Solar panel micro generation in Alberta subsidizes electrical system.

I have 20 solar panels on my roof, and get about a 3% ROI on my grid-tied system at the current electricity prices in Alberta. That could be a bit higher if power companies would pay me the fair market price.

When my panels generate more electricity than my house uses, the extra electricity is pushed onto the grid. My electricity meter keeps track of how much energy I am pushing into the grid, and my bill gives me a credit at a fixed "average" price. I push most energy out onto the grid during the day (when I'm not home and the sun is creating a lot of energy), when the actual hourly price of a kWh can be higher than the average price.

So who gets the difference?

That would be the Enmaxes and ATCOs, who can buy my energy cheap and sell it at the hourly market price.  That would be the Alberta Electric System Operator, the crown corporation running the electricity exchange system.


Update July 5 2016
A more aggravating situation is caused by the wire charges micro generators continue to pay. When I push 5 kWh onto the grid during the day, it will more than likely be consumed by my neighbours. They pay the full wire charges for that electricity. When I at night pull 5 kWh from the grid, I pay the same full wire charges.
Clearly some electricity went almost directly from the generator to the consumer, yet full wire charges were paid, as if that electricity had to come all the way from Wabamun. 
If Alberta wants more citizens to put solar panels on their roofs, it would be a good idea to start with addressing these unfair practices. Yes, electricity retailers will likely complain that complicates billing. Since I write software for a living, I say it's a simple matter of updating the billing software.

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