Sun Rises on Solar Rebates

Today, June 21, is the summer solstice, and it marks the official launch of Energy Efficiency Alberta’s $36-million Residential and Commercial Solar Program.

Starting today, homeowners can receive up to 30 percent off their solar electric system installation costs, to a maximum rebate of $10,000. Businesses and non-profit organizations are eligible for up to 25 per cent of system costs, to a maximum rebate of $500,000. Rebates are based on the size of the installation and calculated at $0.75 per watt.

Once a system is installed, inspected and connected, Albertans will receive a direct deposit in 10 to 15 business days. Albertans wanting to ensure their project is eligible can apply directly at Energy Efficiency Alberta for pre-approval. Systems installed prior to April 15, 2017 are not eligible for a rebate.

You can see the full written announcement, and listen to the announcement made by Minister Phillips this morning, by clicking here. The most up to date details on the program may be found on Energy Efficiency Alberta’s Website, including a PDF of the process, and a video recording of an information session.
photo: courtesy of Alberta Environment and Parks

Local Solar Professional Hold’s Industry’s Most Prestigious

Calgary, Alberta, Canada, Geoff McArthur, president and CEO of Greenergy Renewbale Energy Ltd. has earned the solar industry’s leading recognition of installation expertise from the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP®), and is a NABCEP Certified PV Installation Professional. NABCEP is the most highly respected and well established national certification organization for renewable energy professionals. Designation as a NABCEP PV Installation Professional is widely recognized to be the most important and meaningful certification of its kind in the solar industry.

PV is short for photovoltaic. PV systems produce electricity from sunlight. Most people have used a solar powered calculator or garden light, and seen solar panels on roadside signs, but PV panels can be configured to produce enough energy to power a home, school, business, or even serve as a small power plant feeding electricity into the grid. As the cost of PV systems has declined sharply over the last few years, more and more households, municipalities, and companies are “going solar.” NABCEP is a mark of quality assurance that the consumer can use to know that they are choosing a qualified contractor.

“Receiving NABCEP’s PV Installation Professional Certification is personally very satisfying,” said McArthur. “More important it means I can offer my customers the added confidence of knowing that their photovoltaic system installations will be completed to the highest standards in the solar industry.”

To earn his NABCEP certification, McArthur was required to first document relevant education and experience related to PV system installation. Then he had to pass a rigorous exam that covers the breadth of the multi-craft knowledge, skills, and abilities required to competently design, install, and maintain PV systems. The exam assesses knowledge on subjects as diverse as electrical and mechanical system design, job site safety, the National Electrical Code, roofing and construction techniques, and system maintenance and troubleshooting.

“ The examination is tough” says McArthur, “ Our installations and code requirements are based on the Canadian Electrical Code (CEC) in Alberta and not the National Electrical code (NEC) used in the States…so there was a lot of page flipping going on with the NEC in the 4 hour time limit. I believe there are only a few of us in Alberta with the NABCEP credentials. We wanted to achieve the highest standard available to differential our business from our competitors.”

“One thing you can be assured of when hiring a NABCEP Certified PV Installation Professional is that your project won’t be their first,” said Richard Lawrence, Executive Director of NABCEP. “Anyone who makes the considerable effort required to earn NABCEP certification has documented their training and experience as part of the eligibility process. They have also made a very real commitment to upholding high standards of ethical and professional practice. I am delighted to welcome Geoff McArthur of Greenergy Renewable Energy Ltd. to the ranks of the industry’s leading solar professionals.” For more information contact Geoff McArthur, Greenergy Renewable Energy Ltd., www.greenergycanada.ca, greenergy.info@gmail.com

About Greenergy Renewable Energy Ltd., Greenergy Renewable Energy was founded in 2007 by Geoff McArthur to offer renewable energy equipment and systems to residential and commercial customers. A Certified Engineering Technologist (CET) for 18 years with experience in the design, supply and installation of remote power systems, utility grid-tie PV systems, LED lighting and RV power.
Geoff McArthur received his North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP®) certification, and is a NABCEP Certified PV Installation Professional. NABCEP is the most highly respected and well established national certification organization for renewable energy professionals.

We have been successfully providing solar equipment and fully installed solar PV utility interactive systems for seven years. Experience how easy it is to have a professional solar design and installation. We take care of all the documents, applications and permits for a smooth project and approval process.

Greenergy Renewable Energy Ltd. provides:

  • Renewable energy consultation and project management
  • Complete installed solar PV systems
  • Solar equipment packages
  • Solar PV Modules, Charge controllers, Batteries,  Inverters, Cables and balance of system
  •  Solar Powered LED lighting systems for signs and billboards
  •  Solar Powered LED lighting for yards and gardens
  • Solar and Low power AC LED outdoor flood lighting
  • Low bay and commercial LED lighting

Top Ten Cleantech Highlights of Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Article by Shawn Lesser, Co-founder & Managing Partner of Atlanta-based Watershed Capital Group – an investment bank assisting sustainable fund and companies raise capital, perform acquisitions and in other strategic financial decisions. He is also a Co-founder of the GCCA Global Cleantech Cluster Association ” The Global Voice of Cleantech”. He writes for various clean tech publications and is known as the David Letterman of Cleantech for his “Top 10 Series. He can be reached as shawn@watershedcapital.com

Calgary is a city located in the Canadian province of Alberta. It is the largest municipality in Alberta and the third largest within Canada. Calgary was the first Canadian city to ever host the Olympic winter games in 1988. Calgary is often recognized as the primary leader in Canada in the gas and oil industry. Calgary is home to a number of clean technology programs, initiatives, and companies. Here are just a few of the highlights of clean technology in this Canadian city.

1 ) Calgary Economic Development Strategy. The province of Alberta is continuing to respond to the global demand of environmentally friendly renewable energy. Calgary has been integral to this response plan. In 2008, Calgary create the Calgary Economic Development Plan. This ten year strategic vision looks to have Calgary become an international center for the energy sector. One thing is to bring together a number of small and medium sized companies and connect them with potential partners and funders to become more energy independent.

2) Greenergy Renewable Energy Ltd. Established in 2007, Greenergy Renewable Energy Ltd. is one of the primary solar photovoltaic power systems suppliers in Calgary. The company specializes in the design, supply, as well as installation of these systems and connection to the local utility gird. Greenergy works with a number of homeowners and businesses, and aside from the photovoltaic system, they also provide LED lighting upgrades, solar photovoltaic system. design, and renewable energy technology review, for construction companies building new homes, they offer consultation services on how to make a home more energy efficient.

3) ENMAX Reinforces their Commitment to Renewable Energy Solutions. ENMAX, a calgary-based electricity and natural gas company, announced in 2004, their commitment to obtaining renewable energy solutions for their customers. Known as the Greenmax Program, customers have the ability to select whether or not they want some of their energy to come from renewable sources. For example, small commercial customers who sign on for there to five years will receive 100 percent of wind generated power for their first year at no additional cost.

4) Calgary’s Light Rail Transit System Rides the Wind. With only 12 wind turbines, Calgary has been able to successfully power their Light Rail transit turning into a 100 percent emissions free mode of public transportation. The light rail services 90 million people annually and now runs on completely clean and renewable wind energy. It is one of the only public transportation systems in all of North American to complete phase out the use of fossil fuels. The light rail reduces carbon dioxide emissions by 47,000 tons annually. This project started in September 2011 with ENMAX and Vision Quest Windelectric and is known as the Ride the Wind Program. This project was started after it was realized that the light rail was the preferred mode of transportation during peak rush hours specially.

5 ) Calgary Geothermal. One of the biggest companies in Calgary to make use of geothermal energy is Calgary Geothermal. The company states that one geothermal system in the typical home is equal to removing two midsize cars from the road every year. Calgary Geothermal will design a geothermal solution for all homes and buildings and will save on energy and carbon dioxide emissions.

6 ) Keeping Buildings Green. In the year 2003, Calgary was the first municipality throughout all of the Canadian country to create a sustainable building policy. This policy mandated that all new buildings in the city as well as renovations to all existing facilities meet and if possible exceed the Silver LEED rating. By the year 2008, Calgary raised the bar saying that all buildings must get Gold LEED certification. Cardel Place, a community centre, was the first Gold LEED certified building throughout all of the province of Alberta.

7 ) Energy Efficient Street Lights. Calgary can also boast that it was the very first city throughout the entire North American continent to install new streetlight fixtures with flat lenses. More than 37,000 street lights were retrofitted, saving the city more than $1.7 million annually because of a reduction in total energy consumption. The electricity the city was able to save through this street light retrofitting process is enough to provide power to approximately 3,000 homes annually.

8 ) Greening Fleets with Biodiesel. Over the last five years, Calgary has started a new initiative with the Waste and Recycling Services as well as the Fleet Services to make the fleets much more environmentally friendly. The biodiesel initiative is one of the largest programs of its kind throughout Western Canada. More than 240 trucks in the City of Calgary’s fleet now run on a biofuels blend, reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 16 percent per litter. A number of biodiesel fuelling stations were set up throughout Calgary so fleets could use the biodiesel blended with the petroleum diesel. The engines do not need to be modified to do this in any way. Since the start of this biodiesel initiative, more than 1,600 tons of greenhouse gas emissions have been prevented from entering into the atmosphere.

9 ) Canadian Energy Research Institute. Located in Calgary is the Canadian Energy Research Institute. This not-for-profit organization what established in 1975 and is a partnership between the government, energy industry, and academia. The objective of the institute is to “Provide relevant, independent, objective economic research in energy and related environmental issues. [The Canadian Energy Research Institute strives] to build bridges between scholarship and policy, combining the insights of scientific research, economic analysis, and practical experience.” This institute is one of the more prestigious energy economics research institutes around the globe.

10 ) University of Calgary Institute for Sustainable Energy, Environment and Economy. At the University of Calgary is the Institute for Sustainable Energy, Environment and Economy. The mandate of this institute is “To develop cost-effective solutions to the environmental challenges of energy production and use.” Known as ISEEE for short, the institute does interdisciplinary research to inform all investment and policy decisions regarding all the environmental challenges faced by energy use and production. Some research examples include carbon management, fuel cells, and advanced solar materials.

Greenergy Helps Couple Produce Energy at Home

It’s amazing how a few solar panels have changed our lives.

Tracy Duncan, operations specialists in TransAlta’s ODC in Calgary has always been interested in wind and renewable resources and since joining TransAlta, Her interest has grown. Today Tracy supplies her house and others in her neighborhood with green energy from 17 solar panels. Tracy invested $20,000 in 17 Solar Panels, The panels, which cover approximately there quarters of the south side of her roof are all on one circuit and produce up to 4 kilowatts every day. “You’d think that there would be a large costs associated with maintenance of these delicate instruments. Says Duncan, “But the rain and snow clean them regularly, and on a Sunny day the panels produce 100percen of here energy consumption and provide power to her neighbors,, On a cloudy day the panels produce approximately one third of her consumption. Enmax pays Tracy eight cents per KwH for her contribution to the grid. Tracy also monitors the panels from the ODC to see hourly how much energy they produce. ” “Its amazing how a few solar panels have changed our lives ” she adds. My six year old has an honest interest in electricity. We’ve met more of our neighbors, as everyone is interested in seeing and talking about how they work. “We’re definitely more in touch with the weather, and acutely aware of energy conservation” Tracy is a great example in her community among our employees and in our efforts towards a greener environment.