Sunny days are ahead, as Manitoba Hydro is now helping customers go solar.
The crown corporation recently announced the details of the new Power Smart Solar Energy PV Program. The plan allows goodies for businesses and home owners to go solar, while selling surplus solar energy back to Manitoba Hydro.
Besides its renowned Power Smart program, Manitoba Hydro’s new solar program will give customers another clean energy choice along with hydroelectricity.
Manitoba Hydro’s Power Smart Solar Energy program will give customers some enticing goodies at $1.00/watt Canadian, or around 25% of upfront new installation costs, according to Kelvin Shepherd, President and CEO of Manitoba Hydro.
Meanwhile, the program offers a 4.9% interest rate with up to $30,000 in financing. Users must be connected to Manitoba Hydro’s grid to receive solar PV energy through Hydro.
Shepherd acknowledges Hydro consumers can also pay off their solar systems through their monthly utility bills.
“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,” Shepherd said on making Hydro’s Power Smart solar energy program being very accessible to its customers.
The reaction has been very positive to Manitoba Hydro’s move towards solar energy.
Manitoba Sustainable Energy Association (ManSEA) Chair Wayne Clayton welcomed Hydro’s push to advance solar energy within the Keystone province.
“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,” Clayton added.
Manitoba has some of the best solar potential in Canada. In fact, Winnipeg, the capital of the province, has the second highest solar potential in Canada with 1,277 kWh/kW, only behind Regina, Saskatchewan with 1,361 kWh/kW.
Add decreasing solar costs, which puts more pressure on utilities to adapt to solar technology, along with Canada signing onto the Paris climate agreement, and it only furthers the need for Manitoba Hydro to see the sunlight.
“It’s another way of offering an additional choice of energy sources to our customers,” Shepherd said with regard to adding solar energy as part of its energy mix for Manitoba customers.
Shepherd also acknowledges that as solar PV prices fall, it will continue to become even more attractive to Manitoba Hydro as a utility, but also to consumers.
Manitoba is now finally aboard the solar energy PV express after many years. If this program is a success, expect further possibilities down the road for solar within Manitoba Hydro.
Image: Flag of Manitoba by James Leigh & Echando una mano via WikiCommons
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