The Alberta government is putting up $36 million over two years for a rebate program to encourage rooftop solar panels on homes and businesses.
Environment Minister Shannon Phillips says more details are to come and the rebates are to be available as early as this summer.
Phillips says the use of solar panels has doubled since 2015 and the goal is to have new panels on 10,000 Alberta rooftops within three years.
“Albertans are keen on solar. Today’s announcement … will keep the momentum going,” Phillips said Monday.
“Energy efficiency matters to Albertans, and the province is way overdue.”
The program is expected to create 900 jobs in the next few years, and reduce solar installation costs by up to 30 per cent for homes and 25 per cent for businesses.
Phillips says the solar panels would reduce greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to taking 100,000 vehicles off the road.
The program is part of Alberta’s larger climate change plan that includes a broad-based carbon levy on home heating bills and gas at the pumps.
There are no changes to the On-Farm Solar Photovoltaics program’s grant funding levels or maximums.
Please note, however, that the program has benefitted from the recent enhancements to the On-Farm Energy Management program by an increase to the overall program budget. The program anticipates being able to fund many more solar projects with this increase to program budget.
Program purpose statement
The program provides funding towards solar photovoltaics on Alberta farms. This enables producers to conserve non-renewable fossil fuels and reduce carbon emissions, ultimately reducing the environmental footprint of Alberta’s agriculture industry.
The Growing Forward 2 Solar Photovoltaics Program addresses two important industry priorities:
- Improved environmental stewardship. When producers make investments in clean energy and reduced carbon emissions, they are recognized for their commitment to sustainable practices.
- Improved energy management. Producers who install photovoltaic systems tend to take a renewed interest in their electricity usage; this leads to additional efficiency investments.
What kinds of PV Systems are eligible?
To be eligible for funding, a Photovoltaic system must be:
- Grid-tied, not off-grid,
- Approved under Alberta’s Micro-Generation Legislation,
- Positioned to optimize sunshine and minimize shading,
- Have manufacturer-warranties on: Solar modules, Racking, Inverters and/or Micro-inverters,
- Producing power that is used in the production of a primary commodity, and
- Purchased after April 1, 2013, including already-installed systems.
How are costs shared?
Grants are calculated based on an eligible system’s nominal wattage, up to a maximum percentage of system cost. Third-party contractor-installed systems are funded at a higher rate than self-installed systems. A maximum of 100 kW of solar PV or capacity$50,000 per applicant is available through the program.