Solar-Friendly Municipalities

Introduction

As the cost of installing solar photovoltaic (PV) systems falls, communities across Alberta are looking to “go solar” for the benefit of community members — residents, businesses, non-profits and public institutions.

The Solar-Friendly Municipalities toolkit provides municipalities with information to:

  • install solar PV systems on their own facilities
  • reduce permitting and tax barriers to solar PV installations in their communities, thus enabling economic development opportunities
  • engage community members on the benefits of producing power locally

Municipalities are uniquely positioned to lead because of the close relationship they have with their citizens, and the direct responsibility they have to ensure the sustainability, health, and liveability of their jurisdictions. This role is increasingly recognized with many cities leading the way on climate change action around the world.


Solar PV Basics: Technology, Installation & Cost

This document is designed for a municipality that wants to install solar on its own facilities. It provides the latest Alberta-specific information on solar PV, the permitting process, along with a review of project cost, financing and earnings.

CONTENTS

  • Introduction
  • Solar PV technology & electricity system
  • Solar PV project installation process
  • Technology benefits and impacts
  • Economics of solar PV projects

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Best Practices for Permits, Taxes and Solar Access

This document is designed for planners and permitting officials in a municipality that wants to make it easier to install solar in its community by reducing or removing critical barriers  This document outlines key considerations for improving the permitting process for solar PV projects. Best practice recommendations will help municipalities reducing their administrative burden while assisting the solar industry in reducing project costs.

CONTENTS

  • Introduction
  • Development, building and electrical permits
  • Planning and solar access
  • Property tax assessments
  • Best Practice Checklist for designing a permit process

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Community Engagement & Municipal Leadership Strategies

Municipalities have a leading role to play in supporting and guiding the development of solar PV projects with the support of community members, solar industry and electric utilities. This document is organized by key engagement tactics with examples from across Alberta, Canada, and around the world. It also shares some municipal leadership strategies that can be used to demonstrate the benefits of solar PV.

CONTENTS

  • Introduction
  • Role of the municipality in solar PV engagement
  • Integrating solar into broader energy strategies

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Alberta Solar Calculator

The Alberta Solar Calculator is intended to help municipalities evaluate the economics and solar performance of proposed grid connected solar PV projects when compared to purchasing electricity from the grid in Alberta.

Use the calculator