Solar Incentive Program
The Town of Canmore offers solar incentive grants to residents and businesses to help offset the cost of purchasing and installing a solar electric system in Canmore. Applications for the 2020 solar incentive program are now closed.
Solar Incentive Details:
- All projects must meet building and electrical safety code requirements. Minimum system requirements are 3 kW solar electric system.
- All electrical systems must be CSA or ULC approved for installation in Canada.
- Applicants are responsible to complete the project and submit the necessary paperwork in order to receive the incentive including a final paid invoice for the installation and completed Microgeneration Agreement with Fortis.
- A Development permit is not required, provided the solar panels do not extend above the peak of the roof, are not more than 1.5 metres from the roof at any point, and the finishing colours on the device fit into the range of appropriate roof colours described in Section 9 of the Town of Canmore Land Use Bylaw, which are generally darker colours.
- An Electrical permit is required - your installer can arrange this for you.
- Eligible applicants must also commit to sharing the story of their solar installation with the community in various ways including, but not limited to: articles in the local newspaper, Facebook, YouTube, and the Town of Canmore website.
- Eligible applicants must also allow the Town of Canmore access to production data and provide the Town of Canmore any required information to do so upon completion of the Project.
THINGS YOU SHOULD DO BEFORE YOU APPLY:
It's recommended you obtain a few installer assessments and quotes for your project. Applicants should choose service providers that are familiar with the details of this program. You can visit the CanSIA member directory or the Solar Energy Society of Alberta to find a list of installers/contractors serving Canmore.
HOW TO APPLY:
SUPPORTING DOCUMENTATION TO RELEASE THE INCENTIVE:
Although the Canmore Civic Centre was one of the first LEED Silver buildings in Alberta, now with the installation of a solar photovoltaic system on the roof of the Civic Centre, the Town of Canmore will be able to reduce greenhouse gas emissions even further. More than 190 modules, each with a 340 watt capacity, were installed in May of 2017 to augment power usage for the building. The system is estimated to produce as much as 68,498 kWh of energy per year – or approximately 21% of the building’s annual energy consumption. Over the 30-year lifetime of the solar voltaic installation, it is estimated over 1,250 tonnes of greenhouse gases will be avoided. You can learn more about this system using the live link here.
The Town of Canmore received more than $34,000 in rebate funding from the Alberta Municipal Solar Program (AMSP) for the solar photovoltaic system, as well as an early applicant bonus. The AMSP is a program through the MCCAC (Municipal Climate Change Action Centre) www.mccac.ca/programs/AMSP
Waste Management Centre
A 78kW solar photovoltaic system consisting of 231 panels has been installed on the roof of the Waste Management Centre located at 102A Bow Valley Trail. The project was initiated after a preliminary assessment study indicated the panels could generate sufficient electricity to supply half of the building’s electrical needs and the payback of the project could be 20 years or less. The solar system will help save emitting almost 1300 tonnes of greenhouse gases over it's lifespan.
The town secured a provincial grant from the Alberta Municipal Solar Program (AMSP) to cover 25% of the cost of the project (approximately $31,000).
Canmore Rooftop Solar Report
In an effort to increase awareness and understanding of Canmore’s potential to generate solar energy, the Town commissioned a study to evaluate the solar potential of the community. To view the full report pdf click here (3.24 MB)
Highlights of the report include:
- Solar Potential in Canmore: If solar was adopted on every building in town approximately 42,000 MWh/yr of electricity generation would be produced. Annually this is equivalent of taking 8,600 vehicles off the road and would reduce greenhouse gasses by over 40,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide.
- Residents have a significant role to play: 75% of the community is zoned for residential development, so the citizens of Canmore truly have the ability to make a difference, and could offset approximately 64% of their electricity use with solar.
- Rooftop Geometry and Design Verses Valley Location: Roof top geometry and roof design have significantly more impact on solar potential than location within the valley - that is, the design of the roof of the house is typically more important than the location of the house. The impact of mountain shading is not as significant as one would think.
- Canmore Solar Potential Versus Other Areas with High Solar Uptake: Neighbourhoods in the northeast (Silvertip) tend to have better solar production potential, and this gradually lessens as you travel toward the southwest of Canmore (Peaks of Grassi). However southern Alberta, including Canmore, has higher solar insolation (W/m2) than the capital cities of Germany and China (the countries with the most installed solar capacity worldwide). Even Canmore's least productive neighbourhoods still have relatively high potential.
- New Development: New development presents a one-time opportunity to harness solar energy efficiently. The most efficient way to utilize rooftop solar energy is to design rooftops to accommodate solar arrays that have southern exposure, are somewhat flat with minimal dormers, and have continuous roof space with minimal penetrations or chimneys. Building new homes that incorporate best practices for solar design is relatively inexpensive and enables homeowners to optimize this valuable resource for the life of their home.