fluctuations in pumping capacity cannot be tolerated - but large energy savings are desired. The brush-less, permanent magnet motor on  a Lorentz pump is highly efficient - more than twice as efficient as a conventional motor, so a 50% electrical energy savings is assured even if the pump were run exclusively from the backup power supply.

Displacing the electrical demand from pool pumps may seem fairly trivial in the big scheme of grid power loading. However, there are over 700,000 swimming pools in Canada and 310,000+ of them are in Ontario. Using conservative numbers this equates to a power consumption of almost a Terawatt hour (1,000 Gigawatt hours) of electricity a Summer - in Ontario that has a peak Summer electrical loading issue. This means that that during a heat wave when the electrical grid is being severely strained to meet the electrical demand - at least 2% of the generating capacity of Ontario Hydro is tied up pumping swimming pool water. Remotely shedding that load is problematic as arbitrarily shutting off pool pumps can cause severe damage to pool equipment, and disable necessary functions such as pool heating, sanitation and cleaning.

Getting pool pumps off the grid makes a great deal of sense and will provide a new market for the struggling solar industry in Ontario and a growing solar industry in Canada.