Solar power in Alberta tops 5000 kilowatts

Alberta hit a milestone for solar power on its grid Thursday, and now has 5,001 kilowatts of generating capacity.

“If you’re from Germany or California, you see those numbers and they’re funny because they are so small,� said Rob Harlan, head of the Solar Energy Society of Alberta. “But for us, it’s a big thing. It’s remarkable that it’s changing so fast.�

At this time last year, Alberta had 3,350 kilowatts of generating capacity, meaning the province has seen a 49-per-cent jump in one year.

There are now 1,106 solar systems installed in Alberta and connected to the electrical grid, according to data from Alberta Energy.

The society is hosting a seminar next Wednesday evening with presentations from homeowners on the experience of living with solar. Two farmers will be speaking, as well as two local residents who retrofitted their homes.

Edmonton resident Emanuel Blosser installed $60,000 worth of solar power in October, enough to cancel his $2,000 annual energy bill and also power the electric smart car he hopes to buy this spring.

Raquel Feroe installed solar panels on her home to help reduce the health impacts of burning coal for electricity in Alberta, said Harlan. She convinced the Riverdale Community League to add panels to their building, as well.

The seminar is free. It will be held at 7 p.m. at MacEwan University’s downtown campus in the CN Theatre. More details are available at solaralberta.ca.

Watch Alberta’s annual solar electricity generation figures climb in real time at solaralberta.ca. http://www.solaralberta.ca/

estolte@edmontonjournal.com

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