Alberta designates $10 million to expand farm energy efficiency grants
October 24, 2016 - The Alberta government has announced plans for a $10-million investment to help “energy-intensive" farm operations save on energy bills through efficiency upgrades.
By Renée Francoeur
“In my discussions with agricultural producers, I have heard the importance of supporting greenhouses, dairy and livestock sectors in the transition to a lower carbon future,” said Oneil Carlier, Alberta minister of Agriculture and Forestry. “That’s why, in addition to our farm fuel rebate, we are putting additional funding in programs that will help producers become more efficient and reduce consumption, emissions and costs.”
The funding will support the expansion of the following programs:
• On-Farm Energy Management Program (assists with the purchase of equipment that improves energy efficiency or monitors energy consumption such as lighting, pumps, heaters, etc.) – Increase the percentage of capital purchases covered to 70% from the current 35% and increase the cap on funding to $750,000 (up from $50,000).
• On-Farm Solar PV Program.
• Irrigation Efficiency Program – Increase the number of eligible projects by an applicant and increase the funding cap to $15,000 from $5,000 for specific types of projects.
• Accelerating Agricultural Innovation Program – Allocate $1 million to help food processors retrofit their plants with energy-saving technology to help bridge funding until the Energy Efficiency Agency can be established.
“By expanding the cap on the irrigation-efficiency programs we will be able to do more to make our operations more efficient, which will reduce our energy costs and make better use of our water resources,” said Richard Stamp of Stamp Seeds.
The funding is being provided through the Climate Change Management Fund.