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STEP 3

PLANNING A PROJECT

Important Considerations for Community Projects

1.How much energy will be produced or is needed?

We suggest the using Guide to Developing a Community Renewable Energy Project in North America, as your first source of information to answer this question.


Generation System Generation Capacity
1 kW Will provide a portion of a household’s annual electricity needs
5-10 kW May provide a home’s total electricity requirements
200 kW Will provide part of a small community’s energy needs
2000kW (2 MW) Will produce over the year for about 500 – 600 households

2.What type of energy will be produced?

State the type of RE you will be producing, for example, heat, biofuel, electricity, etc.

1.Renewable Energy System Cost Overview (USD$)


Technology Cost Comments
Large Wind Turbine $2 million / MW Includes interconnection, planning and permitting
Small Wind Turbine $10,000 for residential system 2.5 kW
Solar PV $20,000 for 2 kW panel Includes installation; discounts on installation costs may be available if several systems are purchased
Solar Hot Water $2,400 to $6,000 for a residential rooftop system
Geothermal heat pump $15,000-$25,000 Installed residential system
Biomass heat $4,000 Individual pellet stove
Biomass co-generation $2,500 per kW Excludes heat distribution system
Agricultural digester $3,000 per kW Excludes cost for transporting biomass feedstock, etc.

3.What renewable energy resources are available?

Refer to the resource maps you created in Steps 1 and 2. These will give you the answer here.

4.What is the preferred renewable energy technology?

Planning your optimal solution can be helped by reviewing Section 5 from the Guide to Developing a Community Renewable Energy Project in North America. If the link is not working, you can download the Section 5 extract here.

5.How will the generation be connected? Will it be tied to the grid or off-grid?

State whether the electrical output will be connected into the Alberta power grid, or kept off the grid for other uses. If the latter, identify those uses.

6.What are the technical skills and abilities in the community?

To answer this question, consider the example provided in this document, Summary of Recommendations for Improved Renewable Energy Readiness Workplan for SouthGrow. The example document is a report based on the readiness assessments performed earlier, and provides a plan for enhancing the community’s readiness for RE.

7.How much money can be spent on development, staff equipment and installation?

Planning your financial requirements can be aided by reviewing Section 6 from the Guide to Developing a Community Renewable Energy Project in North America. If the link is not working, you can download the Section 6 extract here.

8.Interconnection ability

To plan for interconnection, use the Pembina Institute’s Greening the Grid: Powering Alberta’s Future with Renewable Energy for guidance. If the link is not working, you can download it here.

9.Environmental impacts and requirement?

You should include in your RE planning process an environmental impact assessment and plan. A suggested method for this can be found here.