Solar for Schools Program

Funding Programs

Receive funding to install solar on schools to generate power, teach students about renewable energy, and reduce your environmental impact.

1,873 solar PV modules installed

725kW of installed capacity

431tonnes GHG emissions avoided annually

12school projects completed

Why participate

Installing a solar PV system will:

  • generate free power for the solar system’s entire 25+ year life,
  • reduce your utility bills so you can reinvest those savings into other priorities across your schools,
  • provide a practical learning experience about renewable energy and climate change for students,
  • demonstrate your school authority’s commitment to sustainability and social responsibility.

Many School Authorities are participating in the Solar for Schools Program.

Medicine Hat Christian School 177kW solar installation.

Tip: Read our blog post about the three reasons why solar PV is right for your school.

Who can apply

Schools within the province of Alberta which serve Kindergarten (K) and/or a set of grades 1-12 and report to School Authorities classified as Public, Separate, Francophone, and Charter by Alberta Education are eligible to participate. Solar can be installed at existing or new schools.

School Authorities can visit the Alberta Education Alberta Schools and Authorities website to determine if they meet the definition of a “School Authority” in the program.

Schools within School Authorities defined as Private, Provincial, Federal, and First Nations are not eligible for the program.

Funding

To qualify for funding, each solar PV system project must meet the following criteria:

  • The solar system must be located on a facility or parcel of land owned by the School Authority for the life of the solar system.
  • The solar system must be new and greater than or equal to 2 kilowatts (kW DC PV array capacity) and, it must be grid-connected and compliant with the Government of Alberta’s Microgeneration Regulation.
  • The solar system must be designed and installed by a qualified installer (not self-installed) who is a member of either Solar Alberta or the Canadian Renewable Energy Association.
  • The School Authority can stack funding incentives with the Solar for Schools Program, as long as all funding does not exceed the total costs of the solar installation.

Education

Participating schools must integrate an educational component into the students’ curriculum covering the importance of taking action on climate change and how renewable energy can help achieve this goal.

The options for curriculum integration include:

Tip: Learn more about eligible solar system projects, warranty levels and other requirements on page 3 in the Guidebook.

Eligible School Authorities can submit multiple applications, but can only apply for funding up to $5 million. School Authorities can use up to $1.5 million towards new school construction projects.

Receive a rebate per watt of total installed capacity ($/W), up to 50% of eligible expenses, as per the table below. Funding is available until April 30, 2022.

Total Installed Capacity (DC)

Rebate

<10 kilowatts

$1.50/watt

10 kilowatts to <150 kilowatts

$1.25/watt

150 kilowatts to <2 Megawatts

$1.10/watt

2 Megawatts to 5 Megawatts

$1.00/watt

Tip: Subscribe to news and updates about the Solar for Schools Program.

How to apply

Step 1: Submit an Expression of Interest. This is a quick, non-committal step that will help us get to know more about your project, estimate how much funding you may receive, and walk you through next steps. 

Step 2: Find solar contractors and get three or more quotes to confirm pricing and the size of system your appropriate for your school building or land. Many solar contractors will provide this service free of charge if the site is within their service area.

We recommend that you solicit quotes from a minimum of two vendors prior to entering into any contract. Here is how to choose a solar provider and a checklist to help you create a Request for Proposals (RFP) for solar PV installations.

Step 3: Allocate capital reserve funds or include the project in an existing infrastructure project budget. Then required, find additional funding sources that you can stack with the Solar for Schools Program. Check out this resource from the Alberta Council for Environmental Education for more funding opportunities.
 
Step 4: Sign a contract with your selected solar installer and work with them to complete the Solar for Schools Program application. Then, sign a Funding Agreement, install your solar system, and receive your funding when the project is complete.

Tip: Learn more about the application process on page 7 in the Guidebook.

Get started

Tip: No time? Choose a solar installer that will do this all for you.

Save money – Save the planet. It’s a win-win.

Submit an Expression of Interest today!