The Small Scale Self-Generation Program (SSRG) for residential and commercial solar has opened the door for everyone to generate power for self use. When you produce your own power your appliances will not draw power from BPL thus your power bill will be greatly reduced. You won't need batteries as the power grid will store the power you don't need. We know this stuff is very technical so we are here to explain every detail and make sure that you will get a great return on your investment.
Our philosophy is clear:
SAFETY AND PERFORMANCE!
It's easy to slap a few solar panels on a roof. But will it produce power? Or is it just decoration on your roof and a few years later the rain coming in your bedroom? Safety and performance is coming from strict Code compliance and careful design that takes into consideration your house' conditions. We recommend you to look in our "What To Look Out For" section.
Our installations are working since day one. They survived Hurricane Matthew and turned back on after like nothing ever happened.
Is The Bahamas Ready for Microgrids?
We surely are! We are the only solar company that sprung out of an IT business and as some may know microgrids are 90% IT and 10% electricity. In fact the automation when solar, wind, batteries and also the grid are present represents a huge challenge. It means that the microgrid controller has to know how much voltage and current is on the circuit, and how the frequency is shaping up on every segment of the feeders to ensure stable supply and power quality.
Q: What is my guarantee that my roof is not leaking after solar installation?
A: Properly trained installers follow the North American Roofing Association's guidelines for safe roof penetrations. Installers are only allowed to drill into the rafters or purling and are mandated to apply sealant as well as install proper flashing before attaching the rail system that holds the solar panels (see image). All metal components must be of stainless steel and aluminum. Due to the exposure to hurricane force winds and as an extra safety measure we double up on fasteners on the edges of solar arrays. This fortifies live load resistance of solar arrays to withstand wind gusts up to 160-180 miles per hour.
Q: What are the safety regulations for solar electrical components?
A: The National Electrical Code (NEC) is our guidline for electrical safety. Also known as the "Code" the 800 page document spells out all safety rules. "Article 100" states that only "Qualified persons" can install solar equipment who must "Follow the manufacturer's specifications". Components must be "Listed and identified for the purpose" by a testing laboratory (UL). Business' best practices also require that only materials are used that can withstand extreme weather conditions (stainless steel, aluminum, copper). This is to ensure that components last for the entire lifetime of the system, typically 25 years. Solar panels and racking components have 20-25 years warranty while inverters up to 20 years.
Q: How do I know who is a qualified installer?
A: There are certifications and training institutions that issue proof of completed solar training. Ask to see the installers' certificates and documentation that they are qualified to install solar with special emphasis on Code compliance. Also, find out about their track record from previous installations and references from system owners.
Q: How much money will I save on my power bill per month?
A: It greatly depends on your electrical load profile. In other words if you have a lot of appliances on during the day, your power production from solar will power them. If your production is less then what your appliances demand, the difference will be drawn from BPL. Your production is mainly depending on how many solar panels you can fit on your roof, what your roof orientation is (South is best, then West and East) and finally depends on how much you want to spend on your system. Most of the time residences have to install extra panels to get most energy out of the system in less than perfect conditions. Such systems cost more but pay back faster and offset more of your power bill. If you are so lucky to have a big roof and produce more than you use while the system is producing, BPL will pay you what's called "the avoided cost of generation" typically the equivalent of the fuel surcharge. Generally businesses will never produce more than they need as they operate the same time as power is generated by solar.
Q: Can I power my fridge and AC units from solar?
A: Yes you can. But not separately from other appliances or loads in your house. The way so called grid-tied systems connect to your house is in your electrical service panel. This means that all your loads, lights, appliances and everything using electricity is powered by your solar system as long as there is enough energy from the panels. If there is not enough from your panels you will draw the missing amount of power from BPL. Your power bill will reflect this by a reduction of energy drawn by BPL hence the lower bill. If you are among the lucky ones having a huge roof that happens to face South and a willing to spend a good sum of money, you may offset your entire power bill. But most residential systems are sized to offset part of your power bills.
Q: Are there any other ways I can reduce my power bill?
A: Absolutely. And that is the first thing to do before you decide to invest in a solar system. Energy efficiency is the buzz word and that means to reduce your power consumption by installing LED lights, scrap old, power hungry AC units for so called "inverter" type, which has a soft start motor and variable speed drive thus operates more efficiently. You can save 30-40% on your power bill, which means you will need a 30-40% smaller solar system. Chances are that your roof will be big enough to cover most of your remaining power needs. We can advise on all these measures upon request.
Q: I thought that batteries ware part of a solar system and cost a fortune?
A: Luckily that's not the case any more. With BPL's SSRG program we can install a grid-tied system that uses the power grid as batteries. That is when you produce more power from your solar system than you use. That is rare but not unthinkable.
Q: So can I still have the batteries and go OFF GRID?
A: Certainly. The prices on batteries are going down dramatically. Typically an off grid system cannot power your heavy appliances like AC units and water heaters although if you have a fat check book anything is possible. The main advantage of installing batteries is that the stored energy can prolong the time you reduce your consumption from solar. In other words the solar feeds some of the produced energy to power your house during the day while at the same time putting some of it away in the batteries. When the Sun goes down your system switches form solar panels to batteries and keep powering your house until the batteries are depleted. The length of time your batteries can power your house depends on your loads, the size of your solar system and battery capacity.
Think if you want to pay the price
B E F O R E or A F T E R !