GFM Network News


A new photo cell could generate electricity for greenhouse operators without harming crop production.

New solar panels grab light from above and below

Potential solution towards balance between crop growth and electricity generation capabilities

Electricity is a major expense for Canadian greenhouse growers. At the same time, large greenhouse facilities offer potential to produce renewable solar energy — but the challenge to date has been how to do that without impacting the growth and productivity of the crop inside. A potential solution from Ontario solar panel manufacturer Heliene is

FCC to offer flexibility in hurricane-battered areas

Farm Credit Canada says it plans to help its farmer clients in Atlantic Canada work around financial pressures following Hurricane Dorian’s passage through the region over the weekend. “We won’t know the full extent of damage for some time, but we’ve already heard that some customers will likely be facing some financial hardship as a


Melissa Pawlisch, director with the University of Minnesota’s Clean Energy Resource Teams (CERTs) was a guest speaker at the Manitoba Sustainable Energy Association conference in Winnipeg earlier this month.

Clean energy can drive rural economy

Speakers call for switching out some of the $4 billion now spent on fossil fuel imports to Manitoba with homegrown renewable energy sources

Businesses are powered by solar panels on rooftops in downtown Minneapolis while small towns across the state source solar energy from “solar gardens” and farms harness the power of the sun to power up their barns. Minnesota has become a leading U.S. state for its adoption of solar and other renewable energy sources, thanks to

Ontario power utilities offer farm water pump rebate

Ontario farmers buying certain types of high-efficiency water pumping systems for irrigation, horticulture or stock watering could now be up for rebates. Hydro One and Niagara Peninsula Energy (NPEI) on Friday announced the AgriPump rebate program, which the two electricity utilities described as the first plan of its kind in the province. For farmer customers

Looming hydro rate increases have municipal leaders worried about the rising costs to operate community infrastructure.

Carbon tax revenue use options pitched at AMM

Rural and small-town government leaders pass resolutions, propose ideas for recycling carbon taxes at 2017 fall convention

Municipal leaders in Manitoba bracing for future hydro rate increases want the province to use carbon tax revenues to offset the higher costs to their energy bills. It’s costing a small fortune now to heat spaces like public arenas and curling clubs, said Al Abraham, deputy mayor of the LGD of Pinawa. Read more: AMM


Editorial: Wheels within wheels

Canada’s current debate over carbon pricing, and Manitoba’s response to the federal requirements, highlight the complexities of making public policy. The federal government wants Canadian businesses, households and individuals to emit less carbon. That’s going to mean burning fewer fuels, using what we do use more efficiently and many other changes large and small throughout

Otterburne-area dairy farmer Hans Gorter now has a new 175-kilowatt, solar photovoltaic (PV) system installed on the farm to provide all the farm’s electrical energy needs.

Otterburne dairy is Manitoba’s largest solar-powered farm

The off-grid option has upfront costs but locks in energy costs for the foreseeable future


A southern Manitoba dairy is just days away from flipping the switch on the largest solar-powered farm in Manitoba. Optimist Holsteins Ltd. near Otterburne is in final stages of setting up a newly installed 175-kilowatt, solar photovoltaic (PV) system. When operational it will begin producing enough power to meet all the farm’s electrical needs while

Manitoba Hydro building in downtown Winnipeg.

Manitoba Hydro awarded 3.36 per cent rate increase by PUB

Alternatives to rising cost of electricity need serious thought, says RM official

Municipal leaders say the 3.36 per cent interim rate increase granted Manitoba Hydro this month offers only temporary relief from higher energy costs and longer-term solutions are needed. “It’s certainly better than 7.9 per cent but it’s still an increase everyone is going to have to deal with,” said Randy Henuset, deputy reeve of the


Manitoba continues to invest in hydroelectricity, such as the proposed Conawapa generating station, seen here in a Manitoba Hydro rendering.

Manitoba getting a carbon tax, amount uncertain

Premier Pallister says Ottawa’s $50-a-tonne tax by 2022 is too high and doesn’t reflect the investment Manitobans have, and continue to make, 
into producing clean hydro electricity

Manitobans will pay a carbon tax, but how much may depend on the courts. Last week Premier Brian Pallister reiterated Manitoba will implement a ‘made-in-Manitoba’ carbon tax, but added the federal government’s plan to impose a $50-a-tonne carbon tax, starting at $10 in 2018 and peaking by 2022 if provinces don’t do it themselves, is

There’s one more year left to run on a farmer-friendly Manitoba Hydro 
solar installation program.

Manitoba sunshine brightens solar power opportunities

Many hours of sunshine make power generation possible even in the dead of winter

Justin Phillips doesn’t mince his words: If you’re a Manitoba farmer, the time to invest in solar power is right now. The Winnipeg-based businessman helped pioneer the solar industry in Manitoba and has watched Manitoba Hydro kick-start the industry to unexpected heights via a farmer-friendly pilot program that has one year left on it. That