Energy consumption from the grid is Banff’s largest source of greenhouse gas emissions. The national park municipality has quickly become a national leader in solar, including what was until recently the largest system in the Bow Valley area on its Town Hall. In early 2015, Banff became Canada’s first municipality to offer a production incentive (feed-in tariff) for solar PV. The town offered seven-year support agreements to its citizens, and received 47 applications from different local properties. A random lottery of allocations was conducted in three size categories. Within 2015 alone, Banff saw over 100 kW of new, aesthetically integrated solar PV installed on residences, multi-family units, and businesses from the unique program. With the previously installed systems on Town Hall, public washrooms, and high school, Banff can already boast an average of 21 watts of solar PV per person (more than 16 times Alberta’s average of 1.28), with more to come in 2016 and 2017.
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