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Renewable Energy Options— For businesses and homeowners alike

By Ashley Smith, Fundamental Inc.

In the last article, I discussed how businesses were likely to be affected by carbon pricing and the projected increases in electricity rates.

The Province is stating that when Muskrat Falls comes online, 98 percent of electricity provision will be large-scale hydro, i.e., renewable. If all of Newfoundland and Labrador’s power will be from renewable sources, why would an individual or business choose to install their own renewable sources under the Net Metering Program? Why, to save money, of course!

Anyone who has an account with Newfoundland Power or Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro can install a renewable energy system to offset 100 percent of their electrical consumption, to a maximum system size of 100 kW. Here is a table of the estimated cost per kilowatt-hour for the various electricity sources that are available for home and business.

Some useful information on available renewable energy options:

SOLAR Photovoltaic (PV)– fully mature industry, top quality tier 1 panels have a 25-year warranty and are known to produce well for up to 40 years; good quality manufacturers include Canadian Solar, Trina, LG, Hanwha; these units produce only electricity and can be directly grid connected or designed with a battery backup.

SOLAR Hybrid PV-T– fully mature industry, top quality panels have a 25-year warranty; these systems produce both electricity and thermal energy, so are best suited to places where they will offset a demand for heated water; good quality manufacturers include Power Panel.

Wind Turbine– fully mature industry, small-scale wind is considered to be anything from 500 W turbines to 300 kW turbines; maximum size per electrical meter under the Net Metering Program is 100 kW; good quality manufacturers include Bergey, Aeolos; design for wind systems is not as straightforward as for solar but can be more cost-effective in the right locations.

If you have a roof that faces (even mostly) south, solar is a very good choice in this province, despite what the weather person would have you believe. The solar resource in Newfoundland and Labrador is better than in Germany, London, and Tokyo1—and each of those jurisdictions has created very successful solar markets and industries.

Newfoundland has one of the top wind resources in the world. If you live here, this is not a surprise. If you face the ocean or are up fairly high, wind could be a very lucrative choice, though it’s typically not appropriate for anyone in an urban or suburban area.

Low-cost, favourable-term financing is available for renewable energy and energy efficiency upgrades through local CBDCs, Reddy Kilowatt Credit Union, BDC, TD, Scotiabank, and in some cases ACOA and the Department of Tourism, Culture, Industry and Innovation.

To learn more about renewable energy options, get in touch at And watch for my articles in the forthcoming editions of The Advisor covering energy efficiency actions and strategy development.


Ashley Smith, Fundamental Inc.

Fundamental Inc. provides consulting and design services related to energy efficiency, carbon emissions, and renewable energy. We are based in Newfoundland and Labrador and work with all sectors, including commercial, municipal, institutional, and residential. We help our clients understand and effectively exploit cost savings from energy efficiency measures and renewable energy options. Owner and director Ashley Smith, BSc, MEng, LEED AP, has 16 years’ experience in strategic planning, construction management, green building, and sustainability consulting.


(1) Average kWh output/kW installed (more is better): St. John’s – 933, Tokyo – 885, Berlin – 848, London – 728. Taken from: The Development of Solar Resource Maps for Canada, Natural Resources Canada. Accessed November 7, 2018 at:

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