Below is our recent interview with Graham Harris, Co-Founder & Project Lead at Solar Offset:
Q: Could you provide our readers with a brief introduction to your company?
A: We created Solar Offset to help Albertans access and benefit from the carbon credit market. Specifically, our program engages Albertan homeowners, farmers, small businesses, community groups or municipalities, who are generating solar or wind power at a small scale. We bring the system owners together in an aggregated project of several MWs, then our team creates the carbon offset credits and sells them in the carbon market, providing a return to the system owner, as well as actively improving their system payback.
We’re family-owned, Alberta-based, and are motivated to make small scale renewable power generation more accessible and more affordable for everyone.
Q: Any highlights on your recent announcement?
A: The official launch of our first aggregated project was on June 1st. On the same day, we announced our partnership with UTILITYNet: a retailer of electricity services with 26 energy marketing partners throughout the province. This partnership allows us to accelerate our work with Alberta’s microgenerators: and the sooner we get system owners signed up to Solar Offset, the sooner we can return a payback to them for their carbon offset credits.
The partnership also allows system owners to benefit from both UTILITYNet’s “Solar Club” tariff AND from Solar Offset’s carbon offset credit program.
Q: Can you give us more insights into your offering?
A: Our offering to system owners is no cost, no fuss, and no risk: we built the program to create a passive income stream for system owners. We hope that system owners will use their additional income to invest in more energy efficiency measures for their home or lifestyle.
We’ve been working in the carbon market since 2007, and our team does all the heavy lifting and navigation of the regulatory environment, to create, verify and sell carbon offset credits. We believe the carbon price will increase for the duration of our project, so our program is designed to create carbon credits and sell them for the best possible market price. Then, annually, we return to system owners a healthy percentage of the market sale price achieved.
A system owner, once signed up , only needs to provide annual system production data. We do everything else.
How much additional passive income a system owner can make depends on the system size and the price of carbon, but we have an easy calculator at our website where system owners can check this for themselves. As an example, we estimate that a 10kW system could generate between $1700 and $4000 from our program over the 10 years.
Q: What can we expect from your company in next 6 months? What are your plans?
A: We’re actively accepting applications for our first aggregation pool, which we’ve called Project Helios. We plan to register it by the Fall and as more microgenerators sign up to Solar Offset, we’ll be creating new project pools to support system owners throughout Alberta.
Our team is growing, and we have plans for new partnerships, and to expand our services to system owners in other locations, but our focus today is on Alberta.
Q: What is the best thing about your company that people might not know about?
A: We’re family-owned and community focused. With no corporate costs to cover, we instead set aside 10% of our profits to reinvest into our community and our economy: we do this through our Solar Torch program. Solar Torch will help fund the delivery of training in solar installations for people new to the workforce and those seeking to transition into the renewables industry. Solar Torch is our way of giving back and supporting jobs in our province.