The solar energy system EVOLVsolar installed on Joe Wecker’s farm in southern Saskatchewan will produce approximately 130,000 kilowatt hours per year. | photo by EVOLVsolar

Rebates make solar power a ‘no-brainer’

Joe Wecker spent years looking into a solar power system for his organic farm in southern Saskatchewan, but it didn’t make financial sense until a rebate program was introduced by the province. “If the payback is 10 years you can finance it for 20, and you’re still money ahead. So why wouldn’t guys do it?” […] Read more

Brent Veitch, of solar company Rock Paper Sun Ltd., left, and Joe Schmutz work behind the 24-panel solar array on the Schmutz acreage near Grandora, Sask. The panels are mounted on a treated wood frame as opposed to the usual steel.  |  Karen Briere photo

Environment drove switch to solar

GRANDORA, Sask. — Tucked away in a woody 80 acres west of Saskatoon, Joe and Sheila Schmutz knew they wanted to add solar panels to their landscape. In addition to their bungalow where they have lived since 1983, they have a shop and kennels where they raise Large Munsterlander hunting dogs. All the buildings rely […] Read more

Daniel Visser of Western Solar, left, helped three southern Alberta farming operations set up a 300 kW solar system to operate irrigation pivots. Among the farming partners are Ron Lamb, centre, and Ben Fankhauser. The irrigation system draws water from nearby Clear Lake.  |  Barb Glen photo

Irrigators co-operate on solar power

STAVELY, Alta. — Three separate farming operations east of this southern Alberta town have co-operated on a 313.56 kilowatt project that will use the sun to power pumps for their irrigation pivots. Lamb Farms Ltd., Roemmele Farms Ltd. and Lilybrook Herefords Inc. turned the key last week on an installation designed and erected by Western […] Read more

Jenna and Brett Hauck use solar power on their ranch near Halkirk, Alta., as a tool to help them holistically manage their cattle.  |  Jeremy Simes photo

Ranchers see benefit using solar power

Halkirk, Alta. — When it comes to ranching, Jenna and Brett Hauck sometimes feel like they’re the odd couple out. Unlike most cow-calf operations, they use solar power to run their farm near Halkirk and try to keep their animals out of the feedlot as much as possible during winter. “It’s really thinking back to […] Read more

 Rancher Quentin Stevick uses solar-powered waterers on his farm in Pincher Creek, Alta. | Quentin Stevick  photo

Specialists ponder why ranchers are slow to adopt solar technology

When it comes to adopting new technology, ranchers aren’t warming up to solar and wind power as quickly as they are to other technologies — and the reasons why vary widely, according to specialists . Statistics Canada data from the 2016 Agriculture Census highlight what technologies ranchers bring in more readily as part of their […] Read more