GFM Network News


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

There are a host of factors to consider before deciding on a solar photovoltaic system, says Erika Grintals of Solar Optix Energy Services, pictured here next to a 170.2-kW system using bi-facial modules installed at 
G + C Farms in Bow Island.

The sun doesn’t always shine on every solar project

It’s a good time to install a solar system, but you need to consider many factors before plunging in

Reading Time: 5 minutes If you’re a producer who has recently decided to install a solar photovoltaic (PV) array on your farm or ranch, your timing is right. Under the Alberta Agriculture and Forestry On-Farm Solar Voltaics Program, the provincial government is offering to cover up to 35 per cent of costs for producers building on-farm, grid-tied solar systems. […] Read more


Solar energy concept. Blue sky reflection on photovoltaic panel. 3D rendering.

Province announces funding for ag energy projects

Over the next four years, $81 million will be spent for solar systems, 
low-pressure irrigation, and energy efficiency upgrades

Reading Time: 2 minutes The details are still being worked out, but federal cash for curbing carbon emissions is beginning to flow. Alberta’s provincial government is directing some of its share of Ottawa’s $1-billion Low Carbon Economy Fund towards the agriculture and agri-food sectors. The province says that over the next four years, $81 million will go towards four […] Read more

When the herd is a province away, you need reliable water

Beiseker rancher has solar waterer for 100 cow-calf pairs he grazes across the Saskatchewan border

Reading Time: 2 minutes The phrase ‘remote watering’ takes on a new meaning on Duane Kent’s farm. Kent lives in Beiseker (northeast of Calgary) but also has a four-quarter pasture more than 500 kilometres away in Biggar, Sask. The site has no natural surface water and it would cost $30,000 to bring in electrical power. So he relies on […] Read more


Cattle grazer Steve Kenyon and wife Amber Kenyon have gone almost completely off-grid with a solar system purchased on the online classified site Kijiji.

The solar power math is starting to add up

A steep drop in solar prices is giving a new meaning to ‘green’ power — 
and giving Alberta farmers a way to cut energy costs

Reading Time: 6 minutes Cory Nelson isn’t what you might call a ‘tree hugger.’ But the Grassy Lake-area farmer is a businessman, and to him, solar energy just makes good financial sense. “We view it as an investment,” said Nelson, who grows a variety of crops under irrigation on his southern Alberta farm. “Our best math said it was […] Read more

On-farm solar funding program reopens

On-farm solar funding program reopens

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

Reading Time: 2 minutes 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 […] Read more