Example of "overproduction penalty" on System 1
First of all, we want to extend our care and concern for all of you and your loved ones during this time of global pandemic. Like myself and our Board members, many if not most of us have been impacted by COVID-19 in one way or another. If you or a loved one are ill, our thoughts and prayers are with you. If you are struggling with employment, or facing any financial hardship, our thoughts and prayers are with you. And if you are like many of still adjusting in the face of continuing uncertainty, we are with you.
All that said, it is not surprising that the new Phase IV solar array to be placed on the the on-campus housing is currently on hold. However, we are pleased to inform you that we are moving ahead with improving the two current systems, which combined produce a maximum of about 11KWH. As noted in previous reports, Belize Energy and Light has yet to implement net-metering, so when the arrays overproduce power, we send that extra electricity back to the grid AND get charged for moving the meter when we do. In other words, the meter runs forward no matter which direction the electricity is flowing.
To counter this problem, our partners at SESB are now providing low cost zero-grid feed units. We will be placing one of these units on each of the two systems, so when we do overproduce, the electricity will be directed to ground rather than back into the grid. One might ask why not send the extra to battery backup? The problem is that for the size system we own, combining battery backup with grid-tied solar is very expensive. At some point we will hope to do that, but for now it is beyond budget.
I have posted two diagrams below to illustrate how the zero-grid feed units will improve our efficiency, saving us an additional 5-25% depending on school demand. For example, given that Holy Cross is not in session due to COVID, we are overproducing significantly and thus losing a lot of benefit due to the BEL policy. Under these circumstances, the zero-grid feed units will mitigate this problem: we will not have to pay a "penalty" for overproducing electricity.
I did make the two site visits that I had mentioned were upcoming in my last report. While we are not in immediate need to raise all of the funds for the Phase IV array and its zero-grid-feed unit, the first two zero-grid-feed units that we are installing are expected to cost about $2500.00USD. Hence, any and all amounts that you can provide at this time will continue to help the school and its many students to have a brighter future.
Thanks again for all you continue to do to help support the ability to provide an education for 500 students that --- otherwise --- would not have a place to attend school.
Warm regards, John
Example of "overproduction penalty" on System 2