On-farm solar funding program reopens

Up to $50,000 is available for producers who want to generate solar power on their operations

On-farm solar funding program reopens
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Growing Forward 2’s On-Farm Solar Photovoltaics program has reopened and is accepting applications.

There are a few revisions to the terms and conditions, said project engineer Kelly Lund.

“We really encourage potential applicants to read through them to be sure they understand the changes to the program,” said Lund, noting full program information and forms are at growingforward.alberta.ca.

One requirement that has not changed is that, prior to applying to the program, a producer will have to have a micro generation pre-approval from their distribution wires owner that covers each system he or she are applying for. The potential applicant can still make applications for multiple site IDs on their properties, but the program limit of 100 kW or $50,000 (whichever comes first) is still per applicant and not per site ID.

“As well, retroactive projects from April 2013 are still eligible, if they meet all other system requirements,” said Lund.

“An energy assessment is completely optional, and at this time not required, to be able to participate.”

Producers that have a completed energy assessment, and are interested in applying to the program need to submit a copy of the assessment report with their solar photovoltaics application to be eligible for the higher rate.

“These on-farm energy assessments are such a valuable tool for operators to see where they are at in terms of current energy use, and to plan where they could go in terms of energy management and savings, that we strongly recommend them on their own merit, and as a starting place for efficiency planning,” said Lund. “The fact that an assessment creates an opportunity for a higher grant rate under the solar PV program is just an added bonus.”

It’s expected the program will be open for the year, “which means potential applicants can take their time to plan a solid project,” she said.

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