Just like that, the Solar Club is four years old! Despite the fact that the initial concept was dubbed too “out there” to ever be successful, it is truly amazing what this program has become and what it represents for the thousands of Albertans taking part. With experts citing that the solar industry is experiencing “gold rush-level activity,” seeing so many people early to the party is incredibly exciting!
Introduced by Green Alberta Energy, the Solar Club is a partnership with 30 local Energy Marketers who share the goal of helping customers capitalize on the investment they made installing a small micro-generation system. If you’ve invested in a solar photovoltaic (PV) system on your home, farm, commercial building, or irrigation field, the Solar Club is made for you!
A Healthy Investment
As Members already know, joining the Solar Club doesn’t just lead to a healthy bank account but a healthy planet too. Being a Member contributes to a cleaner environment. That’s good for everybody and deserves recognition.
The Solar Club is built upon four pillars that ultimately track its success:
● Help boost Members’ return on investment in their solar PV systems through great rates, a cash back program and the opportunity to profit from the sale of carbon credits.
● Help Members achieve 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 exported to the grid by Solar Club Members.
If you’ve installed a solar PV system but aren’t in the Solar Club, what are you waiting for? Join today! To learn more, click here.
Numbers You Can be Proud Of
We knew we were onto something special with the Solar Club upon its inception, but the program’s astonishing growth and prosperity are a triumph that has exceeded our expectations. In 2020, we crossed a massive milestone when our members saw over $1 million in value. As proud as we were of that feat, 2021 raised the bar again! Members received a total value of $2.4 million, representing a growth of 140% from the previous year!
Seeing that progress made us incredibly excited for what was to come in 2022. As the program grew and more Members joined, we could feel the Solar Club approaching new highs, and sure enough, the upward trajectory continues! As cash back payments for 2022 are currently being sent to Members, we are simply wowed by the numbers. In aggregate, Solar Club Members received a combined value of $5 million from the cash back program, free RECs, and exports back to the grid. That is a five-fold increase from 2020!
Net-Zero, Here We Come!
As noted above, one of the Solar Club’s primary objectives is to achieve Net-Zero status. But what does that mean? To be Net-Zero means to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and/or ensure that removals balance any ongoing emissions.
Even though micro-generators draw power from the grid when the sun isn’t shining, they can still export surplus energy back onto the grid during peak production hours. That benefits everybody, as exports are a crucial step towards achieving Net-Zero status.
In 2019, when the Solar Club was launched, one of the initial goals set, was to help lower Canada’s carbon footprint. To do this, we set out to collectively export 100 million kWh of electricity to the grid by 2030 through the Solar Club.
Through the first three years of the Solar Club, Members exported a total of 23.6 million kWh of green energy. A fantastic start indeed put us on track to meet our goal. We are pleased to report that the dream of exporting 100 million kWh of green energy is surging closer to becoming a reality, with our members exporting 19.8 kWh million in 2022! That brings the total amount of kWh exported to a whopping 43.4 million kWh!
We are more than well on our way to exporting 100 million kWh by 2030. With our members’ help, not only will we meet our goal, we might even surpass it! It’s possible that by the end of 2024 or 2025 we will reach our goal of 100 million kWh, putting us five or six years ahead of schedule. Wow!
Carbon Credit Offset Program
Our first year running the Carbon Offset Credit Program has been a tremendous success. Members can now choose from one of three pricing models being offered by two leading aggregators in Alberta.
Across our entire network, a total of 134 microgenerators have successfully enrolled as part of the protocols registered with the Alberta Emissions Offset Registry. That may not seem like very many, but in total, the microgenerators currently signed up represent 18,278 kW (18 MW) of installed capacity. That’s over 12,750 carbon credits!
Although verification/serialization periods vary depending on aggregators, the first of these phases is currently underway so that we can issue payments for the carbon credits generated. There was a slight delay in getting the verification/serialization phase complete due to the vast number of different systems, inverter data, and data export types, but we expect the first of these payments to go out in April 2023. Keep an eye out for information requests from Radicle and Solar Offset so that we can keep that ball rolling!
We Are Giving Away $1,000 to a Lucky Solar Club Member!
We are thrilled to see more and more Members joining the Solar Club every year! The program started as a way for us to invest in our beliefs and wanting to be on the right side of Climate Change, all the while providing those with shared values an opportunity to get the most out of their decision to embrace solar as well!
With your help, the Solar Club can genuinely make a difference! We are so grateful for the support we have received that we are going to give away $1,000 to a Solar Club Member!
If you’ve been on the fence about joining the club, now is the time! If you’re already a Member, there is nothing you need to do except sit back and wait for us to draw a winner’s name on March 31st.
If you’re in the process of getting your solar system set up, or you are about to take the plunge and you can’t sign up in time, don’t worry! Find a solar installer near you to complete your setup, and once you are good to go, join the Solar Club, and keep your eye out for updates from us, as we will be announcing more draws in the coming months.
2023 Solar Show
It’s that time of year, the return of The Solar Show! The Solar Show is Solar Alberta’s five-day annual online trade show and conference. There will be content for the general public, solar industry-oriented sessions, and one big networking evening to bring everyone together.
The 2023 Solar Show will feature ten sessions focused on all things solar running from February 6th to 10th.
Learn more about the event by clicking here.