Launch of the Solar-Friendly Municipalities Toolkit

June 23, 2017

The Solar-Friendly Municipalities toolkit was developed in partnership between the Municipal Climate Change Action Centre, the Pembina Institute, and the Solar Energy Society of Alberta thanks in part to funding provided by the Government of Alberta. The toolkit is a direct response to an expressed interest from stakeholders for resources to help municipalities take a leadership role in solar PV development on their own facilities and to streamline permitting processes for their communities. A draft toolkit was presented at four workshops across the province to gather feedback on the contents of the toolkit and further enhance the material.

Municipalities are uniquely positioned to lead the deployment of solar photovoltaic systems (PV) because of the close relationship they have with their citizens, the direct responsibility they have to ensure the sustainability of their communities and the potential for solar to create economic growth. This role is increasingly recognized with many municipalities leading the way by installing solar PV systems on their own facilities and engaging with their community members to reduce barriers and help them go solar.

The Solar-Friendly Municipalities Toolkit available from the MCCAC provides municipalities with information and tools to make solar PV and the accompanying benefits a reality in their communities, including:

  • Alberta-specific information on solar PV, the permitting process, along with a review of project cost, financing and earnings for a municipality that wants to install solar on its own facilities.

  • Best practice recommendations for planners and permitting officials on permitting, taxes and access for solar PV projects.

  • Community Engagement and Municipal Leadership strategies with examples from Alberta, Canada, and around the world. Organized by key engagement tactics it also shares some municipal leadership strategies that can be used to demonstrate the benefits of solar PV.

  • A Solar Calculator to help municipalities evaluate the economics and performance of proposed grid-connected solar PV projects compared to purchasing electricity from the grid in Alberta.

The project partners are excited to announce the Solar-Friendly Municipalities toolkit is available now at www.mccac.ca/resources/solar-friendly-municipalities.

Continued engagement and feedback on the toolkit is welcome and encouraged in order to ensure it remains relevant and up to date as municipalities move forward with solar leadership and growing the solar industry across the province.