June 10, 2016
Manitoba Hydro has launched the Power Smart Solar Energy Program – a program that encourages home and business owners to harness the power of the sun through incentives and financial support. The launch took place on Earth Day.
Those who adopt solar power can generate their own electricity, and also sell excess energy back to Manitoba.
Manitoba Hydro president and CEO, Kelvin Shepherd said the Solar Energy Program, which is open to residential and commercial customers, will provide solar PV installations an incentive of one dollar per watt installed, which will cover roughly 25 per cent of the upfront capital cost of a new installation.
Bruce Owen, public affairs officer for Manitoba Hydro, says the program is planned as a two-year initiative with an estimated 30 installs taking place in the first year and 65 taking place in the second. He added however, that, “uptake may differ depending upon customer interest.”
In Winnipeg, a typical single roof-top solar PV module provides approximately 250 watts of power and takes up 1.5 square metres. It produces enough electricity to run your kitchen lights.
Installed with a special bi-directional meter, a customer can use the electricity generated from their solar PV panels when they need it or sell it back to Manitoba Hydro when they do not.
Shepherd said the Solar Energy Program will provide solar PV installations an incentive of one dollar per watt installed, which will cover roughly 25 per cent of the upfront capital cost of a new installation. “Combined with the ability to finance in monthly installments on your Manitoba Hydro bill, this incentive will make investing in this energy option easy for our customers,” noted Shepherd.
“The Manitoba Sustainable Energy Association (ManSEA) welcomes the initiative to expand the use of solar energy in our province,” said Wayne Clayton, chair of the Manitoba Sustainable Energy Association. “ManSEA looks forward to working with Manitoba Hydro and Manitobans to continue to expand on our renewable, sustainable and environmentally friendly sources of energy in Manitoba.”
Shepherd added the new Power Smart Solar Energy Program is part of the utility’s demand-side management plan to reduce energy use in the province. “Under our current Power Smart plan, Manitoba Hydro customers are anticipated to save $2.5 billion cumulatively over the next 15 years on their energy bills,” reported Shepherd.