All posts by Burst Energy

Claresholm Solar Project Realised

By | General | No Comments

Just 125 kilometers south of Calgary in the municipality of Willow Creek, 1,280 acres of land is being put to use in a new kind of farming venture — solar energy farming.

Following the project’s 2019 approval by the Alberta Utilities Commission, a signed credit agreement in July 2020 marked the true beginning of Alberta’s most ambitious green energy project in the province’s history. The agreement, shared among ATB Financial, Fiera Infrastructure Private Debt Fund LP, and Telus Pensions Liability Hedging Master Trust, allocated up to $115 million of funds to this $200 million project.

For its part, the 132 MWac (AC capacity) state-of-the-art undertaking was set to offer more than 300 full-time employment opportunities throughout its 18-month construction period and will benefit the community through its long-term property tax input. The project’s territory covers eight quarter-sections of land, or 1,280 acres, making it the largest of its kind in Alberta.

Owned by the longstanding Granum Hutterite Colony, the land will make it possible to reduce emissions by approximately 149,000 MT CO2 (Metric Tons of Carbon Dioxide). Farm-generated solar power will be sold primarily to TC Energy through a Power Purchasing Agreement, while the remainder will contribute to the Alberta Wholesale Pool. The site announced operation as of April 29, 2021.

Site Selection

The site was chosen due to its soil salinity, resulting low crop production, and proximity to transmission lines. The Granum 604S substation connects the power plant to the Interconnected Electric System and has no effect on the surrounding prairie or native vegetation. Panels are elevated by one metre on steel structures and positioned at an angle, extending the height to just over three metres. Elevation and shade provided by the structures means the area may be used as grazing pasture.

Solar Opportunity in Alberta

The solar infrastructure will generate power throughout the daylight hours all year long when energy needs are highest and the most expensive. Although the effectiveness of solar generation is limited in the winter when Alberta sees less than eight hours of daylight, summer generation peaks at over 17 hours of daily generation opportunity (weather dependent).

Albedo and Global Solar Generation Opportunity

Some researchers have turned their attention to deserts lately, considering the potential for these, typically barren, environments to power the world’s energy systems. But the question is about more than, Can it be done? — environmentalists ask whether it should?

The Sahara Desert is the world’s largest expanse of desert land and has the potential to meet the world’s current demand by more than four times using solar generated power. But what sounds like a no-brainer becomes more complex as soon as its collective influence on the environments beyond the Sahara is considered. While widespread solar power generation significantly decreases reliability on fossil fuels, its effect on the soil’s surface is notable.

A surface’s level of reflectivity is indicated by its albedo — the higher the albedo, the higher the reflectivity value. Desert sand is highly reflective and, therefore, carries a higher albedo than the black surfaces of the solar panels that would cover it. This is relevant because, while sand reflects heat outward, solar panels release 85% of the energy as heat near the soil.

Scientists used a climate model to demonstrate that heating up a large portion of the Saharan desert floor would increase the contrast between ocean temperature and land temperature and ultimately result in more rain. Plants would grow more easily in this new environment and would absorb the light beaming onto the soil and foliage rather than reflecting it. A subsequent evaporation and condensation cycle means that vegetation would do well while clean energy is being simultaneously produced. So, what’s the catch?

All About Balance

Subsequent studies have indicated that, although local benefits are real, a project of this size and scope could cause temperature increases globally as its heat is dispersed throughout the atmosphere. Extrapolations have warned of changes in the rainforests of the Amazon, potentially causing drought and harm to habitat, and an increase in extreme weather along the coasts of North America and Eastern Asia.

The challenge, then, is determining where and how large these solar programs can be implemented to derive maximum power generation for local benefit without placing undue hardship on other natural systems and cycles. To date, the largest global solar farms are located in desert or desert-like climates.

Doing Our Part

As our province sees the growing opportunity for further green energy to be placed onto the electrical grid, our energy sources become more diversified and foster less reliance on fossil fuels to power our homes, hospitals and other infrastructure. This trend toward greener energy production can be further supported by making small changes to our energy use such as limiting air-conditioner use or shutting lights out when leaving a room. For more about how you can save on your power bill, see our previous blog entry.

Thinking about making a switch to a new retailer? Call us at 1-866-516-3085 or request a complimentary bill review and quote at burstenergy.ca.

2018 Canadian Single Event Drug Free Championship

By | General | No Comments

Sponsored in part by Burst Energy
On Saturday, March 27, the Taber Community Centre in Taber, Alberta, welcomed 74 participants for the Canadian Single Event Drug Free Championships facilitated by Bodymasters Gym & Archery Center. Competitors demonstrated their skill set to an audience of supportive family and peers in either or all of the squat, bench press, and deadlift events. Categories varied, including Men/Women Open, Masters (40+), Juniors (20-23) and Teen (14-19).
The event’s organizer, Randy Sparks, owner of Bodymasters Gym and president of the Canadian Drug Free Power Lifting Association, says he loves to put on these competitions. Aiming for two such competitions annually, and having organized 2 world championships in powerlifting, he’s the right person for the job. Sparks says the single event format allows participants to elect to participate or abstain in any of the three events, based on interest or injury-related concerns.
With each participant following a different training pattern, it’s hard to say just how many hours are spent in preparation for events such as this. In his experience, Randy says it isn’t unusual to have competitors in the gym a minimum of 5 days per week for 90 minutes or more. For his part, he’s in the gym six days per week for 75 minutes – and that’s before counting hours spent assisting contestants with their own preparatory training for the event.

Participants each underwent on-site drug testing to screen for steroids, stimulants, diuretics and masking agents. To qualify, these participants must not have used any strength enhancement drugs for a minimum of 5 years. Prizes were awarded, including Burst Energy Sponsored supplements for Best Female and Best Male.

The hard work paid off for these contestants, with 26 Canadian records having been broken at this championship alone. First, second and third place prizes were awarded to the leading lifters in each category. Highlights of some of this year’s heaviest records include:

  • M. Malec (205lb class) lifting 660lbs. (over 3x his body weight!)
  • J. Lastuka (Best lift Male)(242lb class) set new Canadian records in all 3 male categories squatting 600lbs, benching 396, and deadlifting 629 lbs.
  • C. Orr (Best lift winner (W))- 123lb class) deadlifted an astounding 375lbs., bench pressed 156lbs., and squatted 292lbs. in the women’s category
  • It was the first competition for 59-year-old R. Gerlock (123lb class) who set a new women’s Canadian deadlift record of 275 lbs.
  • In teen Men’s, 18-year-old F. Rashleigh (220lb class) deadlifted a staggering 550lbs.

The family sport attracted the interest of Clay Sparks (242lb class), son of Randy Sparks, who competed in the squat and beat the previous Canadian record by more than 100lbs. at 549lbs.! No doubt a proud family moment! And who could forget – Burst Energy’s own Neil Fajnor competed in the squat, lifting 418 lbs.! Congratulations to Neil and all the competitors of the 2018 Canadian Single Event Drug Free Championships for their part in making this event a tremendous success.

Burst Energy is always pleased to be able to participate in, and support, healthy living initiatives in communities across Alberta. Stay tuned for updates regarding Burst Energy Sponsored outdoor fitness parks in Clairsholm, Alberta.

It’s Been a Long Time Coming – Alberta’s Phasing-out of Coal

By | General | No Comments

Alberta’s energy sector is among the most prominent features in its robust economy. The Province reported revenues in the area of $33 billion dollars in 2013 . With figures like this, it’s no wonder that the international stage has its eyes on Alberta as it undertakes the transition to a low carbon economy. Currently, greenhouse emissions resulting from the generation of electricity are comparable to that of the oil sands.
Our Province’s energy sector nearly tripled in size in the decade between 2003 and 2013, despite complex extraction methods and contentious weather. While sector growth indicates a strong industry, it has increased concerns over the environmental implications of fossil fuel extraction not just on plants and trees – but on human health as well, as a result of increased air pollution.
The Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment (CAPE) found that an accelerated Alberta coal phase out will prevent 600 premature deaths, 500 emergency room visits, and will avoid nearly $3 billion in negative health outcomes.
Health concerns come as a result of exposure to cadmium, lead mercury and other toxic pollutants known to cause, among other things, respiratory disease and heart problems. In response, the government’s Climate Leadership Plan aims to eliminate coal-based emissions by 2030, a bold move that speaks volumes to the Province’s commitment to the responsible protection of its environment, and its people. It is also worth noting that in positioning itself as a leader in green energy, Alberta sets the stage to have more influence, internationally, as a marker for success in responsible industry.
Coal plant closures have begun, with some plants being ‘mothballed’, a term for a suspension of operation that allows the possibility of reopening for operation at a later time. TransAlta began the new year with the closure of Sundance Unit 1 and mothballing of unit 2 to a maximum of 2 years. TransAlta has further committed to an early phase-out of its coal-based operations, with all operations out of service by 2023 – 7 years ahead of the imposed Client Leadership Plan deadline.
There will be hurdles, that’s to be sure, but overall, it’s safe to say that Alberta’s residents will gain more than we will lose in the long run with a move away from coal. The green energy sector brings with it opportunities for new employment and new job creation that, to this day, don’t exist. Alberta is on track to make unprecedented changes in the way that it does electricity, with a minimum of 30% green electricity taking up permanent residency on our grid over the next 12 years – that’s something to be proud of!
Burst Energy continue to follow the transition away from coal closely, and with interest. By staying abreast of new developments in the energy sector, we are better positioned to offer our clients the best value for their energy needs.

New to Burst Energy – Solar Program

By | General | No Comments

Burst Energy is committed to staying abreast of energy developments and innovation, and to providing our customers with a menu of solutions where consumer needs are concerned.
Now, more than ever, consumers are aware of the impact of their lifestyle habits on the environment. Carbon emissions in Alberta have become top-of-mind as a result of increased penalties for carbon production with the introduction of the carbon tax. Consumers are now looking to alternative methods of energy production to limit their reliance on fossil fuels and protect themselves against the rising cost of energy in our province. To this point, the introduction of the Green Energy Credit program, has allowed customers to choose the percentage of green-derived electricity they want to be using in their homes and offices.
Increased demand has encouraged the development of Burst Energy’s newest green energy program. Introducing Burst Solar!!!
Our new solar program is designed to put you in touch with industry leaders and take you from a consumer of traditional (coal-based) energy, to a micro generator of solar electricity! We are here to help you participate in the green energy movement while taking advantage of new programs that offer reliable information and strategic offsets to your investment.
Why Solar?
Solar electricity is 100% renewable, and drastically reduces the need for traditional electricity. The program is scalable to meet the needs of agricultural operations, residences, and commercial sites. Since solar operates consistently with minimal maintenance requirements, the lifestyle impact of these programs is virtually nil.
A Full-Circle Approach with Burst Energy
We feel that providing value to our customer’s means offering solutions to simplify their lives. We have hand selected a network of solar electricity professionals to help you navigate the ropes. The big issues like permit application, safety compliance and roof assessment are handled for you. Our installation team members are red seal certified and customer service vetted.
Because we’ve partnered with subject matter experts in solar technology, we are confident in our ability to provide exceptional service at a competitive price. Whether roof mount or ground mount, large scale or small, our team is here to provide a customized approach to your micro generation requirements. We are sensitive to supply chain concerns and recommend only products that are reliable, available, and can be serviced on a reasonable timeline, should the need arise.
How Can I Become a Solar Micro generator?
When you reach out to your Burst Energy Solar representative, you will be asked to provide some basic information such as your address and an example of a recent electricity bill (your solar rep will not have access to this). Your information will be run through our quoting system (Aurora) and you will be provided with an estimation of cost based on your utility needs. A professional installer will review the installation site to ensure that items such as line capacity, and roof pitch and exposure are suitable for installation. Following the completion of your application, we require a deposit of 50% to move forward in establishing your micro generation platform!
How Much Energy Can I Generate?
Your system can be designed to offset 100% of your energy consumption over the course of the year. Since generation capacity is high in the summer months, credits are provided to offset winter usage needs, where energy production drops significantly.
Did you know?
Calgary is Canada’s sunniest major city? Edmonton follows behind at #3!
Can I Disconnect from the Grid?
In most cases it is not feasible to move off the traditional power grid entirely. Practical items such as running appliances etc. around the clock requires that the system tap into the grid to meet those needs at night. As a result, you can decrease or eliminate your usage charges, but you will still be responsible for administration, demand and line provider charges.

How Long Does the Process Take?
Following the estimation process and subsequent acceptance, customers can expect a timeline for permitting between 2 and 3 weeks, and 2-3 days for installation. Following installation, the provincial grant application can be submitted, and typically funds within 30 days.

What Will My System Cost?
Options and quality grades vary where it comes to solar panels, just as each installation site will vary in its capacity to position panels optimally. Typically roof mount residential project costs ranging between $10,000 and $25,000.
Full return on investment is generally achieved within 12 and 15 years, with warranties generally being 25 years on panels. This warranty is with the panel manufacturer, generally Canada Solar.
How Can I Reduce the Cost of My System?
The Provincial Government currently offers a grant valued at $0.75 per Watt (up to $10,000). Using a professional installer ensures that the grant is not withheld.
Can I Install Solar Panels at a Rented Property?
This can be one of the best ways to maximize benefit when switching to solar. Interest on financing is tax deductible for property owners who finance solar installation on rental property (check with your tax accountant). Additionally, including electricity in the price of rent can further reduce operating costs. In the event that the property is sold, solar packages generally increase property value by the value of the system itself.

Want to know more about becoming a Solar Micro generator? Contact your Burst Energy representative today for information about financing, installation options and more! 1 (866) 516-3085.

Continued Growth in 2017

By | General | No Comments

A successful 2017 has come and gone, and the year’s achievements have set the stage for positive growth in 2018. Going into our 4th year as an independent energy retailer, we continue to prioritize value for our customers the way they’ve come to expect from Burst Energy.
This past year, key partnerships with the Alberta Motor Association (AMA), Claresholm Chamber of Commerce and the Christian Labour Association of Canada (CLAC) allowed Burst Energy to increase both its reach and influence in communities across Alberta.
Community sponsorships included the Muddy Warrior race in August, held in Cardston, Alberta. Participants, young and old, came out to try their hand at the 5km fun-run and faced muddy trails and obstacles in a race against time! Additional sponsorship of two outdoor fitness facilities in Claresholm, Alberta were undertaken. Stay tuned for additional information on the completion of these facilities as construction begins in spring 2018!
We continue to maintain involvement in, and awareness of, energy developments and changing market circumstances with the goal to offer industry-leading customer service and product offerings to our valued customers and affiliates. Last year, new quoting software allowed streamlining of online customer quotes. Increased quoting efficiency has positively impacted new client onboarding. Service expansion in the area of solar-generated electricity ensured a broadening of green service offerings to meet the needs of increasingly environmentally conscious consumers.
2018 will continue to focus on expanding service offerings and product innovation at our best available rates. We remain committed to working synergistically with organizations through partnership, and to seeking out new and exciting sponsorship opportunities that will provide positive value to Alberta communities.
We would like to extend our gratitude to our customers for making 2017 a success, and for your continued support as we enter a new year. Positive referrals remain an integral part of the growth of independent retailers, and we thank you for your continued recommendation of Burst Energy to the people around you who matter the most.
All the Best,

Burst Energy Team

Claresholm Sponsorship

By | General | No Comments

Burst Energy is proud to announce its sponsorship of two new
outdoor fitness facilities in Claresholm Alberta!

These facilities are anticipated to be installed in spring 2018, and will
be located at opposing ends of town to ensure ease of access for all
residents. The facilities offer an alternative to gym culture and
expense, available 24 hours a day – seven days a week. Equipment
structure will be built to ensure resistance to extreme weather and will
provide a circuit of stations to engage various muscle groups,
complete with instructions for use.

At Burst Energy, we’re passionate about the communities you live in.
We invite all residents to come out and enjoy this cost-free way to
incite a sense of play, physical activity and meet others in your
community! These fitness areas will serve to support a positive
approach to fitness, and being outdoors. With no class schedules to
keep, residents of Claresholm will enjoy physical exercise on their
own terms.

Claresholm will be the most recent town in Alberta to join the growing
trend toward public fitness parks. We look forward to watching the
positive impact that these facilities will have on youth, adult and
senior members of the community!

Burst Energy Sponsorship of Muddy Warrior

By | General | No Comments

MuddyWarriorLogo-clearbackground[1]
We are proud to announce the successful Sponsorship of the Muddy Warrior Obstacle race!
This race happened in Cardston, Alberta. It was a great success and tons of fun. With Burst
Energy’s sponsorship, Muddy Warrior was able to create a top of the line obstacle race!
Come out and race next year!

Check out Muddy Warrior at: www.muddywarrior.com

Solaré Distributors – Generating Excitement for Green Energy!

By | General | No Comments

Solaré Distributors was formed when, in 2013, Rik Kaminsky and his brother Jay saw opportunity in Alberta’s green energy movement. “Jay had evaluated the cost of going off the grid at over $80K by the time you added batteries, generators, etc. We felt we could provide a much more affordable solution and started working backwards from there.”

The brothers were invested in downhole electronics at the time, and sold their interests in order to jump into the green energy industry and become experts in the area of solar PV, high efficiency LED lighting technologies and energy auditing.

Today, the Kaminsky brothers are reaping the rewards of their move toward green energy, working with residential, municipal, commercial and First Nations clients. The Alberta based company specializes in custom solutions for each customer, and further differentiates itself from its competitors by offering unique products such as Soofa solar powered benches!

Working together on the sales portion of the business, each brother holds general oversight over separate pieces of the remaining puzzle. “Technically, I am the General Manager and Purchaser”, explains Rik, “Jay is the tech between us; he does most of the auditing, design and engineering”.

“We’ve done several large commercial projects on water treatment facilities, and are currently working on a 2mW solar farm!” says Rik, adding that the company looks forward to gaining further momentum in large scale commercial projects in the coming years.
Operating out of Spruce Grove, Alberta, Solaré Distributors ‘walks the walk’ where community involvement is concerned. The Kaminsky’s time away from Solaré is spent teaching courses to First Nations students in energy efficiency and solar PV. As board members of the Spruce Grove Chamber of Commerce, of which Rik is soon to sit as Chairman, as well as the Spruce Grove Business Association, they lend their knowledge and insight to their fast-growing community and provide added value to community projects, such as the revitalization of the town’s downtown presence.

Solaré Distributors is a Certified Aboriginal Business, and 100% Metis owned. “We have met so many great people within the First Nations communities that really care about how this planet is being treated,” he explains, “We would like to continue to offer coursework to these communities in the hopes of generating additional interest and investment in the green energy industry”.
In three short years, Solaré has established itself as an industry expert. “The best part is seeing how we’ve grown in such a short time!” says Rik. Burst Energy is proud to have established a partnership with this community-centric organization, and with the many solar micro generators who benefit from offsets offered by our Feed In Tariff (FIT) program.

To learn more about Solaré Distributors, visit thesolarevolution.com or solaredistributors.com
To learn more about the Feed In Tariff (FIT) program offered by Burst Energy, in partnership with Solaré Distributors, and how micro generators benefit, visit: Feed In Tarrif

Carbon tax — dressed like Robin Hood

By | General | No Comments

See below an article written by Nick Clark at Utilitynet, giving some insight on the possible Carbon Tax:

Albertans enjoy the lowest electricity rates in Canada today because of a plan designed in 2000 to encourage free enterprise.

The strategy–based on a competitive electricity market—was created to inspire investment for new generation power. The strategy worked.

As a province, we are fortunate to have over 16,000 MW of installed capacity, more than 9,000 MW in recent years. Alberta currently has approximately a 40% surplus in supply outstripping consumer demand. The good news is there is zero debt on the public books and the investment in new power was funded by the private sector.

Consumers can buy electricity today for only 3.5 cents per kWh.
What are you paying?

Will low prices last into the next decade? Or will new NDP policies end low consumer prices and cause an increase in the volatility of electricity rates?

The other bit of good news which seems to have escaped journalism media is that, last year, the amount of installed capacity for natural gas in Alberta surpassed that of coal generation. The market already is moving in the right direction – albeit not as fast as the environmentalists might like to see. Without government interference, the mix in generation has moved towards the reduction of our dependency on coal and shifted to natural gas and wind.

Alberta also now ranks third in Canada with an installed wind energy capacity of over 1,400 MW.

Ask yourself: Why risk destroying a market that already is moving in a healthy direction? Market Installed Generation Capacity:
39% Coal, 44% Gas, 9 % Wind, 8% Other.

The industry went through the building process with periods of high price volatility which, in turn, was driven by unprecedented economic growth in Alberta. Consumers remember the pain of utility bills over 10 cents per kW.
Previous government policies spurred economic development and jobs in the province. Today, we are faced with an energy sector that is in freefall and increasing unemployment rates, as companies continue to lay off workers and outsource jobs offshore.

Questions to the NDP: In the past, the carbon tax collected was used to fund climate change and emissions initiatives managed by CCEMC. Investments focused on clean energy production plus research and development projects dedicated to environmental initiatives.

• The last financial report issued by CCEMC was published in May 2014. We understand the May 31st, 2015 Financial Statement still sits on the desk of someone in the NDP and it has not yet been approved for release. Why not? The longer these financials sit, the more we should fear the lack of transparency.

• What happens if the NDP is not openly transparent with regards to millions of dollars collected and spent? Should this be of concern? We would argue, the answer is, “Yes.”

More important, there will be 100s of millions of carbon tax dollars collected and paid out in the future. We all know the economics tell us that, business that are taxed, simply pass increased costs to the consumer in terms of higher prices. And if generation plants are closed prematurely, get ready: periods of high volatility in consumer electricity prices will return and days like today of 3.5 cent electricity will disappear.

• Will the new tax collected be funnelled into general revenue rather than to the CCEMC? Carbon tax previously allocated to the CCEMC provided the necessary stewardship of investment in environmentally responsible initiatives. We propose the answer is, “No.”

Prediction:
Here’s how I see this government rolling out…if Albertans don’t speak up:
• The new carbon tax on industry passes to consumers in terms of a price increase;
• The government applies the tax to general revenue rather than to fund CCEMC mandated initiatives;
• The money will be used to artificially fund high profile and politically motivated green-projects;
• This action indirectly increases government debt through the purchase of Renewable Energy Certificates from new green generators;
• Minister Joe Ceci adds to his general revenue pot of cash, as a social payment program. Funds will be given back to low income people facing an increased cost of living that the carbon tax caused in the first place.

All this makes for a compelling Robin Hood story.

Let’ dig a little deeper into the problem: In addition to generators dealing with record low energy prices, the retailers including ATCO, Direct, ENMAX and Just Energy all have moved jobs out of Alberta. Surely, Alberta Energy knows that an old, established utility such as ATCO recently sold a crown jewel called Atco iTek to Wipro of India and that customer of ATCO’s new retail division (which they are marketing as a Fresh Start) is being serviced out of the province.
ENMAX, likewise, laid off Calgary IT staff and outsourced systems control to the Tata Group in India.
Direct Energy is another utility profiting from the government’s Regulated Rate; their billing services and customer care are managed by HCL in India.
The problem of outsourcing utility jobs is real and in our opinion fundamentally wrong, especially when Alberta is facing tough economic times. Please don’t ignore these actions when it comes to job losses for Albertans.
Recommendation: Prudent regulations are required. We encourage this Government to understand the negative economic impact of unintended consequences by increasing taxes and using those new tax dollars in ways that are not in the best interest of Albertans.
The NDP also needs to be honest with consumers about the outsourcing of core utility jobs.

Stand up and say, “NO” to ATCO, ENMAX and Direct Energy.

MicroGeneration

By | General | No Comments

MicroGeneration

Burst Energy is pleased to announce that, effective immediately, floating rates are available to all of our valued customers! This was not previously offered to those who are part of the Micro Generator Program.

If you are feeling anxious about the circumstances surrounding Alberta’s commodity pricing, let us add a ray of positivity to your day. Due to the combined downward trend in energy pricing and surplus of energy on the grid, January floating rates were 3.3 cents per kWh. To access the floating rate option, simply log in to “My Account” to request!

At Burst Energy, we are always working to bring you the best rates available.