GFM Network News


This rendering shows what the Travers solar farm will look like when completed next year. The facility, located near the village of Lomond in Vulcan County, will be the largest in the country.

Alberta stakes its claim as a solar energy power

Vulcan County to be home to country’s largest solar farm as big corporations go green

Reading Time: 2 minutes Vulcan County will soon be home to the country’s largest solar farm — with the world’s largest online retailer buying most of the power from the 465-MW facility. The Travers solar farm, to be built eight kilometres southwest of Lomond, will occupy 3,300 acres of cropland. It will be built by Greengate Power Corporation, a […] Read more

Yara is seeking Norwegian government funding toward switching its Porsgrunn ammonia plant’s production process to electricity by 2026. (Yara.com)

Facing green push on farm, fertilizer makers look to sea for growth

Winnipeg/Oslo | Reuters — Two of the world’s biggest fertilizer producers, CF Industries and Yara International, are seeking to cash in on the green energy transition by reconfiguring ammonia plants in the U.S. and Norway to produce clean energy to power ships. The consumption of oil for transportation is one of the top contributors to […] Read more


Solar panels lose a little bit of efficiency each year but the irrigation district’s arrays come with a guarantee of 80 per cent output in 25 years’ time.

Inspired by farmers, irrigation district aims for ‘net zero’

St. Mary River Irrigation District moves a lot of water and has a big electric bill — but that’s about to change

Reading Time: 4 minutes The St. Mary River Irrigation District is putting the sun to work providing water to its users. Solar arrays at two large pump stations have the district in a position to achieve net zero electrical use — and potentially save hundreds of thousands in electricity costs down the road. The inspiration to look at solar came […] Read more

P.E.I. Premier Dennis King speaks Sept. 9, 2019 during an update on effects from Hurricane Dorian. (PrinceEdwardIsland.ca)

FCC to offer flexibility in hurricane-battered areas

Farm Credit Canada says it plans to help its farmer clients in Atlantic Canada work around financial pressures following Hurricane Dorian’s passage through the region over the weekend. “We won’t know the full extent of damage for some time, but we’ve already heard that some customers will likely be facing some financial hardship as a […] Read more


Being ‘tied’ into a power grid allows you to sell excess power in summer and buy it back in winter, essentially turning the grid into a “storage battery.” Pictured here is a 170.2-kW project installed by Solar Optix at Oosterhuis/G+C Farms near Bow Island.

The sun still shines on solar energy in rural Alberta

Reading Time: 3 minutes It’s been two years since the provincial government announced its plan to power 30 per cent of Alberta’s electrical grid with renewables by 2030, along with a $5-million commitment to help rural Alberta connect to the solar grid. There’s been good take-up by producers, says the executive director of the Solar Energy Society of Alberta, […] Read more

Your best bang for your energy buck might not be a solar array but some cheap and easy fixes that reduce power or fuel usage, says Lyle Lawrence, an energy outreach officer with the province.

Quick steps to better energy efficiency

Energy expert offers some ‘low-hanging fruit’ that can help producers save money on their power or fuel bill

Reading Time: 3 minutes Maximizing energy efficiency on farms and ranches saves money, and who likes to spend money when they don’t have to? But there are only so many hours in the day and only so many dollars for these sorts of projects. So the real question for many farmers is: Where to start? What are the ‘low-hanging […] Read more



This image from a 2SaveEnergy promotional video shows how a light-defusing plastic film is incorporated into the greenhouse structure. However, things such as anti-reflective coatings can improve light capture in existing greenhouses, says provincial horticulture specialist Dustin Morton.

Greenhouse advances saving operators big dollars

New state-of-the-art designs are halving energy costs, but even ‘simple things’ make a difference

Reading Time: 2 minutes Improved construction materials and design are making greenhouses more efficient and cheaper to operate, says a provincial horticulture specialist. “Greenhouses have traditionally been energy-intensive operations, but with increasing scrutiny and slowly shrinking margins, producers need to find ways of trimming costs wherever possible,” said Dustin Morton. For example, research by Silke Hemming of Wageningen University […] Read more


Small ‘tie-in’ solar installations, like this one in Gladstone Valley, 
are popping up across Alberta.

Alberta producers asking big questions about solar power

There’s huge interest in this technology and issues such as payback, 
fixed costs, and government programs are top of mind

Reading Time: 4 minutes There’s no doubt that the government of Alberta is betting big on renewable energy. The goal is to get 30 per cent of Alberta’s electricity needs from renewable energy by 2030, and it earmarked $5.5 million last year to help farms and municipalities develop solar power projects. With that kind of big money comes big […] Read more

Can producers make money as solar power providers?

The province is currently consulting stakeholders on a framework that could help farmers do this

Reading Time: 2 minutes In many places, farmers are allowed to turn a profit by tying their solar power systems into the electrical grid. Albertans can export solar electricity to the grid — but there are currently no programs allowing system sizes larger than those that meet on-site electrical requirements. “Alberta’s micro-generation law was crafted for homeowners, business owners, […] Read more