Solar Global Solutions (SGS) is a 100% Canadian owned company based in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Founded in 1988, SGS has over 25 years of experience successfully developing projects for residential, commercial, government and utility clients. SGS has deployed over 500 solar power systems throughout North America, the Caribbean and the Middle East. These installations include net-zero energy systems, both grid-tied and off-grid solar photovoltaics (PV), battery storage, combined heat and power (CHP) generators, controls and wireless monitoring technology.
SGS employs a multi-disciplined staff of professionals including engineers, technicians, and electricians to work collaboratively with homeowners to determine the best solar energy solution for them. SGS provides turn-key services for solar projects including design, supply, installation, maintenance and paperwork.
The Halifax Solar City Program offers homeowners a low (4.75%) fixed interest 10-year loan to finance the installation of your solar energy system so you don’t have to pay the entire cost up-front. Your SGS solar system will be eligible for financing provided you meet the criteria for the program. More information on the Halifax Solar City program and the criteria can be found here: http://www.Halifax.ca/solarcity
Solar PV is an excellent investment to help you lower your energy costs, shield yourself from rising utility rates, and help protect the environment. Based on our experience we have compiled average system sizes, costs, and savings for typical Nova Scotian homes to assist you in understanding the benefits, costs, and financing options for going solar.
The graph below is an example of the annual cash flow for a typical 10kW residential solar system with the entire system financed through the Halifax Solar City program.
A solar PV system will produce a certain amount of energy per year depending on its size and site conditions. With the cost of the system and its energy yield over its lifetime it is possible to estimate the cost per kilowatt-hour ($/kWh) of electricity generated from the solar system and compare it to the current and forecasted Nova Scotia Power electricity prices. The current energy cost from the utility is $0.1569/kWh including tax and rising nearly every year. Often the cost of solar energy is competitive or less expensive than utility rates today and the savings increase every year as the utility rates go up. A solar PV system shields a certain percentage of your electricity usage from rising utility rates with larger systems providing more price protection.
The following table outlines typical solar PV system sizes, the cost of electricity from NS Power today, effective fixed cost of electricity produced by a PV system, and the % of an average Nova Scotian home’s electricity demand that the PV system would supply depending on the home’s heating source.
*The percentage of annual electricity usage figures presented are estimated based on the average residential home in Nova Scotia. Lifetime cost of solar energy is based on average system energy yield for typical NS homes and the PV system budget numbers presented earlier. Please contact SGS for a detailed site assessment and official proposal based on your specific property and energy usage.
Investing in a solar PV system today allows you to sheild yourself from rising utility energy costs. The higher the % of your home’s annual electiricty demand met with solar the more protected you are against escalating utility rates. Shown below is the difference in cost per kWh between solar PV and the utility over the solar system’s 30-year lifespan.
With the Halifax Solar City program homeowners have an option to make a deposit or have the entire installed cost financed through the program. The loan for the solar equipment is transferrable if the property were to be sold or have a change of ownership. The fixed 10-year interest rate is 4.75% and homeowners can choose to pay off the system at any time during the loan period without penalty.
Although a number of different solar technologies are eligible for financing under the Halifax Solar City program, SGS’ specialty is solar photovoltaics (PV). Some of the reasons we encourage homeowners to invest in a solar PV system as opposed to solar thermal (solar hot-water or solar hot-air) are as follows:
• Reduced electrical costs. Electricity prices from Nova Scotia Power go up nearly every year. Investing in a solar PV system provides security and peace-of-mind by allowing you to protect yourself from rising utility energy costs over the system’s 30-year lifespan. Often, the cost of energy from solar PV is less than the utility cost today and the annual savings increase as utility rates rise.
• The grid is your storage tank. With Nova Scotia Power’s net-metering program, you don’t need to store the energy produced by your solar PV system in a battery or thermal storage tank for when you need it. Instead of a storage tank or battery, a PV system feeds the power directly into your home’s electrical panel. When your solar PV system produces more power than is being used in the home the excess electricity is automatically sold to Nova Scotia Power for a credit on your bill.
• Solar PV improves home resale value. Studies show that home buyers are regularly willing to pay more for houses with solar PV because buyers value homes with lower energy costs. In fact, the premium in resale value for equivalent homes was typically over $15,000 for one with a solar PV system installed!
• Reduced environmental footprint. In Nova Scotia we have some of the dirtiest power in Canada with nearly 75% of our electricity coming from fossil fuels (Coal, Oil & Natural Gas). We all need to do our part to protect the environment and investing in a solar PV system ensures that up to 100% of your annual electricity usage is coming from a renewable and environmentally friendly source.
• A long lifetime. Solar PV modules come with a 25-year power production warranty and inverters are available with a 25-year warranty. Through extensive testing the scientists and engineers from the US Department of Energy have estimated the useful life of solar PV modules at +35 years. Because of the rigorous testing and long warranty periods most solar PV system projects are assessed on a 30-year life.
• Modular design. SGS solar PV systems are designed in a modular way so they can be upgraded later or maintenance can be performed easily without taking the whole system offline.
• Compatible with battery storage. Unlike solar thermal systems, solar PV is compatible with battery storage for back-up power if required by the homeowner. A solar PV and battery system can provide your home with energy security during a power outage. Please ask us for more details if you are considering a battery system as part of your project.
• No moving parts. Solar PV systems have no moving parts which means less maintenance and reduced failures. In contrast, solar thermal systems have noisy failure-prone pumps or fans which need to be cleaned regularly. Failures or maintenance stops energy production which hurts your savings.
• Savings are independent of heat source or energy use. Unlike solar thermal systems, the savings from solar PV is not dependent on if you heat your home with oil, electricity, natural-gas, or high efficiency heat-pumps. The savings from solar PV are independent of energy use and instead provides electricity at a fixed “locked-in” rate allowing you to invest in efficiency upgrades at a later date.References
SGS is proud of the work we have done in Nova Scotia and abroad to help customers reduce their energy cost and carbon footprint. Shown on the following page are a couple of different projects we have completed including commercial work with Halifax Regional Municipality.
“It was a real pleasure working with SGS, the installation was fast, seamless and the performance of the system has lived up to expectations. The local solar industry is really stepping up to the plate, and providing high quality and value to the community.”
- Julian Boyle, former Halifax Energy Manager and founder of the Halifax Solar City Program
Waverly, NS: 10.0kW residential ground mount system
Scotch Village, NS: Off-grid residential home
Chester, NS: 17.0kW residential ballasted ground mount system
Dartmouth, NS: 12.2kW commercial flush roof mount system
Pictou Landing, NS: 30.5kW First Nations flush roof mount system with battery backup
Remote Monitoring and Control
Halifax Solar City Solar