On-Farm Solar Photovoltaics Program FAQs

On-Farm Solar Photovoltaics Program FAQs

Can I install my own system?

No. Only Solar Contactor-installed systems are eligible under this program.

How do I find a Solar Contractor to install my system?

Refer to the Solar Provider Directory on the Solar Energy Society of Alberta (SESA) website https://solaralberta.ca/directory/solar-providers

What is the Program’s definition of a Solar Contractor?

A Solar Contractor is a company that is an electrical contractor, or that uses an electrical contractor, and that has experience installing solar PV systems.

To be considered a Solar Contractor by the Program, a contractor must be listed in the Solar Provider Directory on the Solar Energy Society of Alberta website.

To be considered a Solar Contractor-installed system, a contractor must do all of the following for the system:

  • obtains the electrical permits;
  • provides the electrical design;
  • specifies and supplies the solar photovoltaic equipment;
  • installs the commercial solar photovoltaic racking;
  • installs the modules on the racking;
  • installs the inverters;
  • wires the modules and inverters;
  • completes the final electrical connections for the System; and
  • provides a minimum 24 month workmanship warranty for labour on the System

If an Applicant does one or more of the above, (a) to (h), the system will be considered to be an Applicant-installed system and the system will NOT be eligible under this Program. (see Terms and Conditions 2.3.2)

What if my contractor is not listed on SESA’s web site?

Contractors should contact SESA at office@solaralberta.ca to inquire about being included on the list.

Are existing systems eligible?

No. Applications must be approved prior to any system equipment orders or purchases.

How do I determine if I’m eligible for the On-Farm Solar PV Program?

To be eligible, an applicant must be installing the system on a Site ID that is a “Farm”, “Irrigation”, “Grain Drying” Distribution Rate Class, or equivalent as of January 2017. If your site does not fall under one of these Distribution Rate Classes, you may be eligible for the Alberta Residential and Commercial Solar Program (http://solar.efficiencyalberta.ca/).

Are off-grid systems eligible?

No. Only grid-connected systems will be eligible under the On-Farm Solar PV Program.

Are leased systems eligible?

No – leased equipment is not eligible in, either the On-Farm Energy Management Program, or the On-Farm Solar PV Program. The incentive is intended to alleviate up-front capital costs. (see Terms and Conditions 2.5.1a)

Is my project still eligible if it has received funding from another program or initiative?

Yes, but total funding from all government sources must not exceed 100% of the project cost. (see Terms and Conditions 5.2 and 6.5)

Is there a rate increase if I complete an energy assessment?

No. A rate increase is no longer provided for completing an energy assessment under the Solar PV Program.

Can I purchase a system that will supply energy back to the grid?

Grid-tied systems do supply electricity back to the grid whenever there is an excess. A system cannot, under the regulation, be sized to produce more electricity than is used in a year.

Who is responsible for the approvals and licences required to set up the Micro-Generation (MG) system?

The applicant and the contractor are solely responsible for obtaining any necessary permits, licences, and approvals needed for the construction and connection of the project. (See Terms and Conditions: 2.3.7; 2.3.8; 2.3.9)

It is recommended that the contractor also alert the Investor Owned Utility as to the location and sizes of these MG systems.

How long is the “project term” after the application has been approved and received by the applicant?

The Project Term is the six month period of time after the application has been approved, or February 28, 2018, whichever comes first. (see Terms and Conditions 2.3.6 and 1.18)

Can we email or fax in applications? Or do they all have to be delivered through the postal services?

Applications should be mailed in or be physically delivered to the program office. Address is referenced in the Terms and Conditions page, section 3.3

Applications will not be accepted by fax.

Applications will be accepted by email in PDF format only.

Are batteries included in the funding?

No.

Can I submit my micro-generation permit application prior to submitting the Solar PV Program application?

Yes. You need to have your Micro Generation Interconnection Agreement approved and signed by your investor owned utility prior to submitting a Solar PV Program application.

What if my usage of electricity goes up? Can I be approved for future increases?

You can submit only one application per fiscal year, however if you have received funding for your system in a previous fiscal year, you may apply for a system increase. The appropriate approvals must be in place from your energy retailer.

How will I receive credit for energy produced?

Your energy retailer will track the energy produced and show it as a line on your electricity bill.

Your overall energy usage will be positive if you used more energy than you produced and negative if you produced more energy than you used.

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