sunflower in a field

The Solar Electricity for Community Buildings Pilot Program

Applications will be open from Monday, July 31 until Friday, September 29. If you have questions, e-mail .

The Solar for Community Buildings Program enables eligible community groups and organizations to generate solar photovoltaic (PV) electricity on their roofs or properties and sell it to their utility under a 20-year contract.

This is a pilot program run by the Nova Scotia Department of Energy. The program’s goals are to

  • support community participation in renewable energy generation
  • learn more about how solar electricity can help Nova Scotia continue its clean energy transition

Eligible groups and organizations are invited to submit an application for review. In your application, you propose the price at which you want to sell the electricity you generate back to the utility. You determine your price by first completing this workbook. The workbook guides you through the calculations needed for your application.

This is a competitive process. An independent procurement administrator reviews all applications, but only those with the most competitive price per kWh will be accepted.

  1. Download and complete your workbook (PDF 10.6 MB)

  2. Submit your application

Facts

In Nova Scotia, solar panels produce the most energy when facing south and tilted up at an angle around 45 degrees.

In Halifax, there are 4,383 hours of daylight (182.6 days) each year. On average it is sunny 43.1 per cent of those daylight hours.

In 2015 the global solar panel installations totaled around 65 GW.

From the late 1970s until 2016, the cost of a solar cell has decreased from $76/watt to $0.26/watt.

Eligible organizations

  • Mi’kmaq bands in Nova Scotia
  • registered non-profit or charitable organizations
  • municipalities or organizations wholly owned by a municipality
  • universities or community colleges

Maximum size

The maximum size of project allowable under this program is 50 kW worth of panels. There is no minimum size. You can apply for this program for only one solar panel.

Space and sun

The amount of space you have on your roof or property for panels, and the amount of sun you receive, determines how much electricity you can produce.

Cost and benefit

Under ideal conditions, a well-sited solar array produces about 1,100 kWh every year for each kW of panels. If you constructed a 20 kW solar array, and sold your electricity for 25 cents per kWh, you would make around $5,500 each year from your utility.

The cost of buying and installing solar PV equipment for this project can range from $20,000 to over $200,000 and there are other costs as well. You must be in a position to finance all project costs.

Duration

If chosen for this program, you will sell your electricity to your utility under a 20-year power purchase agreement.

Looking for a solar installer?

You can find information on solar installers in your area from these industry associations:

Get Started

Complete your workbook (PDF 10.6 MB) first—it leads you through the entire process and helps you determine if you are eligible for the program, how much electricity you can produce, and your selling price. Once your workbook is complete, you can go online and fill out your application starting July 31, 2017.

Questions?

E-mail

Community Information Sessions

To help with the application process, community information sessions will be held at five Nova Scotia Community College campuses from Aug. 14 to Aug. 18 between 4:30 p.m. and 6 p.m.:
  • Monday, Aug. 14, Burridge Campus, 372 Pleasant St., Yarmouth
  • Tuesday, Aug. 15, Annapolis Valley Campus, 289 Commercial St., Middleton
  • Wednesday, Aug. 16, Waterfront Campus, 80 Mawiomi Pl., Dartmouth
  • Thursday, Aug. 17, Pictou Campus, 39 Acadia Ave., Stellarton
  • Friday, Aug. 18, Marconi Campus, 1240 Grand Lake Rd., Sydney

Workbook