GFM Network News


Part of a 36-panel array in Athabasca County expected to produce 16,100 kilowatt hours annually. Fixed panels and a grid-tied system are recommended by the Solar Energy Society of Alberta, whose rural workshops continue to attract large numbers of producers.

Interest in solar remains strong, but subsidies in doubt

It’s not clear whether the new government will axe subsidies, but producers still drawn to solar workshops

Are provincial subsidies for on-farm grid-tied solar projects dead? And if they are dead, does that mean solar and other renewable energy projects have gone the way of the dodo as well? It would be hard to fault anyone for answering ‘Yes’ to both questions. While on the campaign trail in February, now-premier, Jason Kenney […] Read more

The first step in finding a solar contractor is to check the PV installers directory of the Solar Energy Society of Alberta, which includes info on how long they’ve been in business and what types of systems they’ve installed.

Watch out for yourself in solar land

If you’re looking for a solar contractor, there’s no shortage of them. And that can be a problem. Thanks in part to large-scale incentives by the provincial government to boost use of solar energy, the number of solar photovoltaic (PV) installers has doubled over the past two years — 223 are listed on the Solar […] 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

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


The 200-kilowatt array on Nelson Family Ranches is big enough to supply electricity to both its feedlot operation and irrigation pivots.

Government cash makes it a sunny day for solar power

Growing Forward 2 has put extra dollars on the table, but they’re expected 
to be snapped up in a hurry

If you want to get into solar, there’s now more government cash on the table — but you’ll have to hurry. The On-Farm Solar Photovoltaics Program now offers 75 cents per watt for projects of 100 kilowatts or less, and 56 cents per watt for installations that are between 100 and 150 watts. Both have […] 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

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


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

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

This 9.8-kilowatt system was installed on a farm in Flagstaff County in 2012.

Navigating Alberta’s solar energy boom

Experts weigh in with some best practices for installing solar energy arrays — and getting the job done right

Interest in solar energy on farms and ranches is reaching a fever pitch, thanks in large part to the provincial government’s $5.5-million commitment in February to help farms and municipalities connect solar panels to the electrical grid. And farmers are not the only ones taking notice. With the decline of Alberta’s oil sector, there are […] Read more