What is the AMSP?
The Alberta Municipal Solar Program (AMSP) facilitates Albertan municipalities in the installation of micro-generation solar photovoltaic (PV) systems on lands and facilities administered by the municipality.
According to the Municipal Climate Change Action Centre (MCCAC) website, municipalities can avail the AMSP to get rebates of up to 30% of the total solar power project expenses. Under this program, a municipality can apply for rebates of up to $1.5 million.
To incentivize municipalities to participate in the program, there is a first-time applicant bonus rebate of $0.25/watt offered to the municipalities that haven’t used the AMSP funding so far. The bonus is capped at a maximum amount of $250,000.
Rural municipalities like Viking are taking advantage of the solar program and showcasing its benefits to the rest of the community.
The project, which will be completed in a few months, involves the installation of 2,880 ground-mounted solar modules with a capacity of 1.05MW; that size solar PV system can produce enough annual electricity for 215 households.
Six acres of swampy prairie land to the east of Viking has been earmarked for the solar power plant.
Other municipalities are also joining Viking
Viking isn’t the only municipality that has decided to meet a notable chunk of its energy demands through renewable sources.
Prior to this, the town of Raymond, which has strong Japanese and Mormon community roots and enjoys the best solar resource in the province, has also embarked on an ambitious solar power project. After hearing the benefits of the Alberta Municipal Solar Program, the town’s council decided to install 2,983 modules with a net capacity of 1.16 MW.
Municipalities are expected to play a crucial role in achieving the province’s goal of meeting 30% of its energy needs from renewables by 2030. In fact, more than 62 municipalities have already availed the AMSP for a net installation of 16,318 solar PV modules with a capacity of 6.1MW, according to data found on the MCCAC website. These figures are subject to change as more municipalities join the program.
The MCCAC is a partnership between the Rural Municipalities of Alberta, the Alberta Urban Municipalities Association, and the Government of Alberta.
Benefits of the AMSP
Besides municipalities, non-profit community-related organizations can also join the AMSP program if their project is based on land or facility owned by a municipality.
The AMSP funded solar projects lead to new job openings, reduce the emission of harmful gases and save communities thousands of dollars annually on power bills.
Small- and Community-Scale Renewable Power Generation in Alberta
This is not the only solar opportunity offered by the province of Alberta. There are other fundings and grants offered by the province as well as different cities throughout the province of Alberta. For instance, the city of Edmonton offers the EcoCity Grant and the Residential PV Incentive program. The latter targets residential rooftop solar PV installation.
By introducing solar PV programs for individuals, businesses, and communities, the government of Alberta is enabling Albertans to participate directly in solar power generation.
How to Choose a Solar Contractor?
Choosing a reliable solar contractor is one of the biggest challenges faced by municipalities looking to achieve net-zero. The Alberta Solar Providers Directory and the CanSIA Member Directory offer a comprehensive list of solar providers in Alberta.
Shortlist some vendors and discuss your solar requirements with them. At the same time, inquire about the vendor’s experience in installing solar PV systems.
Inquire about their experience. How long have they been around? Do they have the required solar PV installation certification? How many solar PV systems have they successfully installed?
You should also ask for 4 to 5 references from the companies you’re considering.
If everything looks good, request a complete proposal from the top vendors. Compare their proposals and award the contract to the winning bidder.
If you would like to request a free quote for the installation of a ground-mounted solar PV system, get in touch with Dandelion Renewables, the solar consultants for Viking and many other Albertan municipalities. Contact Dandelion Renewables now.