03. How Enmax is making simple, easy, low-cost, off-the-shelf solar a reality
Blog: 03. Enmax makes solar energy for the masses easy
Karl Kovacs’ bungalow in the Argyll neighbourhood is like many other Edmonton homes – a small front stoop and a tidy front yard on a pleasant tree-lined street. Yet Kovacs’ home offers something different. On his roof, glinting in the bright spring sunshine, are 24 solar-electric modules that generate electricity for the Kovacs’ home.
“This has been something that has been brewing in my head for 20 years. I think since I bought my house. I have always loved solar. I was tinkering around with solar kits when I was a kid at science fairs,” explained Kovacs. “I am also very passionate about the environment.”
Being enthusiastic about solar, doesn’t make it easy to invest in solar. Over the years, Kovacs has made several attempts to install a system on this own. He found it was complicated, expensive, and rife with red tape. That was until last October when Kovacs stumbled upon a solution.
“It was through an internet search. I found this program called … Generate Choice from EasyMax. They had this program running in Calgary and I started pestering them and endlessly calling them until they came and took a look and said yes we’ll do it. That’s how I got involved. This was last October. They did the installation, start to finish in October.”
Off the Shelf Solar Systems
One of Enmax’s goals with the Generate Choice program was to remove every hurdle for consumers who want to invest in solar energy. It’s Alberta’s first “off the shelf” solar program. The process is meant to be as simple as walking into your local grocery store, picking a solar system off the shelf, and plugging it in at home. Or perhaps even a little easier – as there’s no heavy lugging involved.
One of the key objectives is to ensure the program handles the additional costs and permits that often surprise homeowners installing renewable energy systems, says Rob Harris, vice president of distributed generation at Enmax...
Video: Learn how Enmax's Generate Choice program is generating solar electricity on rooftops across Alberta
Podcast: Karl Kovacs' solar dreams come true
Karl Kovacs has been obsessed with solar since he was young. Learn how Enmax's Generate Choice program made it a reality.
Podcast: Generate Choice - Solar electricity made easy for Albertans
Enmax, the utility owned by the city of Calgary, is going where few utilities have gone before. Their Generate Choice program is aiming to put 8300 solar systems on Albertans roof. Learn how they plan to do it and the red tape they've already cut through in order to make it happen. Also, learn how much you get credited for when you export any excess electricity to the grid.
These resources relate to this episode. They may be helpful in many ways, but we list them only for your information. This is not an endorsement of any of these programs, services or organizations and we make no guarantees about the products or services these companies or organizations may offer.
Solar Electric Service Providers
How to connect to Alberta's grid as a micro-generator
The experts at Howell-Mayhew Engineering have put together a handy resource that details just how micro-generators can connect to the grid in Alberta.
Generate Choice Facebook page
Enmax's Generate Choice program
Tags: Renewable Energy
Photo gallery of the Kushneryk family home and their Enmax solar array - Flickr sllde show
Photo gallery of Karl Kovacs solar array - Flickr slide show
If everything works out and rooftop solar booms then access to sunlight becomes a real issue. Read up on solar access laws in the US.
This story by Robert Wakulat provides some Canadian perspective on the solar access issue - Green Power Magazine
Interested in solar in Alberta? Check out the Solar Energy Society of Alberta's website and become a member - SESA