Vital Engineering Corporation
#223, 52 Sioux Rd.
Sherwood Park, Alberta, Canada
T8A 4X1

P. (780) 416.8336
F. (780) 416.8620

Alberta Solar Showcase highlights solar PV in Alberta

FEBRUARY 24 | 2010 | 9:45 AM

The Alberta Solar Showcase was a collaboration between government, industry, and nonprofit organizations to demonstrate the viability of solar photovoltaic (PV) power in Alberta. The same principles apply to solar thermal for space heating and domestic hot water. The obstacles against implementing solar technologies have been prohibitive cost, government regulations, the (un)feasibility of integration into the electrical grid, and the perception that Northern climates are not suitable for solar technologies. These factors are changing.

The cost of solar technologies continues to plummet. At the same time, industry standards have been created and a greater number of contractors and manufacturers have entered the market. Other provinces, like Ontario and B.C. have implemented feed-in-tariffs as an incentive to create power from solar PV. Alberta has not done this, but has eased the application process for residential and commercial applications (or anything with less than 1MW of installed power generation).

Perception is shifting as people become aware of the potential utility cost savings from solar technologies. While it is true that Northern climates receive the least amount of sunlight, there is still ample power available. Lastly, the Alberta Utility Commission is beginning to recognize the progress made for using fluctuating power sources (like wind and solar) to serve the demands of power users. An entire shift in operating philosophy has to occur, but it is technologically feasible.

Vital Engineering has used solar technologies on many of our past projects (click "solar" in the side panel), and we look at this technology as a major component to net-zero design - or if you just want to reduce your utility bills!  For instance, we installed a passive solar heating wall on the Whitemud Park Amenities building.

See the report at

Learn more at Climate Change Central, or browse our links on solar and sustainable development.

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At Vital Engineering we understand that "sustainability" is a complex process with unique challenges. We guide our clients through the process of sustainable development, from efficient traditional design to innovative alternative energy systems. We hear your needs and offer a balanced approach.