SOLutions - Spring/Summer 2012 - (Page 21)

Feature PLANTING SEEDS for ALBERTA OFFERS SOLAR PV INCENTIVE PROGRAM TO FARMERS By Nick Gustav SOLAR continued on page 22 S Lutions Spring/Summer 2012 • 21 FARMERS IN ALBERTA HAVE long been top producers of beef, barley, wheat, canola and corn, and in the coming years, a growing number hope to add another product to that list – electricity. Early in the year, the provincial government launched its Growing Forward Solar PV Pilot Program, which provides financial support to farmers who install grid-connected, photovoltaic solar electricity systems of at least 2.2 kilowatts. The Alberta Department of Agriculture and Rural Development will collect data through the program to determine whether small solar PV systems are wise investments for local farmers. The data will be used to create educational materials showing farmers how much electricity they can expect to produce for a given investment as well as any operational and maintenance costs. “We’re trying to get this information for our farm clients so we can advise them whether solar makes sense for their operations, whether or not there are incentives available,” said Kelly Lund, a research engineer who runs the program for Alberta’s agriculture department. “We want to gain that knowledge in house so we can give that advice as opposed to always referring clients to outside research. “Solar provides some environmental benefit by potentially reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and it might go as far as providing cost savings for producers on their farms. We would like to get some hard numbers surrounding that. We know in general that solar technology works. The technology continues to

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of SOLutions - Spring/Summer 2012

President’s Message
About CanSIA
Refl ecting Rapid Change
Planting Seeds for Solar
Safety & Solar
The Municipal Message
Money Well Spent
Powering the North
International Praise
Solar Shines
What CanSIA Does for Your Organization
Solar Calendar

SOLutions - Spring/Summer 2012