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Terralta News & Community Involvement

Hat Companies Could Benefit From Government’s Green Grants

With both a newly elected Alberta and federal government whose platforms featured commitments for ambitious plans for renewable energy production, Medicine Hat may be particularly well positioned to take advantage of green initiatives.

Marcus Campbell, Terralta operations manager, is at least is hopeful that’s the case.

“We’re cautiously optimistic,” said Campbell.

“There are rumblings the NDP government is going to do something and we hope they do the right thing in regards to an incentive program.”

The Dunmore-based renewable energy product provider and installer recently completed two solar projects at the LMT Trucking and Shortgrass Public Library offices.

Terralta has also installed a number of residential solar panel projects.

For Campbell, it’s those type of smaller micro-generation projects he hopes upcoming government policies will address.

“If they are going to do anything, we’re hoping they will look after small businesses rather than get into that utility-scale type of generation,” said Campbell.

But if there is to be incentives, Campbell believes the price per watt model — rather than a straight up cash subsidy — is the best way forward.

That price per watt amount is calculated by dividing the capital cost of a project by the maximum power it can produce.

By utilizing this method in calculating incentives, “the guy who installs a two-kilowatt system gets the same value as the guy who installs the 10-kilowatt system,” said Campbell.

But one of the best models of providing support for both micro-generation and energy efficiency projects that can be enacted province-wide is the HatSmart program, said Campbell, adding the uptake for the program has been huge.

Wayne Perehudoff, HatSmart’s energy sustainability engineer, said the city program has been funded until the end of 2016 with a steady amount of incentive applications coming from Hatters.

While HatSmart continues to provide up to $4,700 for residential solar projects, Perehudoff also highlighted the program’s incentives for energy efficient doors.

“If (government) offers something alongside of that — we’ve got a steady response right now but if they added on to it, it would probably be even better,” said Perehudoff.

“That’s what happened with the first version of HatSmart, because there was federal and provincial money.”

The Liberal government’s election platform may see a return of federal funds for such programs if followed through with a promise to commit more than $5 billion in environmentally friendly energy project over the next four years.

The Alberta NDP have said specifically it would provide $5 million for interest green loans as well as indicating a shift in thinking towards other such programs.

Original Article from Medicine Hat News

Shortgrass Library Project

The largest rooftop solar photovoltaic system in southeastern Alberta was officially unveiled Friday afternoon at the shortgrass Library System’s office in the light industrial area of Medicine Hat.

“We have the flat roof, we have a perfect location, perfect sun exposure —and it’s the sunniest city in Canada —it’s just a no-brainer to a certain extent,” Shortgrass CEO Petra Mauerhoff about the installation of the 198 solar modules which will generate approximately 65,000 kWh of energy each year —enough to cover 75 per cent of the building’s electricity needs through the year, and even sell back to the power grid on low consumption days.

The idea for the project came as the regional library system’s office required its 25-year-old roof to be replaced, she said.

The Shortgrass board had put money aside in their capital reserves for this, but then received a Community Initiatives Grant worth $50,000, which covered 50 per cent of the roof replacement costs.

“Because of this windfall … it ended up being a lot less expensive than we thought,” Mauerhoff, which is when she brought forward the idea of putting in the solar panels.

“We do have a green building operations policy in place that says that Shortgrass will make every effort to keep our operations as green, environmentally friendly, environmentally sustainable as possible,” she said —and solar panels fit into this.

The project was also affordable, in part due to a 15-year leasing agreement through ENMAX, said Mauerhoff.

“You make a down payment, similar to when you’re leasing a car, and then you’re able to pay off the installation over 15 years,” she explained. Based on energy usage from previous years, the monthly leasing costs will be offset by the savings they expect from their electricity bill, she said. As well, the solar panels will offset approximately 45 tonnes of carbon annually, the equivalent of planting 200 trees per year.

“I think going with sustainable energy solutions is really the way to go,” said Mauerhoff. “I’m just really glad that the board of directors for Shortgrass is so forward thinking, and saw that there was value in this, and value in spending money from our capital reserves on this sort of long-term project.”

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Terralta nominated for 2015 Chamber of Commerce "Customer Service And Innovation Award"

Terralta was proudly nominated for the Chamber of Commerce Award "Customer Service Excellence Award and Innovation Award of Excellence".

Largest solar panel array for Medicine Hat region now generating electricity

Working with ENMAX, LMT Enterprises Ltd. (LMT), a local general contractor company, can now proudly boast of the largest rooftop solar PV system to generate electricity in the Medicine Hat region.

"Part of what made this option attractive to us is the 15-year lease that ENMAX could offer," said Darcy Meire, Vice President and Manager of Operations, LMT. "We look at the solar array as another piece of equipment that will continue to generate electricity for us for many years. We couldn't have installed this system if not for ENMAX's solar lease."

Mounted and connected by local installer Terralta Inc., the 192-panel array has the potential to offset about 25 to 30 per cent of LMT's annual electricity needs based on their current usage.

"Medicine Hat's electricity needs continue to grow and everyone plays a part in managing the solutions to meeting that demand," said Mayor Ted Clugston. "In this case, LMT Enterprises has shown leadership by anticipating and meeting a portion of their own needs. This ultimately reduces their reliance on the overall system."

The Solar by ENMAX Energy program is the only one of its kind in Alberta. Supported in part from a contribution from Climate Change and Emissions Management (CCEMC) Corporation, it allows customers to lease the technology rather than spending a large upfront amount through outright purchase.

"We will also take care of any required maintenance over the 15 years at no additional cost to the customer," said Jason Atkinson, Director of Photovoltaic Operations, ENMAX. "Also, at the end of that period, customers have the option to purchase the equipment for a reasonable fee."

Having served the community for over 65 years, LMT Enterprises continues to grow and find innovative ways to meet their customer needs.

"We'll always continue to look for efficiencies that will run our business successfully," said Meire.

Original Article by Enmax

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