Banff continues solar incentive program
Up to to $50,000 has been allocated this year to fund the municipality’s rooftop solar photovoltaic incentive program, giving a helping hand to residents and businesses wanting to invest in solar.
Town of Banff officials say an up-front rebate program offers participants a rate of $0.75/watt of solar capacity installed, to a maximum of 7.5 kW, and can be combined with a provincial subsidy.
“The Banff rebate can be combined with the current provincial incentive program through Energy Efficiency Alberta,” said Chad Townsend, the Town’s environmental services manager.
It’s unclear how long the provincial rebate will continue, depending on the results of a spring election. UCP leader Jason Kenney has indicated he wants to end wind and solar subsidies.
Banff’s incentive program launched in 2015 with 14 solar systems installed. In 2016, seven were installed, and in 2017, 11 projects went ahead. In 2018, six systems were put in, including a 10 kW system on the HI Banff Alpine Centre.
Outside of that program, solar PV systems have been installed on the Wolf Street and Central Park public washrooms, Town Hall, the Fenlands, Banff Community High School and Banff Elementary.
“All of these systems reduce grid electricity consumption for these institutional properties, and demonstrate community leadership in this area,” said Townsend.
The program is funded through the Town’s environmental reserve, which currently sits at a balance of $400,000. The reserve is replenished with Fortis franchise fees every year at a rate of $212,000.
The total paid for the solar incentive rebate program in 2017 was $53,625, while last year it was $22,508.
As part of this program, development and building permit fees associated with these installations are waived.