Grid tie solar connected to the BC Hydro Grid

Solar energy systems suitable for cities and rural areas – everywhere power is available.

Grid Tie Solar System infographic

Download grid tie solar energy system info sheets

What you need to know

Normal Operation

During normal operation, the solar energy system generates electricity when there is enough light out. The electricity feeds back to the house electrical panel and is used by any loads that are running. If you are using more than you produce, your utility makes up the difference. If the production from solar is greater than your use, the excess goes back to the utility through your smart meter (required).

Net Metering

Net metering in BC is the agreement that the utility will credit you for electricity fed back to the grid through your smart meter. Your smart meter can meter both ways so on your bill you will see both energy purchased and energy credited. Credits are applied to your bill each billing period, offsetting your electricity purchases. Excess energy credits are carried over to your account to the next billing period. (Viridian handles the net metering application for you)

Power Outage

With a solar grid tie system, when the grid power goes out your solar energy system will shut off. This is to prevent electricity from the solar array feeding back to the grid and hurting someone while the power is down. You can still run a generator for your essential loads if you have that setup. If you would like your solar to work when the grid is unavailable, you will require a battery backup system.

Upgrades & Options

We will discuss with you options for expanding your solar energy system in the future and make sure the electrical is sized to accommodate expansion. If you are considering battery backup and/or electric car charging in the future let us know.

Grid tie example systems

The information below is an example of possible systems; smaller and larger sizes are available.

An estimate will be provided for each individual project.

First-year savings? Typical savings are 40-100% depending on the system and annual usage.

Solar Panels153050
Solar Power6 kW12 kW20 kW
Annual Energy Production6 MWh12 MWh20 MWh

FAQs about grid tie systems

“Net metering” is the program and agreement with the utility (BC Hydro) that keeps track of how much electricity a solar array puts back into the grid. Excess solar power fed back to the grid is measured by the smart meter and you are then given energy credits against the energy you use from BC Hydro. This is calculated each billing period and you pay the net. If your solar array produces more than the household electricity used in a year, BC Hydro will buy that electricity from the homeowner at a fixed wholesale rate.

Every form of power generation requires energy to manufacture. The benefit of solar panels is that after they are installed, they produce zero emissions and they can last from 20 to 30 years. The typical PV system takes 2-½ years of operation to generate the energy required to manufacture it.

Interested in a grid tie system?

Learn more about which grid tie system is best suited to your home or business.

Grid tie solar energy installations

Learn more about the grid tie solar energy systems we design and install by reviewing some of our work.