The Alberta Residential and Commercial Solar Program has Launched.

Hooray!

The rebate program from Energy Efficiency Alberta is available to households, businesses, and nonprofit organizations to encourage them to become Solar People. Join us. We would love to build you a beautiful solar power system that helps you add power back to the grid.

The incentive levels are generous and reduce the upfront costs of solar power.

The Residential Rebate pays the owner of a solar power system 30% of the eligible costs including design, permitting, components and installation —everything that Solar People provides. For instance, if your solar power system cost $15,000, Energy Efficiency Alberta will send you a rebate cheque for $5,000. The maximum rebate per system is $10,000 and you can buy a lot of solar power for a house for $30,000.

The Commercial/Not-for-Profit Sector Rebate will be an incentive rate of 25% of the eligible cost of a solar power system. For commercial and non-profit customers, the maximum rebate per system is $500,000 so fill up the roof or the field, as the case may be.  This incentive program is well designed to encourage Albertans to choose solar and lower costs.

If you own a property that is connected to the grid and want to learn if solar power is right for you, contact us and become Solar People.

 

Is the TESLA roof going to be just a luxury product or eventually a mainstream energy solution?

There are potential solar home owners who would choose something more integrated into their roof instead of solar panels which I think are beautiful, especially the way Solar People install them.

There are a lot of smart manufacturers in the world that are working on building integrated photovoltaics (BIPV) they have been for years and there are some very good products that have made it to the market. Fours years back DOW Chemicals launched its solar shingles that integrate with asphalt shingle roofs. Ten years ago I installed GE solar panels that integrate with concrete roof tiles on three homes in Edmonton. They still look fantastic and the solar panels are operating maintenance free as expected. Only one BIPV roofing product is lucky enough to be promoted by Elon Musk.

Tesla is doing an extraordinary job of bringing a product to the market that even my mom knows about. Hopefully, when people decide to purchase a BIPV roof they’ll choose between three or four suppliers and not just Tesla. Like they have been for the home energy storage, Tesla is great for the industry and are helping more people realize that solar power is amazing.

Alberta’s Residential and Commercial Solar Program Overview

“Alberta’s Climate Leadership Plan includes a commitment to reinvest all revenue from the provincial carbon levy (which came into effect January 1, 2017) into Alberta’s economy, including $645 million over five years to Energy Efficiency Alberta (EEA). Investment in energy efficiency and community energy system programs will help to reduce energy use and associated costs, greenhouse gas emissions, and support green jobs.

The Residential and Commercial Solar Program will offer incentives to households, businesses, and non-profit organizations to encourage the installation of distributed solar photovoltaic (PV) systems. The program offers capital cost incentives to reduce the upfront costs of solar PV systems to consumers, thus improving the business case for installations. The program will use a prescriptive approach whereby one-time, fixed per-Watt rebates are provided to participants who install systems that qualify under the provincial Micro-Generation Regulation (Alberta Regulation 27/2008).

The residential-sector program stream will provide an incentive rate of $0.75 per-Watt for systems up to 15kW in size. For residential customers, incentives will be limited to the lesser of 30% of eligible system costs or $10,000.

The commercial/not-for-profit sector stream will provide an incentive rate of $0.75 per-Watt for systems up to 5MW in size. For commercial and non-profit customers, incentives will be limited to the lesser of 25% of eligible system costs or $500,000.

Eligible participants include all residential homeowners, commercial, or non-profit corporations that:

  • Install a grid-connected solar PV system, in accordance with Alberta’s Micro-Generation Regulation;
  • Are not eligible to participate in the following incentive programs: the Alberta Municipal Solar Program (AMSP), the Alberta Indigenous Solar Program, and Growing Forward; or other provincial solar incentive programs that may follow;
  • Have not already received an incentive for a solar PV system on the same parcel/property under this program or another provincial solar incentive program;
  • Are not receiving combined incentives from government programs in excess of 100 percent of eligible system costs;
  • Own a property (or have long-term rights to a property) with sufficient solar exposure;
  • and Are designed and installed by a qualified installer (not self-installed) using CSA approved panels and components.

The Residential and Commercial Solar Program will not offer financing or leasing options to eligible program participants. However, in cases where program participants apply for financing or leasing through another program, the Program will work with the finance provider to ensure that participants can take advantage of both opportunities in a way that is streamlined and maximizes participant benefits. The incentives provided by the Program must flow directly to the program participant; must only be used for installation and equipment costs (and not operations or maintenance costs of the system); and must be used for payment of upfront capital costs (the rebate cannot be distributed over time).

The Program is expected to launch June 1, 2017 and have an installed capacity target of 28MW from the residential sector and 20MW from the commercial/not-for-profit sector.  Government projections show that under the program (between 2017 and 2019), as many as 10,700 new solar systems representing 48MW of capacity could be deployed in Alberta under the described incentive program. However, adoption rates are dependent on system costs, among other factors, and could be higher or lower as a result.

Alberta Solar Incentives

Tomorrow, February 27, 2017 the Government of Alberta (GOA) will roll out its highly anticipated incentive program for small solar power. When I committed myself to changing the world one solar panel at a time back in 2002, I knew this day was just around the corner…J

Actually, what I thought then and still think now is that photovoltaics (solar PV) is the most elegant and magical energy technology ever discovered. Its capabilities continually impress me and its transformative qualities constantly inspire me.

The details of the small solar PV program still need to be announced but the GOA has provided some clear indication that it will offer a rebate program similar to what it already has put in place for Alberta municipalities.

Alberta Municipal Solar Program

In January 2017, the Energy Efficiency Alberta (EEA) Panel released a report called Getting it Right. The EEA Panel advised that The Small Solar PV program could provide financial incentives to support the installation of solar photovoltaic systems on buildings, including homes, businesses, and community structures, under the Micro-Generation Regulation and A Small Solar PV program builds on programs already available today.

Will the Government of Alberta get it right? The good news is that they can’t go wrong.

In 2014, The National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL), surveyed all of the US state incentive programs available then and reported that any targeted incentives for solar are effective at driving a small solar PV market in a jurisdiction with a strong mandate for interconnection. Since 2008, when the Micro-Generation Regulation was established, Alberta has had a robust interconnection mandate. Since 2015, Alberta has also had a plan to green its grid and transition to renewables. We are all set. Now it is time to get to work.