Alberta offering rebates on solar projects
The Alberta government is creating a $36-million rebate program for solar installation on residential and commercial buildings.
Businesses and non-profit organizations along with home owners will receive rebates for rooftop solar panels that meet the residential and commercial solar program requirements as early as this summer.
“This program will make solar power affordable for more Albertans, leading to new panels on 10,000 Alberta rooftops by 2020,” said Shannon Phillips, provincial Minister of Environment and Parks and Minister Responsible for the Climate Change Office, in a prepared release.
According to the province, solar uptake has doubled in Alberta since 2015, bolstered by initiatives like the Alberta Municipal Solar Program and the On-Farm Solar PV Program. Over the next five years, the Residential and Commercial Solar Program will build on these existing programs. By 2019, the new program is expected to:
- support the creation of 900 jobs in Alberta’s solar sector
- cut solar installation costs by up to 30% for residences, and up to 25% for businesses and non-profits
- reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the province by about a half million tonnes, the equivalent of taking 100,000 passenger vehicles off the road
The government is posting a Request for Proposal to identify a third party to deliver the new program. Details will be defined in coming months, including qualifying systems, installation and eligibility requirements.
“The Energy Efficiency Advisory Panel heard that Albertans wanted this program. The Prairies have the best solar resources in Canada, and there are a lot of potential investment opportunities. This is the first of several programs that will help create jobs and diversify Alberta’s energy economy into clean sources of energy,” said David Dodge, Chair, Energy Efficiency Alberta, in the release.
The Residential and Commercial Solar Program is a reinvestment of the carbon levy. On Dec. 21, 2016, the Government of Alberta amended the Micro-generation Regulation to provide more flexible rules for Albertans generating their own electricity. This increased the size limit of a micro-generation system from one megawatt to five megawatts and allows a solar array to serve adjacent sites (especially helpful for operations with more than one building).