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Solar toolkit to guide municipalities

July 12, 2017

New guide will help Alberta communities take the lead with solar power

A toolkit to aid the province’s municipalities in adopting and developing solar photovoltaic (PV) power systems in their communities is now available.

The Solar-Friendly Municipalities Toolkit was developed in partnership between the Municipal Climate Change Action Centre, the Pembina Institute, and the Solar Energy Society of Alberta thanks in part to funding provided by the Government of Alberta. The toolkit is a direct response to municipalities’ request for resources so they can take a leadership role in solar PV development on their own facilities while streamlining permitting processes for their communities.

Municipalities are uniquely positioned to lead the deployment of PV because of the close relationship they have with their citizens, the direct responsibility they have to ensure the sustainability of their communities and the potential for solar to create economic growth. This role is increasingly recognized with many municipalities leading the way by installing solar PV systems on their own facilities and engaging with their community members to reduce barriers and help them go solar.

The Solar-Friendly Municipalities Toolkit contains the following:

  • Alberta-specific information on solar PV, the permitting process, along with a review of project cost, financing and earnings for a municipality that wants to install solar on its own facilities.
  • Best practice recommendations for planners and permitting officials on permitting, taxes and access for solar PV projects.
  • Community engagement and municipal leadership strategies with examples from Alberta, Canada, and around the world. Organized by key engagement tactics, it also shares some municipal leadership strategies that can be used to demonstrate the benefits of solar PV.
  • A solar calculator to help evaluate the economics and performance of proposed grid-connected solar PV projects compared to purchasing electricity from the grid in Alberta.