REGINA -- SaskPower says it will have a new program for customers who want to install solar panels on their homes starting next month.

The new net metering program, which allows customers to generate their own power and connect to the power grid, will be available Nov. 1.

The province's old net metering program hit its 16 megawatt capacity ahead of schedule, forcing the program to shut down.

“SaskPower has developed a Net Metering program that will provide self-generation opportunities and support local industry for years to come,” Dustin Duncan, Minister Responsible for SaskPower, said in a news release. “While large, utility-scale projects are by far the most economical way to add renewable energy to the grid, net metering will remain another tool in the toolbox as SaskPower works to meet its target of reducing greenhouse gases 40 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030.”

The old program had a rebate of 20 per cent of the cost of the system, but that rebate has been discontinued.

The program allows customers with solar panels to generate up to 100 kilowatts of power against their bills, the Crown says. Customers will be able to offset their energy use at the retail rate, and will receive 7.5 cents per kWh for any excess power generated.

Anyone on the old net metering program will continue under the terms of the agreement.

The new program has no cap, no program end date and no specific contract length, SaskPower says.

Saskatchewan NDP leader Ryan Meili said he believes the province has killed the province's solar energy industry by eliminating the rebate and cutting the excess power credit.