Monday, October 29, 2015
Largest Solar Project in Kamloops History Ready for Launch
Kamloops, B.C. - The newly renovated West Highlands Park Community Centre will soon be home to the largest solar project in Kamloops history. Installation has begun on a roof top solar array at the centre that will harvest 27,600 kWh of electricity per year, equivalent to the electricity used by 2.5 average BC households.
The City of Kamloops applied to the Ministry of Energy and Mines for funding through the Community Energy Leadership Program (CELP) and was awarded a grant of $30,855 to cover a maximum 33% of total project costs. Council authorized administration to use $42,645 of funds from the Climate Action Revenue Incentive Program plus $20,000 from the West Highlands Park project budget for a total project expenditure of $93,500.
The 24 kW solar array will generate an estimated $2,961 of annual revenue, providing a return on net investment of 4.73%, when the CELP grant is taken into account. The system will be net metered so that when it generates more electricity than is being consumed, the City will receive a credit from BC Hydro that will be applied against future electricity use.
In addition to energy savings, the highly visible solar array will create opportunities for the City to engage nearby residents and park visitors in the benefits of renewable energy, as well as the other sustainable initiatives at work in the park. The community centre will be available as a host site for educational workshops, such as "solar boot camps" for home and business owners, as well as other programs to attract and inform nearby schools and residents.
“We gratefully acknowledge the financial support of the Province of British Columbia,” says Byron McCorkell, Director of Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services. ”Featuring a solar array of this scale in the heart of our newest park underscores our message of sustainability through innovation and healthy living initiatives.”
The solar system installation is scheduled to be complete in Spring 2016.
Glen Cheetham, Energy Management Coordinator
City of Kamloops