Does Solar PV Make Sense For My BC Small Business?

The answer is a resounding YES for much of southern BC!

Update December 10, 2018:  Since our original post on November 29, 2018, we received feedback from our BC followers suggesting that BC Hydro rates may rise even faster than the ten year BC CPI electricity only rate of 4%/year, citing actual BC Hydro past pricing data from published reports and the looming threat of overruns on the Site C dam project.  So we re-crunched our numbers and this updated post contains a revised upper price increase projection.

If you compare the 25 year levelized cost of energy (LCOE) for grid-tie solar PV generated electricity with the updated cost projection scenarios below for grid supplied electricity provided by BC Hydro, you can see solar PV is clearly the long term winner and potentially even more attractive than we first thought!

The solar PV LCOE in the above chart is conservative and based on a 20 kW grid-tie solar PV system in Nanaimo, BC, with less than 5% shading and detailed-design/supply/install at $2.30/watt.  We have assumed solar PV system performance degradation at industry standard 0.5%/year, inflation at 2%/year and that no financing is required to cover the capital costs.  Cost allowances are included for conceptual design, structural engineering check, preparation of specifications, preparation/issue of request for proposals and long term maintenance.  Straightforward installations with no shading or structural issues can result in a solar PV LCOE even lower than in this example.  Future BC Hydro rate scenarios on the chart are based on this new projection, which was developed from actual BC Hydro historical data, BC Consumer Price Index (CPI) data and the assumption that mega-projects like Site C usually cost more than initially estimated (for example, the Muskrat Falls hydro project in Labrador, which has doubled in price).

Note also that clean energy equipment is PST exempt – see BC Bulletin PST 203 for details.  Even better, the current CRCE accelerated capital cost allowance will help you write off your solar PV system quickly and the federal government has just announced that all clean energy equipment may be written off in the first year starting in 2019!

Interested in long term savings on your electricity bill to cut your small business expenses and be more competitive?  Call us today for help with conceptual design and preparation of detailed procurement documents to ensure you get the best solar PV system value!

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