GFM Network News


“When you look at solar over its lifetime of 30 years, it produces some of the cheapest kilowatt hours you can get.” – Daniel Lacovetsky

Manitoba a difficult place to sell solar power

Since the end of a Manitoba Hydro rebate program, interest in solar energy has dwindled despite ample opportunity for growth, says a Winnipeg contractor

Solar energy remains a largely untapped resource in southwestern Manitoba, and few incentives exist to boost public interest, says one contractor. Manitoba has become a “very difficult place to sell and install solar,” Daniel Lacovetsky said during Manitoba Sustainable Energy Association’s (ManSEA) virtual conference on March 23. Lacovetsky and business partner Jacob Kettner own Powertec



Proposed law could spike hydro prices for farms, processors

Proposed law could spike hydro prices for farms, processors

Advocacy groups worry with reduced oversight, large electricity rate increases could become the norm

Proposed changes to reduce oversight of hydro rates could cost farmers and other industrial power users big time if not amended, advocacy groups say. “Industrial power users are extremely concerned about the timing and impact of the bill and the increasing likelihood that Manitoba Hydro and the minister may impose large, near-term rate increases,” wrote

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

P.E.I. Premier Dennis King speaks Sept. 9, 2019 during an update on effects from Hurricane Dorian. (PrinceEdwardIsland.ca)

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

(Lindsay Irrigation video screengrab via YouTube)

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