June 18th, 2021

Solar power industry could have big year after 2020 hiccup

By Medicine Hat News on May 14, 2021.

A new home in the community of Saamis features solar panels that are expected to create as much electricity as is used within the home over the course of a year. A local solar power business owner says the industry is steadily growing.--NEWS FILE PHOTO

The Alberta energy sector is still struggling in southeastern Alberta but there is one part that continues its steady growth in the region.

Marcus Campbell, owner of Terralta, says after a slow 2020, “solar is back,” adding there are about 35 residential and commercial solar projects in the region going this summer.

“This has the potential for our biggest year yet,” he said.

That potential could see one of the region’s largest small-scale projects built this year.

The change is being driven by the late inclusion of solar for eligibility for the provincial emission reduction grant with the federal carbon tax also figuring into the economics of the renewable energy source.

“It changes the return on investment,” said Campbell of the government programs. “It makes them cash positive right out of the gate.”

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