Solar in Canada’s Rocky Mountain

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A town in B.C.’s East Kootenay region is cashing in on its record-setting sunny weather as it prepares to become home to the Canada’s largest solar farm west of Ontario.  Kimberley, B.C., broke ground this week on the $5.3-million Sun Mine project, which will be Canada’s first municipality-owned and operated solar farm when it starts operating in January 2015. The facility will also be the first solar farm in the province to sell power to the B.C. Hydro grid.  The solar power plant will generate enough electricity to power 185 homes, will have more than 4,000 solar-cell modules mounted on 96 solar trackers to maximize exposure as the sun moves throughout the day.

“This is an excellent example of the important leadership role communities can play in building a secure and resilient energy supply for their citizens,” commented Dr. Alexandre Pavlovski, President and CEO of Green Power Labs Inc.   “We applaud the community of Kimberley for making a strategic and innovative investment in its energy future” Pavlovski added.

While the project at Kimberly is a solar farm, communities should also consider the energy resource potential of a community’s roofs and walls.  “We have worked with communities who first assess this potential energy resource. Then over time – as costs and efficiency of solar technology improves – the community has access to an excellent, visual planning tool to allow for effective decision-making to maximize the community’s return on their solar investments.”  Pavlovski added “this planning work we do can also be applied to virtual communities allowing future residential developments to be designed to support future solar energy developments.”

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