Easy Commercial Solar Installation for Alberta!

Dean Emerick

May 30, 2023

Are you a business owner in Alberta looking to harness the power of solar energy and reap its countless benefits? You should know that Alberta gets around 2,400 sun hours per year which makes it one of the sunniest provinces in Canada with the highest potential for solar based technologies. Since we have interviewed and vetted all of the local installers, commercial solar installation in Alberta has never been easier. With the rising demand for renewable energy solutions and the abundance of sunlight in the region, transitioning to solar power is a smart move for businesses of all sizes.

In this comprehensive blog post, we'll guide you through the entire process of commercial solar installation, providing you with the knowledge and insights you need to make informed decisions.

From assessing the viability of solar energy for your business to selecting the right installer, understanding the installation process has never been an easier process. Get ready to unlock the potential of solar energy and transform your Alberta business. Let's dive in!

Understanding Alberta commercial solar installation

guide to alberta commercial solar installation

As a forward-thinking business owner in Alberta, you recognize the immense potential of solar energy to drive sustainability and cost savings. But before you embark on your commercial solar journey, it's essential to understand the ins and outs of a custom solar design and installation specific to Alberta's unique landscape.

1. Embracing the Benefits of Solar Energy in Alberta

By adopting commercial solar installation in Alberta, you open the door to a multitude of benefits for your business, including:

  • Cost Savings: Solar power significantly reduces your business's electricity bills, providing long-term financial savings and protection against rising energy costs.
  • Environmental Sustainability: By adopting renewable energy, such as solar power, you contribute to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and fostering a cleaner, more sustainable environment.
  • Energy Independence: Generating your own electricity enhances your business's resilience by reducing dependence on traditional energy sources and mitigating the impact of potential power outages.
  • Enhanced Reliability: Solar power systems offer reliable energy production, providing a stable and consistent source of electricity for your business operations.
  • Greener Reputation: Embracing solar energy helps build a greener reputation for your business, showcasing your commitment to sustainability and attracting environmentally conscious customers.

2. Navigating Alberta's Regulatory Landscape

Understanding the regulatory framework and available incentives is crucial for a successful solar installation. Alberta offers several programs and incentives to support businesses in adopting solar energy. These regulations & incentives can change over time. 

But fear not! When you fill out the assessment form, the applicable incentives will automatically appear in your profile. By familiarizing yourself with these programs and regulations, you can leverage financial incentives and streamline the installation process.

3. Assessing solar viability for your Alberta business

Before proceeding with a commercial solar panel installation, it's important to assess your energy requirements and the viability of solar energy for your business. Consider the following factors:

  • Energy Consumption Analysis: Evaluate your historical energy usage patterns to determine the size and capacity of the solar system needed to meet your business's electricity needs.
  • Site Assessment: Assess your property's solar potential by considering factors such as roof orientation, shading, and available space for ground-mounted systems.
  • Financial Analysis: Conduct a cost-benefit analysis to determine the return on investment (ROI) and payback period for your solar installation.

By conducting a thorough assessment beforehand, you can ensure that solar energy is a viable cost effective and advantageous option for your business.

4. Addressing Alberta's Unique Factors

Alberta's unique climate and geographical characteristics can influence the design and performance of your solar installation. Consider the following factors:

  • Cold Climate Considerations: Alberta's cold winters require selecting solar panels designed to withstand low temperatures and optimizing system performance in cold weather conditions.
  • Snow and Shading: Account for potential snow accumulation on panels and any shading issues that may affect solar energy production during certain times of the year. It's important to note that modern solar panels are designed to handle snow loads and can still generate electricity even when it's snowing or during the winter months. Additionally, proper system design and orientation can help minimize the impact of shading from nearby structures or vegetation, ensuring optimal solar energy production throughout the year.
  • Grid Connection: Understand the process of connecting your solar system to the electrical grid, including any interconnection requirements and agreements with the utility company.

By addressing these unique factors, you can ensure your commercial solar installation is optimized for Alberta's conditions, maximizing energy production and efficiency.

To put it simply, understanding these crucial aspects of commercial solar installation in Alberta will empower you to make informed decisions and set the foundation for a successful project.

How to choose a solar installer in Alberta?

Alberta's unique climate and geographical characteristics can influence the design and performance of your solar installation. But understand that Alberta is one of the best regions in canada for optimum solar absorption. Consider the following factors:

1. Researching Reputable Solar Installation Companies

Begin your search by conducting thorough research on solar installation companies operating in Alberta. Look for companies with a proven track record, positive customer reviews, and a portfolio of successful residential and commercial solar installations. Explore their websites, read testimonials, and gather information about their expertise, certifications, and industry affiliations.

2. Evaluating Experience, Certifications, and Customer Reviews

Once you have identified potential solar installers, assess their experience and qualifications. Consider the following factors:

  • Experience: Look for installers with a significant number of years in the industry and a strong portfolio of commercial solar projects.
  • Certifications: Check if the installers hold relevant certifications, such as those from the Canadian Solar Industries Association (CanSIA) or the Electrical Safety Authority (ESA), which demonstrate their expertise in solar installation.
  • Customer Reviews: Read reviews and testimonials from previous clients to gauge their satisfaction with the installer's workmanship, professionalism, and customer service.

3. Requesting Quotes and Comparing Proposals

Contact the top contenders on your list and request comprehensive quotes for your commercial solar project. The quotes should outline the system design, equipment specifications, installation timeline, and total project cost. Carefully review each proposal and compare them based on factors such as price, system performance, equipment warranties, and post-installation support.

4. Assessing Communication and Professionalism

Effective communication and professionalism are vital when selecting a solar installer. Consider the following aspects:

  • Responsiveness: Evaluate how promptly the installer responds to your inquiries and how well they address your questions or concerns.
  • Site Visit and Evaluation: A reputable installer will conduct a thorough site visit to assess your business premises, identify any specific challenges, and tailor the solar system design accordingly.
  • Clear Contracts and Agreements: Ensure that the installer provides clear and detailed contracts outlining the scope of work, timelines, payment terms, and warranties.

By evaluating these factors, you can choose a solar installer who not only possesses the necessary technical expertise but also demonstrates professionalism and excellent communication skills.

The process of solar installation

Embarking on a commercial solar installation journey in Alberta requires a clear understanding of the installation process. Let's walk you through the step-by-step process involved in bringing solar power to your business.

A. Site Assessment and Feasibility Study

The first step in the solar installation process is conducting a comprehensive site assessment and feasibility study. As discussed above, this involves evaluating your business premises to determine its solar potential.

Factors such as roof orientation, shading analysis, available space, and structural integrity are assessed to ensure the viability of a solar installation. This initial assessment provides crucial information for designing an optimized solar system.

B. Designing the Solar System for Your Business

Once the site assessment is complete, the solar installer will design a solar system tailored to meet your business's specific energy needs. This includes determining the appropriate system size, selecting solar panels and inverters, and designing the electrical layout.

The design phase takes into account factors like energy consumption, electricity generation, available roof space, and local regulations to create an efficient and customized solar solution for your business.

C. Permitting and Paperwork Requirements

Before installing solar panels, certain permits and paperwork must be obtained. The solar installer will assist you in navigating the necessary documentation and ensuring compliance with local regulations.

This typically involves obtaining building permits, submitting engineering plans, using electrical permits and securing utility approvals. Proper permitting and paperwork are essential to ensure a smooth installation process and adherence to safety and regulatory standards.

D. Procurement and Installation of Solar Panels and Equipment

Once the permits are in place, the solar installer will proceed with procuring the necessary solar panels, inverters, and other equipment required for the installation of commercial systems. They will handle the logistics and ensure the timely delivery of high-quality components.

The installation team will then proceed with the physical installation of electrical systems, including mounting the solar panels, connecting the electrical wiring, and installing the necessary support structures. The installation is carried out with precision and in accordance with industry best practices.

E. Electrical Connection and Grid Integration

After the solar panels and equipment are installed, the next step is connecting the solar system to the electrical grid. This involves coordinating with the local utility company to ensure the proper installation, grid integration and compliance with relevant interconnection standards.

The solar installer will work closely with the utility to complete the installation costs, the necessary paperwork and arrange for the final electrical connection. Once the system is successfully connected, your business can start generating clean and renewable solar energy.

By following this step-by-step process, your business can smoothly transition to solar power. From the initial site assessment to the final grid integration, a reputable solar installer will guide you through each stage, ensuring a seamless and successful solar installation.

Maintenance and monitoring of solar power systems

Once your commercial solar system in Alberta is up and running, it's important to implement a comprehensive maintenance and monitoring plan. Let's go through the key aspects of maintaining and monitoring your solar power system to maximize its efficiency and performance.

A. Importance of Regular Maintenance for Optimal Performance

Regular maintenance is crucial to keep your solar power system operating at its best. It helps identify and address any potential issues early on, ensuring optimal energy production and extending the lifespan of the system. By investing in routine maintenance, you can minimize downtime, maximize energy output, and protect your investment in the long run.

B. Typical Maintenance Tasks and Schedules

Solar power system maintenance involves a range of tasks that should be performed at regular intervals. These tasks may include:

  1. Panel Cleaning: Regularly cleaning the solar panels to remove dirt, dust, and debris that can impact their performance. The frequency of cleaning depends on factors such as local weather conditions and the presence of nearby sources of dirt or pollution.
  2. Inspection and Testing: Conducting periodic inspections to check for any signs of damage, loose connections, or system abnormalities. Testing the performance of individual panels and the overall system helps identify any efficiency issues or potential malfunctions.
  3. Electrical Components: Ensuring that electrical connections and wiring are secure and functioning properly. This includes inspecting inverters, meters, and other electrical components for any signs of wear or damage.

Establishing a maintenance schedule is essential to ensure the timely and consistent upkeep of your solar power system. The frequency of maintenance tasks may vary based on factors such as the size of the solar harvest system, local environmental conditions, and manufacturer recommendations.

C. Monitoring Energy Production and System Performance

Monitoring your solar power system's energy production and performance is key to identifying any deviations or underperformance. Monitoring tools and software provide real-time data on energy generation, consumption, and system health. By regularly reviewing this information, you can detect any issues, optimize energy usage, and make informed decisions regarding system maintenance and efficiency improvements.

D. Dealing with Repairs and Warranty Coverage

In the event of system malfunctions or breakdowns, it's important to understand the warranty coverage provided by the solar equipment manufacturer and installer. Familiarize yourself with the warranty terms and conditions, including coverage duration, repair or replacement procedures, and any associated costs. If repairs are needed, contact your solar installer or equipment manufacturer promptly to ensure timely resolution and minimize any impact on energy production.

By implementing a proactive maintenance and monitoring plan, you can ensure the long-term efficiency, performance, and reliability of your commercial solar program. Regular maintenance, effective monitoring, and adherence to warranty procedures will help you derive the maximum benefits from your solar investment.

Conclusion: Commercial solar panels in Alberta

Commercial solar installations in Alberta can be an effective and economical way to reduce energy costs and carbon footprint. This will also help improve their reputation and the bottom line. By understanding Alberta commercial solar installation in detail and following a comprehensive maintenance and monitoring plan, you can ensure the optimal performance of your commercial projects system for years to come. All in all, investing in quality service now will help ensure that your investment pays off in the long run!

Alberta commercial solar installation: FAQ

What is the Clean Technology Investment Tax Credit?

The 2023 Federal Budget introduced the Clean Technology Tax Credit, offering a 30% refundable tax credit for eligible clean tech projects, such as new solar PV systems, batteries, solar heating, and heat pumps. Investments made from March 28, 2023, to 2034 are eligible. To qualify, businesses must be taxable, invest in Class 43.1 or 43.2 equipment, and meet future labour requirements. This initiative aims to boost clean tech investments and achieve Canada's net-zero goals by 2035. 

How much solar energy does a business need?

Determining how much energy a business needs depends on various factors, including energy consumption, available roof or ground space, and financial goals. A professional solar installer can perform an assessment and recommend a system size that matches your specific energy requirements.

Can any business install solar panels?

Yes, installing solar power is an option for many businesses. While the feasibility may vary based on factors such as available space, roof orientation, and financial considerations, commercial solar systems are designed to cater to a wide range of businesses. Whether you own a small retail store, an office building, or a large industrial facility, there are commercial solar solutions available to meet your energy needs and help you transition to clean and renewable energy sources.

Are solar panels worth it in Alberta?

Yes, solar panels are worth considering in Alberta. Alberta boasts the most direct sunlight days per year of any other region in Canada. With its abundant sunlight and supportive policies, Alberta offers favourable conditions for harnessing solar energy. Solar panels can help businesses reduce their dependence on traditional energy sources, lower electricity costs, and contribute to a greener environment overall.

What are commercial solar sizes?

Commercial solar sizes can vary depending on the energy requirements and available space of a business. Solar systems for commercial applications are typically larger than residential systems. Smaller businesses may opt for systems in the range of 10-100 kilowatts, while larger industrial facilities or commercial buildings may require systems in the range of several hundred kilowatts to multiple megawatts.

Do solar installations work in Calgary?

Yes, solar power works in Calgary. Despite the perception of Calgary having a colder climate, solar panels can still generate electricity effectively in this region. Calgary receives a significant amount of sunlight throughout the year, making it a viable location for solar energy production.

How efficient is commercial solar PV?

Commercial solar PV (photovoltaic) systems typically have an efficiency range of 15% to 20%. This means that they can convert approximately 15% to 20% of the sunlight they receive into usable electricity. However, it's important to note that efficiency can vary based on several factors, including the type and quality of solar panels, system design, environmental conditions, and maintenance.

About Solr Solvr

Solr Solvr is your go-to online advisor for solar solutions for residential and commercial solar installations. We're here to help you compare and understand quotes, provide information on the latest incentive programs available, and work in your best interest with transparency throughout the decision-making process. Make use of our modern, smart solar solutions to simplify the process of transitioning to a sustainable future through solar.

If you’re interested in a customized report for your home of business, click the link here to Solr Solvr’s website to provide some info and get you on the path to a cleaner future. 

We proudly serve Alberta's main population zones, including but not limited to Calgary, Edmonton, Red Deer, Lethbridge, Airdrie Fort McMurray and Medicine Hat. We cover all regions of Alberta including Grande Prairie, Spruce Grove, Leduc, Cochrane, Lloydminster and beyond. Contact us today to see if we serve your area!