Solar buildings network

Ian Rowlands is participating in the Solar Buildings Network.

Work on the relationship between 'nodal prices' and solar photo voltaic (PV) electricity in Ontario has yielded a range of findings. View a short research brief outlining the investigation (PDF).

A first paper entitled 'Nodal pricing in Ontario - implications for solar PV (PDF)' (by Sarah J. Brown and Ian H. Rowlands) is available. Work on this issue continued during May and June 2007, and additional findings were presented at the 'Canadian Solar Buildings Conference' (Calgary, Alberta, June 2007). View a copy of the presented poster (PDF).

A major research paper was completed in late July 2007. The abstract is as follows:

This article investigates the extent to which the value of solar electricity (that is, electricity generated by photovoltaics), a form of distributed generation, would be higher under a nodal pricing system as compared to a uniform pricing system. More specifically, solar radiation and electricity market data for the period 1 January 2005 to 31 December 2006 are examined for locations near Mississauga, Ontario and Kingston, Ontario. The Hybrid Optimization Model for Electric Renewables (HOMER) program is used for the simulation of solar electricity output. For Mississauga, the average monthly value of the solar electricity based on Ontario’s uniform pricing system (the Hourly Ontario Energy Price, or HOEP) was C$20.62. Based on nodal pricing, the average monthly value was C$27.20 per month (32% higher). For Kingston, the average monthly value of the solar electricity based on HOEP was C$23.78 per month. Based on nodal pricing, the average monthly value was C$36.03 (52% higher). Over the two-year period, the monthly differences were greatest during the summer, with a 53% spread in June in Mississauga and a 106% spread in May in Kingston. As debates regarding electricity futures progress, the importance of proper valuation of alternative generation sources continues to be critical. This research aims to contribute to discussions regarding the extent to which a nodal pricing system could facilitate the contribution of solar electricity to a sustainable electricity system in Ontario.

The paper, entitled, 'Nodal pricing in Ontario, Canada: implications for solar PV electricity (PDF)', is available for viewing.

A revised version of this paper has subsequently been published as Sarah J. Brown and Ian H. Rowlands, 'Nodal Pricing in Ontario, Canada: Implications for Solar PV Electricity', Renewable Energy (Vol. 34, No. 1, January 2009), pp. 170-178.

Masters of Environmental Studies (MES) student Chris Adachi is developing work regarding barriers and drivers for solar PV, within the context of the Province of Ontario's 'Renewable Energy Standard Offer Program'. He presented some of his results at the 2008 Conference of the Solar Buildings Research Network in a poster entitled 'Drivers and Barriers to Participation in the Standard Offer Program and the Purchase of Solar PV System in Ontario (PDF)'.

In May 2009, Chris Adachi completed his MES thesis. It is entitled 'The adoption of residential solar photovoltaic systems in the presence of a financial incentive: A case study of consumer experiences with the renewable energy standard offer program in Ontario (Canada) (PDF)'. A much shorter 'stakeholder report' (PDF) is available. And, in June 2009, he presented some of these results in poster form at the 2009 Canadian Solar Buildings Conference. View a copy of Chris Adachi's poster (PDF).