We get this question a lot - why does ACE compensate our micro-generation more than our regular rates for renewable energy that gets sent back to the grid?
1) Solar production happens during peak electricity demand in Alberta – power pool prices during solar hours of production are inherently higher than average pool prices or retail rates.
2) Solar micro-generators are effectively subsidizing distribution and transmission in Alberta as Wires Services Providers charge direct neighbours for using the energy exported by solar micro-generators without simultaneously compensating the micro-generator. In Calgary and Edmonton, the variable portions of transmission, distribution and local access fees equate to approximately 5 - 6 ¢/kWh. While a micro-generator ‘saves’ on these charges for energy produced and used within the building, they receive no credit for this when exporting.
3) Solar electricity generation is emission free and a low-cost way of contributing to Alberta’s climate change mitigation goals.
4) Other jurisdictions similar to Alberta have also calculated the value of solar generation to be significantly higher than retail rate and the 15 ¢/kWh. A detailed study was conducted on this issue in November 2012 which was prepared for Mid Atlantic Solar Energy Industries Association & Pennsylvania Solar Energy Industries Association. In their market, they calculated the total value to be in the range of 25.6 cents per kWh to 31.8 cents per kWh.