Alberta, ‘Sunny As Rio de Janeiro,’ Funds Solar For Schools
The Government of Alberta is investing C$15 million from the province’s Climate Leadership Plan to install more solar panels on schools.
The Solar for Schools program provides funding to install rooftop solar panels with rebates of up to C$1.50/W on the energy generated.
“I can’t think of a better class project than rooftop solar panels. Alberta is as sunny as Rio de Janeiro, and the future of solar in this province has never been brighter,” says Shannon Phillips, Alberta’s minister of environment and parks and minister responsible for climate change. “Schools have stepped up as enthusiastic partners in our plan to reduce emissions, recognizing that the future will be one where economy goes hand in hand with environment.”
The Solar for Schools program also includes an educational component so that students and teachers can learn more about climate change and renewable energy technology, the government says.
The program will be available to public, Catholic, francophone and charter school authorities for schools that have not received Alberta Education’s Solar Technology Systems grants. It will be run by the Municipal Climate Change Action Centre, a partnership between the Government of Alberta, the Alberta Urban Municipalities Association and the Rural Municipalities of Alberta.
“We are pleased to help grow clean energy in Alberta schools,” says Trina Innes, director of the Municipal Climate Change Action Centre. “In addition to offsetting operational costs, solar installations can be used as living labs by integrating new technology into the curriculum. Schools can also help raise awareness and participation in clean energy solutions in their local community.”
The Government of Alberta has funded solar installations at 83 schools across the province since 2015. Decisions to install solar energy systems are made by schools and school authorities.