As a key component of Canada’s A Healthy Environment and a Healthy Economy plan, the federal government has designated $165.7 million in funding throughout the country’s agri-food sector to make its operations more sustainable using green technologies like solar.
The newly introduced Agricultural Clean Technology Program is a free subsidy designed to spur the development and adoption of clean technology within the country’s farming sector. And if successful, this initiative has the potential to reduce up to 1 megaton of greenhouse gas emissions through March 31, 2026 (the program’s official end date).
Over the next 5 years, funding will go to 3 primary areas:
- Precision agriculture, which allows farmers to collect and analyze real-time data to optimize food output
- Bioeconomy, which involves repurposing waste into sustainable resources like biofuels and organic fertilizers
- Green energy, which includes both efficiency upgrades and investments in renewable power generation
It’s this last point that interests us since “energy efficiency improvements that enable better management of energy-intensive agricultural processes” is an umbrella term that includes green power solutions like solar photovoltaic (PV) technology.
Who Is Eligible for the Agricultural Clean Technology Program?
Eligible participants include agri-food processors, farms, nonprofit cooperatives, indigenous groups, and even sole proprietors – provided you are legally incorporated in Canada.
For your own green project to qualify, it must be valued at $50,000 or higher, with a max of $2 million per project. In addition, you can apply several times for the program, with an upper threshold of $5 million per owner across all eligible projects.
The funding itself follows a cost-sharing model with for-profits required to cover 50% of their projects’ costs and non-profits required to contribute 25%. Farms with majority ownership by underrepresented groups – including female, indigenous, and disabled applicants – may qualify for 40% contributions.
Note that of the $165.7 million in funding, $10 million will be earmarked specifically to help farmers and food producers transition away from fossil fuels towards more sustainable technologies like solar PV. In addition, it’s possible to combine funding from the Agricultural Clean Technology Program with other local, provincial, and federal green incentives. However, stacking provisions prevent the cumulative funding from combined subsidies to exceed 75% of a project’s total cost.
How to Apply for the Agricultural Clean Technology Program
The Department of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) has outlined a 2-step application process to enroll in the program:
1. Submit a Project Summary Form
The first step involves submitting a summary form to determine whether your project is eligible for funding under the Agricultural Clean Technology Program. The AAFC has provided submission instructions to help you complete this step.
2. Submit a Project Application Form
If your project summary form is approved, the next step involves submitting a longer and more formal request for funding. Program staff will provide specific next steps regarding how to submit an official project application form. All candidates will be notified of their acceptance or rejection status within 100 business days of submitting their project applications.
(Farms and agricultural businesses aren’t the only ones with available government-backed offers. Read more here about “The Alberta Solar Rebate Program For Businesses” and “The Canada Greener Homes Grant Initiative“)
Why Canada’s Agricultural Clean Technology Program Matters
Farms are notoriously energy-intensive operations that consume a lot of space. However, much of that space is underdeveloped, with exposed rooftops and unused tracts of land sitting idle throughout most of the year.
Installing PV panels on these unproductive surfaces is a natural fit given the huge savings potential available for solar-powered farms.
The same is true of indigenous communities that are heavily reliant on diesel generator technology. The sheer logistics of refuelling, servicing, and maintaining these generators are enormous – to say nothing of the environmental toll that diesel combustion inflicts.
Despite falling panel prices and rising efficiencies, the upfront cost of going solar is often beyond the financial reach of many potential customers. Any incentive that can reduce this investment by $50,000 to $2 million is worth pursuing. That you can also combine the Agricultural Clean Technology Program with other green subsidies merely makes going solar even more affordable.
But remember that funding is limited – both monetarily and in terms of time. And given the interest this program has already started to generate, it’s imperative that you move quickly. If you’ve been on the fence about making energy upgrades or clean power investments, now is the time to act.
Let Us Help You Apply and Qualify for the Agricultural Clean Technology Program
As a farmer, you already know how difficult it is to apply for government incentives. But at EVOLVsolar, we will provide full support to help you complete both your project summary form and project application form. In addition, our team of engineers can also design and install a solar PV solution that meets the program requirements so you qualify for the maximum possible payout. We’re the solar company to trust in Western Canada for all your green technology needs.
To get started, schedule a free consultation with our clean energy experts today.
EVOLVsolar is Western Canada’s leading solar company. We have one mission: to make solar energy affordable while giving back to the environment. By investing in solar power, you can save money on energy bills, upgrade the value of your property and reduce your energy output. You can expect high-quality solar panel installation, world-class workmanship, excellent customer service and the best solar technology available. Our success has established us as the go-to solar installers in BC and Saskatchewan, and one of the leading solar companies in Alberta. Experience the EVOLVsolar difference by contacting our corporate office today at 1 (844) 276-4004.