• Graham Harris

Why did we start Solar Offset?

Updated: Mar 24

I've been working professionally in Alberta's carbon markets since they were first established and have helped many large windfarm projects and, more recently, utility-scale solar farms to understand this market and to create additional revenue from selling carbon offsets.

I've also had a long-standing interest in solar power - the elegance of making clean electricity out of sunlight has always been appealing to me. In late 2020, I finally realized a long-held dream and had an 8.04 kW solar PV system installed at my home.

This installation was a "eureka" moment for me - what if we could harness the power of the carbon markets to improve the payback on small-scale solar and wind projects, too? Doing so could make micro-generation systems more affordable, encouraging more Albertans to install solar or wind and thus to benefit from lower electricity bills, and creating an environmental win in the form of long-term reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. Thus the idea for Solar Offset was born!

In early 2022, we started working on Solar Offset in earnest. As individual systems are too small to economically create offset credits, Solar Offset has been designed to operate as an "aggregation pool". It operates on similar economic principles to a buyer's club or a co-operative - by combining individual systems together, it's possible to create economies of scale.

As well as creating additional revenue for micro-generation system owners and reducing greenhouse gas emissions, we also wanted to ensure that Solar Offset would hit the third pillar of sustainability and create a social benefit, too. As such, we have designed Solar Offset to put 10% of our net profits aside for our Solar Torch program, which will help to fund training for the next generation of renewable energy installers in the province.

We started Solar Offset because we believe that Alberta's carbon markets can create a win-win-win for owners of solar photovoltaic and wind-power systems, the environment and our economy. We look forward to welcoming you into the program!

You can quickly find out how much your system can make by using our calculator, and check your eligibility here.

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