Solar Power in 5 Easy Steps
Step 1: Assessing Your Site
The first step towards getting a Solar Photovoltaic System installed is to receive a solar site visit from a trained professional. A Windfall Solar Site Visit gives you the information you need in order to evaluate if solar is right for you including: solar capacity, estimated size and cost of array, and expected return on investment. The cost of the assessment ($150) is fully rebated when you purchase a system from Windfall Centre.
A Windfall Solar Advisor will perform a detailed assessment to determine whether solar Photovoltaic panels can be supported. The Windfall Advisor will assess your location, sunlight availability and installation requirements. Our Advisors use the SunEye Analysis Tool for the solar site assessment. It includes a fisheye lens on a digital camera and an on-board processor to perform digital image processing and analysis to compute shading and solar access percentages.
It also includes an electronic compass and level, and an inclinometer function for measuring roof pitch and azimuth. This tool will determine the amount of sun and shading your roof has which will determine if it makes sense to install a solar PV system.
This tool combined with the Solar Photovoltaic Designer software will allow us to design what your photovoltaic array might look like.
Step 2: Site Report
Based on our design and the information collected at your home, we will create a customized solar report that will outline your potential energy output, costs, and return on investment.
The report will determine the site's monthly solar access and an estimate of the amount of solar energy that your solar array would receive based on the time of year, location and direction of your home. Based on this information the report will also provide the approximate solar output in Kilowatt hours month by month.
Also included in the report will be the suggested size of your solar system and the placement of the panels. The expected return on investment if you decide to apply for the 20 year contract with the Ontario Power Authority under the microFIT Program is calculated and included on the report.
Additionally, the report will compare what your return on investment would be by investing in a solar photovoltaic array versus other investment options.
Lastly, your report will include information on your potential positive environmental impact by installing a solar photovoltaic array.
It is important to understand that your total solar output will depend on how many panels you have and the efficiency of the specific panels.
Step 3: Registration
Should you wish to continue in the process of getting a Solar Photovoltaic Array, the next step is to register on the microFIT website.
As part of Windfall's Solar Package, our staff will fill out all the necessary information to complete your registration, and assign you a personalized page that only you will be able to access with a unique username and password.
Once registration is complete, you will be able to log in to your “
My microFIT” home page. This page will provide you with the necessary resources and features of the microFIT Program. It is also here that Windfall assists you in the next step of getting a Solar Photovoltaic System.
Step 4: Application
Throughout the Application Stage of Windfall's Solar Package, our staff will fill out all the necessary information to complete your FIT application, and help you track its progress with the Ontario Power Authority.
The (micro)FIT application form has two sections:
1. General applicant information:
- Applicant's legal name
- Name of the microFIT project (for applicant tracking purposes)
- Applicant's primary contact information and secondary contact information (if applicable)
- Type of applicant (e.g., homeowner, commercial, institutional, etc.)
- GST registration number (if applicable)
2. Project eligibility requirements:
- Address of the proposed microFIT project
- Name of local distribution company serving the microFIT project
- Type of renewable energy technology
- Capacity of the proposed microFIT project
- Estimated date to submit a connection request to the local distribution company
- Whether the project is an incremental project (if yes, details of the existing project are needed)
- Whether your project is converting from a net-metered project
- Whether your project has an existing Ontario Power Authority contract (if yes, your project is not eligible and the application will not be accepted)
- Whether your project is receiving additional grants or funding
- Local distribution company account information associated with the existing load customer account at the location of the microFIT project (if applicable)
3. A (micro)FIT contract holder must also be:
- The person who or legal entity that holds the local distribution company generator account associated with the microFIT project.
- The person who or legal entity that signs the connection agreement with the local distribution company for the microFIT project.
Your microFIT project will have its own generation meter that is used to measure the amount of electricity generated by the project. When you connect your project, you will be required to set-up a new customer account with your local distribution company specifically for your microFIT project.
Information gathered from Ontario Power Authority Renewable Energy Feed-in Tariff Program http://fit.powerauthority.on.ca/
Step 5: Installation and Connection
There are six steps in the Installation and Connection Stage that Windfall will complete as part of Ontario Power Authority's microFIT Requirements for Solar Photovoltaic Connection.
Our staff will work with you throughout the entire process until your solar array is connected and contracted with Ontario Power Authority's FIT Program.
Throughout this Stage of the Process Windfall Solar Staff will:
1. Request Information
Consult your local distribution company and the Electrical Safety Authority about their requirements.
2. Develop a Project Plan
Prepare a project plan with all the connection information and confirm that it meets the requirements of your local distribution company and the Electrical Safety Authority.
3. Submit a Connection Request
Fill out the connection request application and submit it to your local distribution company.
4. Install Photovoltaic Array
After reviewing the cost to connect to the grid, proceed with the installation of your microFIT project. It is during this stage of the Installation and Connection that the customer will be fully reimbursed for their Solar Site Assessment.
5. Electrical Safety Authority Inspection
Once the project is installed, schedule and complete a safety inspection.
6. Finalize Your Connection
Work with your local distribution company to complete the connection of your microFIT project.