As we approach the third anniversary of the Solar Club, it’s incredible to see the growth of what was once considered an idea that was too ‘out there’ to ever work.
The first grid-connected solar photovoltaic (PV) system was installed in Alberta 27 years ago, and as a province, we have come a long way since that day. Now, the idea of investing in solar has become increasingly mainstream, with the government even encouraging consumers to do so by offering a rebate.
The technology itself has grown significantly since then as well. Panels for homeowners have become more efficient and cost-effective, and there are sweeping advancements in solar tech in general, with concepts such as solar farms and even solar fabric becoming realistic possibilities.
It’s become quite clear that solar is an increasingly viable source of electricity in Alberta.
The Solar Club was created by Green Alberta Energy in partnership with over 25 local Energy Marketers, with the goal of helping customers capitalize on the investment they made by installing a small micro-generation system. If you’ve taken the time and made the decision to invest in solar on your home, farm, commercial building or irrigation field - the Solar Club was created just for you.
Get in the Game
Although the concept of sustainability was once considered a nice idea that lacked practicality, much has changed in recent years. You don’t have to look far to see businesses embracing ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) goals as part of a sustainable future, proving it has become a key to long-term success. Members of the Solar Club are not only making a wise financial investment, but an investment in a cleaner and healthier planet that benefits everybody and that deserves recognition.
The Solar Club tracks success based upon the four tenets on which it’s built:
Help boost Members' return on investment in their solar PV systems, through great rates, a cash back program and now the opportunity to profit from the sale of carbon credits (more on that in a bit).
Assist Members in achieving Net-Zero (or even Net-Positive) status by aggregating all Members' exports.
Collectively make a positive environmental statement by exporting 100 million kWh onto Alberta’s electricity grid by 2030.
Promote Renewable Energy Certificates (REC offsets) as an environmental benefit in addition to solar energy that is exported to the grid by Solar Club Members.
If you aren’t in the Solar Club but have installed a solar PV system, get off the sidelines and join today! To learn more, click here.
$2.4 Million Earned by Members in 2021
The growth and success of the Solar Club is truly something special to behold. 2020 was a smashing success, with Members seeing over $1 Million in value. To cross the million mark was a huge milestone and a feat of which the Solar Club was quite proud.
The bar has certainly been raised. Cash back payments for 2021 are being sent to Members this week, and the numbers are eye-popping! In 2021, in aggregate, Solar Club Members received a combined value of $2.4 million from the cash back program, free RECs, and exports back to the grid. That’s a total increased by 140% from 2020 to 2021!
On Our Way to Net-Zero
As mentioned above, one of the Solar Club’s main objectives is to achieve Net-Zero status. To be Net-Zero means to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and/or ensure that any ongoing emissions are balanced by removals.
Although micro-generators are grid-tied to draw from the power grid when the sun isn’t shining, this does allow them to export surplus energy back onto the grid during peak production hours, which is a benefit to us all. This is a helpful step in getting to Net-Zero.
Achieving Net-Zero is a goal that supports our Provincial and Federal climate and environmental initiatives to lower Canada’s carbon footprint. When the Solar Club was launched in 2019, the dream was to collectively export 100 million kWh of electricity to the grid by 2030.
In the first two years of the Solar Club, members exported 7.9 million kWh. In 2021 alone, members exported a whopping 15.7 million kWh! That means since 2019, members have already exported 23.6 million kWh of green energy.
Our quest to get to Net-Zero by 2030 is going strong, and we are on track to meet our goal.
Carbon Credit Offset Program
Your solar PV system’s electrical generation represents carbon offset credit generation, which we also refer to simply as carbon credits. A carbon credit represents a one-tonne reduction in or removal of atmospheric carbon dioxide or equivalent (CO2e). Carbon credits are generated from projects, such as your solar system, that prevent emissions that would have taken place without the project. Companies can purchase these offsets and apply them against their own emissions to voluntarily work towards net-zero and carbon neutrality commitments or to comply with regulations.
Participation in our Carbon Offset Credit Platform is easy! In just three easy steps, you can be on the way to generating and selling your carbon credits.
Register using Radicle’s online form; their team will assess your enrollment and determine if you qualify to participate. *
Run your system as normal until the verification period in November 2022, at which point your credits will be verified and serialized for trading on the open market.
Receive the first of 8 annual payments for your carbon credits in December 2022!
* Eligibility is based on ownership of the credits, and that the credits have not been sold to any other party by way of certain financial incentives applied for and received at time of installation.
This partnership is the first of its kind in Alberta and is sure to be a game-changer in the world of solar micro-generation.
Our Carbon Offset Credit Platform is the latest addition to our Solar Club but is by no means limited to Solar Club Members! Since carbon credits are generated based on total production and are not limited by exports over-and-above imports, any micro-generator can participate and earn some extra income to offset the initial costs of a solar PV system.
Sign up today and start earning cash for your carbon credits!
Don’t Have a Solar System? You Can Still Contribute!
Maybe you aren’t able to add a solar system to your residence for one reason or another. That doesn’t mean you can’t help green the grid.
Whether you produce solar or not, we need consumers everywhere helping to green our environment and reduce our province’s carbon footprint. Consumers have the option of purchasing RECs through NewGen Energy.
Not only is it beneficial to the planet, but it’s also affordable too! It only costs 11 cents a day to green 25% of the average amount of electricity used by a residential homeowner. Customers are encouraged to green whatever amount makes financial sense for them, whether that’s 5%, 50%, or even 100% of their consumption; every bit helps.
Learn more here.
Join the Solar Club Today
We are hopeful that more and more micro-generators will sign up with the Solar Club, as there is no better place to be but on the right side of Climate Change. The foundation of our promise is doing what we believe in and investing in our beliefs.
With your help, the Solar Club can genuinely make a difference. If you have installed a solar system on your house, business or farm (or you are planning to), you are officially invited to join the Solar Club. Make a meaningful change, and reduce your carbon footprint!
There is no fee to join the club; however, as a member, we ask that you share the spirit of giving and make a voluntary donation to your local Food Bank or a charity of your choosing. The Food Bank is one of our network’s many Community Partners, and giving back to the community where we all live is what it’s all about. After all, you have to buy electricity anyway, why not feel good about your purchase when you do?
It’s time to take solar seriously as a legitimate solution to your home energy plan. Discover the benefits of this alternative energy source. It could help you significantly reduce your home energy bill.
Solar Show 2022
The Solar Show is back! Solar Alberta is once again hosting the Solar Show online, and we couldn’t be more excited! Expected to attract more than 900 people, the Solar Show 2022 will feature 12 separate sessions focused on all things solar running from February 7th to 11th.
Don’t miss the Microgen Regs 101 session with Fino Tiberi from the Alberta Utilities Commission on Tuesday February 8. It’s a great opportunity to learn about Alberta’s current microgeneration regulation and how to move forward within the parameters that have been set.
Learn more about the event by clicking here.