Alberta Residential and Commercial Solar Program Updates

In early December 2018 we received an update with the current numbers for the Alberta Residential and Commercial Solar Program rebates as follows:

322 solar power projects funded

234 applications under consideration

Average project sizes, for both solar systems under consideration and ones that have been funded:

Residential solar: 7.2 KW, Commercial solar: 370 KW (with large variation in commercial project sizes)

Projects by major centres (Residential):

Calgary = 70, Edmonton = 80, Lethbridge = 12, Medicine Hat = 16, Red Deer = 5, Fort McMurray = 2

Projects by area (Commercial):

Calgary = 1, Edmonton = 2, Red Deer = 1, Lethbridge = 4, Daysland = 1, Three Hills = 1, Fort Assiniboine = 1, Linden = 1, Westlock = 1, Fort McMurray = 1

Given that the program details were announced in the end of June 2017, solar installation numbers are looking strong across the province from the second half of the 2017 solar installation season. The program is expected to run for 2 years, unless the $36-million budget will be used up sooner.

Dandelion Renewables takes pride in seeing some of our commercial solar projects included in the commercial list.

Although the update does not give us the full picture of the funding allocation, we wanted to answer couple of questions for ourselves:

  • How much of the total $36 million program budget has already been allocated in the total of 556 projects?
  • How many additional MW of solar capacity is under consideration for residential and commercial projects?

To answer to these questions we had to assume a 5% ratio of commercial projects to residential solar projects. That is, out of 100 projects under the program consideration, 5 projects will be commercial solar projects and 95 will be residential solar projects.

Under this assumption and given the average project sizes we estimated that 9.4MW of commercial solar energy projects and 3.8MW of residential solar projects are currently being added to the grid within the solar rebate program.

Further, assuming that all residential solar projects qualify for $0.75/W rebate, while commercial solar projects qualify for 25% rebate we estimated that $7.5 million of the total $36 million program funding has been allocated to date.