Alberta touts success of solar power program for municipalities

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The Alberta government says its $5-million program to encourage municipalities to use solar energy is a success, with 18 participating communities receiving nearly $2 million in rebates so far.

Since the Alberta Municipal Solar Program (AMSP) began last year, 28 projects have been given the go ahead, the province said at an event to showcase the program's success.

The AMSP gives rebates to municipalities that install solar panels on public buildings, fire halls and community centres. 

"There's much to be learned from inspiring communities like Mountain View County, who recognize that the power of the sun is something that we can and we should harness," said Environment and Parks Minister Shannon Phillips.

"It creates such good opportunities for us to lower our bills and to diversify the economy."

Municipalities are a key part of the strategy for Alberta to achieve 30 per cent renewable energy by 2030, Phillips said.

In additions to AMSP, the province also has the On-Farm Solar PV Program and the recently announced Residential and Commercial Solar Program so that people across the province will be able to generate their own electricity, she said.

The projects undertaken in the program so far will save the communities a combined $391,600 on power bills per year, equivalent to getting almost 14,000 cars off the road, the province says.

"Municipalities across the province are demonstrating climate leadership through investment in solar projects. The first 18 projects completed through the AMSP will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by over 62,000 tonnes," said Lisa Holmes, president of the Alberta Urban Municipalities Association.

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