Powered by the sun – Invest Medicine Hat

Powered by the sun

News / People / Renewable Energy / Solar Energy / Start-up Culture

Municipal and provincial incentives are attracting new renewable energy companies

Oct. 26, 2018

Last year, electrician Andrew Fast noticed municipal and provincial incentive programs were driving demand for solar PV installations in Medicine Hat.

And so he opened Sun Valley Solar and Electrical, a solar installation company serving Southeast Alberta and Southwest Saskatchewan.

“Incentive programs like HAT Smart and Energy Efficiency Alberta have been a major factor in many homeowners’ decision to install solar panels,” says Fast.

Through the City of Medicine Hat’s HAT Smart grant program, Medicine Hat homeowners are eligible for a $0.75 per watt rebate to a maximum of $5,000 for solar power installations. Since 2008, the HAT Smart program has provided nearly $5 million in rebates.

Provincially, the Government of Alberta’s $36 million Energy Efficiency Alberta program provides rebates for residential and commercial solar panel installation. In total, incentives offered by municipal and provincial governments can reduce the cost per watt by more than $1.75.

“Local companies have noted the spike in consumer interest,” says Jon Sookocheff, director of business development at Invest Medicine Hat. “Medicine Hat is a natural service hub to the renewable energy industry.”

With rebate programs creating demand for renewable electricity installations, opportunities are available for companies like Sun Valley Solar and Electrical to grow.

“It’s an exciting time to be an electrician,” says Fast of the solar energy industry.