Micro Generation

In January 2009, the Government of Alberta implemented a regulation that makes it easier for Albertans to generate green electricity to power their own home, farm or business.

Micro-generating units must use a renewable, environmentally-friendly fuel source such as solar panels, small-scale hydro, wind, biomass, micro-cogeneration and fuel cells. The maximum generating capacity is one megawatt (1 MW) and the regulation allows for qualified micro-generators to have their connection costs paid for by the distribution utility. For full details on micro-generation please refer to the AUC website below.

Interested in generating your own electricity?

The Alberta Utilities Commission (AUC) is overseeing implementation of Micro-Generation Regulation. They have developed processes to simplify approvals and interconnection agreements.

Step 1: If you are interested in generating your own renewable electricity, start by familiarizing yourself with the AUC’s Micro–Generation Application Guideline (PDF). It provides a step-by-step summary and helps customers consider safety, equipment, installations and legal matters.

Step 2: If you want to proceed, contact the Rocky REA at(403) 845-4600 or (toll free)(888) 845-4616.

Alberta Utilities Commission: Micro-Generation (WebPage)

Alberta Utilities Commission: Application Guideline (PDF)

 

Application Form

 

Renewable Energy Credits

Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) are certificates issued by a government agency to a power company which utilizes environmentally friendly methods to generate electricity. The Renewable Energy Credits can in turn be traded and sold on the open market, providing an incentive to companies which produce “green” power. Sources of green power include solar, wind, geothermal, biomass, biodiesel, some fuel cells, and low impact hydropower.

The green energy producer sells their power into the grid, and while it is impossible for the purchaser of an REC to consume electricity solely from a green energy producer (as once the electrons are in the grid, they are irreversibly mixed with electrons from other sources) the purchase of an REC supports green energy production. It is also important to note, that the renewable energy that makes up the REC may not necessarily be located on the same grid or in a purchaser’s local area. So you don’t necessarily get green energy from your neighbour’s micro-generating unit.

For a green energy producing company in a province which participates with the Renewable Energy Credits program, the company is offered one credit for a set amount of energy produced, typically 1,000 kilowatt hours. The credit is given a distinct number so that it can be tracked, the power is fed into the grid, and the company offers the credit for sale.

Renewable energy source power companies benefit from Renewable Energy Credits because they serve as an incentive. Many non-renewable energy sources are subsidized, making it difficult for green energy companies to survive. Being able to participate in Renewable Energy Credits, allows the producer to remain viable in the electricity market. Prices for Renewable Energy Credits vary widely, just like other commodities, and they are available for sale in numerous locations.