- Provincial solar installation incentives expected to create 900 jobs across the province
- Medicine Hat’s leading solar resource and local incentives make the city a natural fit for solar companies looking to invest in Alberta
The Government of Alberta recently announced $36 million in grants for small-scale solar panel installation for residential and commercial buildings. The program is expected to create 900 jobs across the province by 2019 as more homeowners and businesses access available dollars and install solar panels on their buildings.
“It’s already created a buzz,” said Campbell. “A number of homeowners have jumped on board (to install solar panels) to take advantage of both grants right now.”
The cost to install residential solar panels is normally $2.90-3.25 per watt and is expected to decrease by $0.75 per watt with government incentives. Costs vary slightly depending on the technology installed and the services offered by the company.
Over the next five years, the grants are expected to cut the solar panel installation costs by up to 30% for residences and up to 25% for businesses.
The City of Medicine Hat’s Hat Smart program is an additional incentive unique to the city. For residential customers, funding from this program can be paired with provincial incentives to reduce the cost per watt by $1.75, further driving investment into the sector.
Medicine Hat is a prime location to harness the sun’s energy. Situated in southeast Alberta, the city sees an average of 2,513 hours of sun per year, making it one of the sunniest cities in Canada. It is also one of the most affordable, recently being recognized as the most affordable city in Alberta, with the average single family home at selling for $251,280 in January.
With the increasing affordability for homeowners to install solar panels in one of the world’s prime solar locations, Medicine Hat is in position to become a service hub for the solar energy industry.
Indeed, solar installation companies like Terralta have already experienced a spike in interest. As the Government of Alberta continues releasing details of its Climate Leadership Plan, Medicine Hat’s affordability and access to renewable energy developments have it well positioned to further its leadership role within the sector.