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Dec 11, 2015 - microFIT Procurement Target, Holiday Maintenance, New Price Schedule, and Version Change

2015 microFIT Procurement Target

As of December 10, 2015 the annual microFIT procurement target of 50 MW has been achieved. Applications will continue to be processed if capacity becomes available.

For updates on the 2015 procurement target please review the microFIT bi-weekly reports.

microFIT Maintenance

  • From December 13, 2015,from 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m., the My microFIT Home Page will be unavailable.
  • From December 31, 2015 at 12:00 p.m. to January 5, 2016, the microFIT Application submission functionality will be unavailable. During this time, Applicants will be able to access their My microFIT Home Page but will not be able to submit applications.
  • From January 4, 2016 to January 5, 2016, all functions of the My microfit Home Page will be unavailable. The My microfit Home Page will be returned to full service on January 5, 2016

Price Schedule Change
All active microFIT applications that have not been issued an Application Approval Notice prior to January 1, 2016, will be subject to the new FIT/microFIT Price Schedule.

In order for the IESO to issue Application Approval Notices prior to January 1, 2016, LDCs must report all Offers to Connect to the IESO no later than 4 p.m. on December 31, 2015. If you have received an Offer to Connect from your LDC, and the status of your application has not yet been changed to "Pending Connection", please contact your LDC directly. You can verify the status of your Application by logging into your My microFIT Home Page.

microFIT Version Change
On January 1, 2016, Version 3.3 of the microFIT Program comes into effect. The only change being made is the implementation of the 2016 Price Schedule; no other changes are being made to the microFIT Program at this time. All active applications that have not been issues an Application Approval Notice prior to January 1, 2016, will automatically be considered under version 3.3.

Click here to read all microFIT program updates in their entirety

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Inverter Basics

 

What is an inverter?

An inverter is a device that changes the direct current (DC) electricity into alternating current (AC) electricity for use with appliances or the utility grid.  Inverters can be categorized the following ways:

- Stand-alone (also known as Off-Grid):

Used in isolated systems where the inverter draws its DC energy from batteries charged by solar arrays and/or other sources, such as wind turbines, hydro turbines etc.  Normally these do not interface in any way with the utility grid, and as such are not required to have anti-islanding protection.

- Grid-Tied:

These systems match their phase with a utility-supplied sine wave.  Grid-tie inverters are designed to shut down automatically upon loss of utility supply (referred to as anti-islanding protection).  They do not provide backup power during utility outages.  In Ontario, any solar arrays that feed the utility grid (under the FIT/microFIT programs for example), are required to have anti-islanding protection.

- Battery Backup:

These are special inverters which are designed to draw energy from a battery, manage the battery charge via an onboard charger, and export excess energy to the utility grid.  These inverters are capable of supplying AC energy to selected loads during a utility outage, and are required to have anti-islanding protection.

Solar PV Inverters

Solar inverters change the electricity from the direct current (DC) that emerges from the solar panels to alternating current (AC).  There are two main types of solar photovoltaic (PV) inverters, and each has its own advantages and disadvantages:

- String Inverter:

String inverters convert DC to AC power, but are designed for high voltage DC inputs.  This type of inverter aggregates and converts the power generated by an entire group of solar panels (known as a string).  Using a string inverter, the solar array is wired in series, rather than in parallel.  The advantage of this approach is sometimes lower initial cost.  However, drawbacks may include more complex wiring on the roof, a central point of failure and an increased negative effect of dust, debris and shade on the solar array.  Also, diagnosing a problem with an individual panel in an array becomes more difficult using this type of inverter.

- Micro-Inverter:

Unlike string inverters, micro-inverters convert the DC from a single solar panel to AC. Micro-inverters were invented to address some of the challenges associated with string inverters, including the effect of dust, debris and shade on a solar array.  The use of micro-inverters allow solar panels to be installed in parallel, so issues with any one panel will no longer affect the output of the rest of the solar array.  Many micro-inverters also have some additional smarts built-in that allow for 24/7 remote monitoring on a per-panel basis.  Other advantages of this technology include a more modular design, allowing additional panels to be added as requirements grow, easier diagnosis of system issues, and web-based analytics.  The disadvantage of using micro-inverters is additional up-front cost.

 
 
 

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