Starland County's plans to construct further solar panels for renewable energy use is currently at a stand-still.
Alberta has been a renewable resource powerhouse due to the province's natural climate and has seen an increase in solar projects by 500 percent since 2015.
Starland County was apart of such forward movements up until recently when the county's efforts to build more solar panels came to a subtle stop.
"With the price drops, I think a lot of the incentives for people to get into have diminished to some degree," explains Matthew Kreke, Assistant Chief Administrative Officer for Starland County. "There were some provincial grants at the time that we were chasing a few years ago. We're not big into those right now. We did offer a municipal grant a little while back but we are not offering that now either."
Since 2015, Albertans have experienced an increase of 3,100 solar projects completed, they have conserved enough energy to power a city the size of Leduc and over the lifetime of the projects, energy consumers, in total, will save nearly $92 million on energy bills. These facts were provided by the Government of Alberta.
"We do have several facilities that do some of our water pumping infrastructure. The Village of Morrin has their own system same with the Village of Munson and the Village of Delia," Kreke said. "Starland County has, in addition to that, several panels upon our public workshop. We did have several more on our administration building before that burned down, obviously."
Without help from the province, Starland is waiting for the incentives to continue working on solar projects as well as grants that may assist the county on getting back on track.
"The whole goal is to transition to a time where economically, this can support itself. That's always the direction that we took and we are hoping to facilitate that," he continued. "If the provincial and federal governments come out with more grants and the power prices start looking up again, then it might become a better investment."