Red Deer County News

Posted on: February 12, 2018

Stewardship For Small Acreages

Solar (2)

Going Solar for the Future – A Green Acreages Project Showcase

It’s one thing to want to reduce your environmental footprint, but landowners are taking the concept farther and installing solar panels to not only reduce their energy needs, but to feed back into the grid which can offset future uses.

Two reasons Cody Howitt, a County acreage owner, wanted to install his own solar panel system was, firstly, recognizing that energy needs are heading in a renewable direction which economically will be more feasible moving forward. Also keeping in mind that there could be some payback in the long run. Secondly, and perhaps more importantly, with having a greener footprint he can show his kids the way of the future and how important it is to take steps now for changes down the road, and being prepared.

With that kind of justification, and some help from the experts at CarbonBite Innovations (and the Green Acreages program), Howitt was able to get a plan together that would suit his needs. The system in question is a 2 pole, 6.7 kW solar panel system. Although it comes with a 25 year warranty, this system is expected to last even longer and become more efficient over time.

When asked about the returns of his new solar system, Howitt responds, “Why do you upgrade your furniture? When is that payback? With technology changing so quickly, 10 years from now we could be looking at our energy needs in a new way.” This is an example for Howitt’s kids to make plans and create a longer-term vision so they can make changes now that will be beneficial in those 10 years.

For now Howitt is content with his solar panel project and the work he’s done to reduce his acreage’s environmental footprint, but when more ideas come to him that make sense for his situation on his property he does plan on making it into another Green Acreages project.

Green Acreages is a program that helps County acreage owner’s access resources and funding support for doing green environmental projects on their properties. Aside from solar panel systems, many other things may be eligible for your property; native eco-buffer plantings, rain barrels, composters, creating wildlife habitat, and much more. If you have a particular project idea in mind, or want to see what other ideas we might have for you, contact Aimee, Green Acreages Coordinator, at 403.342.8654 or adelaney@rdcounty.ca.

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