Canada’s Nova Scotia launches rebate program for residential PV

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Canada’s Ministry of Environment and Climate Change, and the Ministry of Energy of the province of Nova Scotia have jointly launched a new rebate scheme for residential solar power generators.

Through the ‘SolarHomes’ program, which will be overseen by Efficiency Nova Scotia, homeowners willing to install a rooftop PV installation will receive a CA$1 rebate per W installed, with the average rebate being around $7,000 (the maximum rebate is estimated  to be $10,000). Rebates are expected to cover roughly 30% of the costs of buying and installing a PV system.

The program will be supported chiefly by a government scheme offering $14 million a year for four years during its development. Alongside this, the province of Nova Scotia is investing $3 million a year, while Nova Scotians will be paying an additional over $15 million a year into the project through residential electricity rates for programs, which will increase renewable energy usage and will look to ensure that homes equipped with solar systems are made more energy efficient.

Moreover, in order to help meet demand for the program, regionally based manufacturing company Thermo Dynamics is to expand its manufacturing business. “We are going to start manufacturing solar electricity equipment, in addition to our solar thermal operations,” said Paul Sajko, general manager of Thermo Dynamics.

The announcement of this program comes as welcome news for solar in Canada after the recently elected leader of the Progressive – Conservative Party in Ontario cancelled a rebate program a mere two month after its launch.

The US$70 million scheme had been conceived to support residential and commercial solar-plus-storage solutions installed under net metering. The decision to shut-down the program was taken by the leader and the premier-designate of the Canadian province, Doug Ford, who did not explain his decision.

Nova Scotia has been a relatively active province on the renewables front in Canada. In July, working towards the mass adoption of solar PV in Nova Scotia, Kentville-based company Nova Solar Capital launched Solar Scotia Energy, a Solar Community Economic Development Investment Fund (CEDIF) to help finance the installation of solar panels in homes throughout the region. It offered a specific funding model, whichensures growing retirement savings and that the benefits of tax incentives are reaped.

Furthermore, in November, it launched a two-year programme for the development of community solar, the Community Buildings Pilot Program. Under the program, the province granted approval for a 50 kW solar project that was developed by the town of Antigonish, to then sell power to the local power utility. Overall, 18 successful applications were chosen throughout Nova Scotia.