Complete Guide For Solar Power Nunavut 2018

Congratulations! You’ve found the ultimate guide for going solar in Nunavut!

Solar Power Canada
This is a 9.5kW solar system installed by  MB Eye Electrical

This page contains all available information about installing a solar power system in Nunavut, as of 2018.

Nunavut has the highest electricity rates in the country and a fantastic Net Metering policy – so let’s make the most of this opportunity for savings!

Content on this page is broken into simple sections so you can easily find information about relevant policies, incentives programs, or utility information – depending on what you’re looking for.

You can read from top to bottom, or simply click on a section to skip to it below:

Overall Solar Rating: D

Nunavut Solar Power

We’ve ranked Nunavut as being Canada’s twelfth best province for solar power. But don’t let rankings deceive you! *Since we scored our provinces earlier this year, Nunavut has released it’s Net Metering Program and has been upgraded to an overall score of “C”!

Nunavut also scores high because electricity rates are extremely expensive (and thus the savings potential is large) and because fixed rates are very low. Some downsides include a relatively low amount of sunlight (compared to the prairies) and non-existent renewable energy goals.

Interest in solar power has been rising rapidly in the past few years. In 2018 we expect many home across the Territory to adopt solar power – from Iqaluit to Rankin Inlet to Arviat to Baker Lake and everywhere in-between.

Basics of Solar Power in Nunavut

This section covers some of the basic information about switching to solar power:

If you already consider yourself a solar expert, you can skip ahead to the Nunavut solar incentives section by clicking here.

Sizing Your System

In most cases, the first questions that come to a person’s mind are, “how big does my solar power system need to be?” and “can I completely off-set my electricity usage?”.

Answering these questions is as simple as knowing how much energy you use during the course of a year. Your monthly Quill Energy Power Bill will show your usage (in kWh) exactly like in the photo below:

Nunavut Power Bill

You’ll need to figure out how much energy you use in a year by adding up the amount shown for 12 consecutive months. Taking one month and multiplying by 12 won’t work because your energy use fluctuates depending on the season!

After you know how much energy you use, you can easily calculate the size of the solar power system that you’ll need by using the following equation:

Size of system needed = yearly energy use (in kWh) / 1,116h

(where 1,116h equals the annual average equivalent of full sunlight hours in Nunavut)

So let’s pretend you added up your power bills and determined that you use 10,000 kWh in the course of a year, you would then do the above calculation and determine that you need a 8.96 kW solar panel system!

10,000 kWh / 1,116h = 8.96 kW

Keep in mind that this is only a rough estimate. The size if your system may change depending on the angle your panels are installed at, the amount of shading that your system receives, and the amount of sunlight that your specific city gets. But not to worry…

Solar Power Price Estimate

Solar Power Cost Estimate

If you get a free estimate, our partner installers can create a 3D model of your house, build in shading elements like trees or neighbouring buildings, and then use weather data from the closest weather station to calculate an extremely accurate estimate of how much energy your system will produce!

System Location

Now that you know the size of your system, you’ll want to determine the best place to put it. Most residential homeowners in Nunavut put the solar panels on their roof, while most rural homeowners put them on the roof of their house, shop, or in their yard.

If you’re putting solar panels on your roof, you should know:

  • A south facing roof is best, east and west facing are good, north facing is just OK
  • Output on panels are guaranteed for 25 years, so you may need to replace your shingles before installing
  • If you’re concerned about snow, roof mounted panels are harder to clean
  • Your roof’s pitch (slope) is not the most optimal angle for solar production

If you’re putting solar panels on the ground, you should know:

  • These systems are more expensive upfront due to piling requirements, mounting materials, and power line trenching…
  • … But are cheaper in the long term because they are more efficient (see next point)
  • They can be easily placed to avoid shading, to the optimal direction (south), and to the optimal angle (~45°)
  • Systems can be much larger than roof mounted ones

Cost of Installation

The final thing you’ll want to know is an approximation of how much your system will cost. To calculate this you’ll need to know the size of the system you plan to install.

The rough calculation is simple, take the size of your system and multiply it by the cost per installed watt quoted by your installer. Variation depends on the size of the system you’re installing, the location of your system, and which installer that you choose.

System cost = size needed x cost per installed watt

Click here to get a free solar power estimate.

Nunavut Incentives

Solar Performance Payments: A*

Net Metering Nunavut

Programs: Net Metering

Selling Price: Retail Rate

Expires: Not Stated

Excess Buyback: None, Quilliq Energy Keeps

Size Limit: Up to 10 kW

Anniversary Date: Yearly, March

*Since we ranked Nunavut at the beginning of 2018, they have released their Net Metering Program booting their performance payment ranking to a “B”.

Qulliq Energy Corporation’s Net Metering Program allows customers to generate their own electricity and send excess electricity back to the grid for credit. Credits are earned on energy at the same retail rate that it’s purchased for and can be carried forward month to month to help offset future usage.

However, every year on your “anniversary date”, which is set for the last billing period in March, these energy credits will reset back to zero! This means that you can never actually make money from generating excess electricity, you can only break-even.

Keep in mind that net-metering is a vital component of switching to solar because without it, you would need a battery to store excess energy that is produced.

Solar Rebates & Tax Credits: F

Solar Power Rebates and Tax Credits Nunavut

Programs: None

Savings: None

Expiring: N/A

Unfortunately, there is currently no province-wide rebate program available to Nunavut homeowners. However, it’s important to keep in mind that rebates aren’t everything when it comes to solar! Because of the moderate amounts of sunlight Nunavummiuts are still able to treat solar power as an investment.

Do you own a business? Keep in mind that if you purchase your solar system through your business, you can take advantage of the federal tax provision allowing you to depreciate the costs at an accelerated CCA rate of 50%!

Remember, Solar Panel Power Canada also has a special Cash Incentive. It’s not huge – but it’s easy to claim, just send us a picture of your installation with one of our preferred installers! See the SPPC Cash Incentive Page for full participation details and terms.

Are you ready to get started? Click here to get a free estimate for your home!


Electricity Costs: A+

Electricity Prices Nunavut

Main Provider: Qulliq Energy

Average Rate: $0.319/kWh

Average Fixed Cost: $18/mo

Nunavut has the highest electricity rates in the country and very low fixed rates. This is good news for solar power in the territory because high variable rates mean high cost savings and low fixed rates mean very little ongoing fees. Contrast this to a place like Alberta where fixed rates can reach up to $48…

Remember, fixed rates don’t go away with usage. This means that you still have to pay your monthly meter fees even if you’re generating solar power (unless you go off-grid). This is in trade-off for being able to use the grid as energy back-up, and for being able to participate in the net-metering program.

High electricity rates enable Nunavut solar power systems to be more economical than other systems around the country! Why not get an estimate and see what your payback period is!


Solar Potential: C

Solar Energy Production Nunavut

Average Production: 5579 kWh

Variation: Medium

Main Effect: Latitude

Solar Power Map Nunavut
Energy production per kW solar capacity per year. See Solar Maps Page for more info.

Nunavut has the seventh best potential to produce solar energy in all of Canada, receiving more sunlight than most other provinces and territories!

According to a data collected in 2007 by National Resources Canada, the average solar system (5 kW) in Nunavut can produce approximately 5,579 kWh of electricity per year!

In general, average energy production decreases as you move north and increases as you move south. For example:

  • The average solar power system in Rankin Inlet will produce 5741 kWh of energy per year.
  • The average solar power system in Baker Lake will produce 5536 kWh of energy per year.
  • The average solar power system in Iqaluit will produce 5277 kWh of energy per year.

For comparison, here is what a 5 kW solar array looks like:

Solar system installed by WattsupSolar

This means that the average Nunavummiut resident can completely offset their yearly power usage with a solar system. You can figure out what size system by following the instructions on this page!

Pro tip: You should aim to install enough panels to offset 110% of your energy bill. This ensures that you will always producing enough energy to cover your costs, as regular solar panels degrade 0.5% to 0.7% per year.

Renewable Energy Policy

Portfolio Standards: F

Renewable Energy Goals Nunavut

Renewable Energy Goals: None

Solar Energy Goals: None

Nunavut does not currently have any renewable energy goals however, according to their Utilities Address, they plan to eliminate all dependence of diesel fuel. The main Iqaluit Energy Plant also features a solar demonstration site, generating approximately 4kWh of energy per year. We see these as great first steps for the adoption of solar power in Nunavut.

For more about our mission towards 100% community energy generation in Canada, see our about page here.

Nunavut Solar Power

Solar Power Nunavut: Summary

Because of Nunavut’s high electricity prices, net metering program, and experienced solar installers – we rank Nunavut as being the #12 province/territory in the country for switching to solar power.

Are you ready to get started? Click here to get a quote today!

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