The City of Airdrie has celebrated the completed installation of Canada’s largest municipal rooftop solar field consisting of 3,800 panels.
On July 10, local dignitaries and City staff took a tour of the site and held a ceremonial opening on the roof of the Genesis Place Recreation Centre.
“Airdrie is proud to be leading the way in Canada with respect to the generation of solar energy through municipal infrastructure,” said Mayor Peter Brown in a press release.
“This project is good for Airdrie residents and the environment and is an incredible example of what we can accomplish when different levels of government work together with great organizations like ENMAX towards a common goal.”
The $2.8 million, 1.55 megawatt system was made possible through funding from the Municipal Climate Change Action Centre and the Federal Gas Tax Fund.
“Municipalities like Airdrie are driving change towards more sustainable practices, and as an energy provider, ENMAX is here to help them find smart solutions,” said Erwin Kantwerg, Vice President of Sales at ENMAX.
“The environmental leadership that Airdrie is demonstrating today will have significant benefits for decades to come.”
The solar array will provide power for up to 30 per cent of the recreation facility’s electricity needs and reduce costs for the City by up to $80,000 per year.
The panels will help power everything from lighting, to the scoreboards, to heating the pools.
“There’s approximately 30 years of life to these panels, which means we’ll be paid back for years to come,” said Mayor Brown.
“It will generate revenue, and it’s great for the environment. I’m just so proud of this community.”
Greenhouse gas emissions are also expected to be reduced by over 1,000 tonnes per year, which is equivalent to taking 275 cars off the road.
During the peak summer months, the panels will export approximately 140 kilowatts per hour back into the city grid.
“I think it’s important for people to realize that you can do this on your home,” said Mayor Brown.
“It’s becoming more affordable. You can roll it back into the grid if you don’t use it all. It’s really the next step towards self-sustainability and where we need to go as a community. It’s very exciting.”
He added that he hopes a focus on sustainability will continue with future infrastructure projects within Airdrie, such as the new library to be built at the old Fire Hall site.
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