Solar is a great fit in Alberta. The province has an abundant supply of sunlight, making it an ideal location for solar energy generation. Weather-and-Climate.com tells us that Edmonton specifically averages over 2300 hours of sunshine per year.
April through August are the most productive months, although many solar units we install produce power through the Fall and Winter months as well.
One critical starting point is making sure that the rooftop or area that you want to install solar in actually receives an optimal amount of sun throughout the day.
There are two active federal programs, The Canada Greener Homes Grant and The Canada Greener Homes Loan. The Canada Greener Homes Grant provides homeowners with up to $5,000 for a Solar PV system and an additional $600 for the home energy audit. The Canada Greener Homes Loan provides up to $40,000 at 0% interest for up to 10 years.
For information, check out our blog post on the Canada Greener Homes program!
Find the Federal Government Solar Grant information here.
The cost of a PV system has several variables depending on the system type and size. A system with a few solar panels and microinverters will be the least expensive. As the system gets bigger a decision between microinverters, string inverters, and power optimizers needs to be made. To help with that decision we have a blog post you can read!
A general cost range for an average-sized system with a simple roof layout would be $12,000 to $25,000 before any incentives.
Learn more: BLDG solar installation services
Read more: the cost of solar installation
Solar PV modules have a lifetime warranty of 25 to 30 years (depending on the brand and model). We only sell solar modules that can withstand the sun, cold, snow, rain, and hail that we experience in Alberta. The inverters have a warranty of 10 - 25 years, depending on the brand and package. The electric utility that you’re installing on your roof will last for a long time.
As we said before, Alberta is a great place for Solar PV because we are one of the sunniest places in Canada. Installing solar PV that has a higher efficiency rating will, of course, yield more power. Typical solar installations produce enough energy to cover your entire energy consumption over 12 months. If you are a commercial landowner with roofs that are large and south facing, you can produce a substantial amount of energy to offset or produce revenue by feeding the grid (commercial permits for micro generation are required). Learn more about our commercial solar installation services here.
The most cost-effective way to use your solar system is to make a grid-tied system and use the grid as your battery. When you generate more than you need during the day, your house can consume what it needs from the Solar PV System, and any excess will be sent to the grid.
Anything you send to the grid will provide you with a credit. When there isn’t enough solar power being generated, your house will consume whatever it can from the Solar PV System, and the grid will top up any power needs.
This all occurs seamlessly in the background.
Batteries are an option, but in Alberta, the use case is very limited.
All of the electricity sent to the grid from your Solar PV System will be credited to your account with your energy retailer. Your retailer will buy your electricity for the same rate you buy their electricity. The only limitations placed on a residential microgenerator are that you are not allowed to produce more electricity than you consume annually. On sunny spring days, you’ll likely produce more than you consume, and in the dead of winter, you’ll consume more than you produce.
Over the year, production and consumption would ideally be equal.
Your Solar PV System does produce carbon credits which you can sell and get a cheque for annually, depending on your generation and the current price of Carbon. We work with some vendors and would be happy to help you get set up to sell your carbon credits.