Sunshine state of mind – Invest Medicine Hat

Sunshine state of mind

News / Solar Energy

How a Medicine Hat company capitalized on regional and municipal advantages to build a renewable energy powerhouse in South East Alberta.

In 2006, Terralta, a geothermal company based in Yorkton, Saskatchewan, relocated to Medicine Hat, Alberta to expand into solar energy.

They moved to take advantage of Southeastern Alberta’s average annual 330 days of sunshine and an environmental incentive program that is the envy of the country. Medicine Hat offered the best opportunity for success.

“The City’s Hat Smart program has been very beneficial for us,” says Terralta’s Director of Operations, Marcus Campbell, adding that other municipalities are envious of the program and are looking for ways to integrate it into their community.

Hat Smart is an incentive program designed to assist in energy conservation and encourage renewable energy solutions in the home. The program was an outcome of Medicine Hat’s 2008 Community Environmental Roadmap and has been renewed into 2017.

Over the years, Terralta has focused on residential solar panel installation, with commercial growing organically over time.

With decreasing costs and lots of sunshine, new construction in Medicine Hat is starting to include solar at the design phase. That is another sign of success for Terralta, as it shows an appetite for solar in the city.

“This is a great city to do business in,” says Campbell. “The weather is great and the City has done an excellent job promoting renewables.”

Ryan Jackson, Invest Medicine Hat’s general manager, echoes Campbell’s comments.

“Medicine Hat is the largest business service centre in one of Canada’s highest potential renewable energy regions,” he said. “With low taxes and utilities and a highly skilled labour force, we have a lot to offer renewable energy companies looking to establish a footprint in Western Canada.”

With Hat Smart being extended through at least 2017 and increased provincial and global interest in renewable energy, Medicine Hat will continue to provide renewable energy businesses with opportunity for years to come.