December 12th, 2018

County going solar to power building

By Kuhl, Nick on July 20, 2018.

The Lethbridge County administration building will soon be installing 220 solar panels on the roof to work towards a greener future. Herald photo by Greg Bobinec

Greg Bobinec

Lethbridge Herald

In an effort to be more environmentally conscious, the Lethbridge County administration office building will look a little different over the next few weeks, as solar panels are installed on the roof of the building.

The building, located on 4 Avenue South, took on the project to install 220 solar panels on the east-, west- and south-facing slopes of the roof. Enmax Generation Portfolio Inc (EGPI) was chosen as the successful proponent for the project, and have subcontracted a local company, SolarWind Renewable Energy Inc., to install the panels.

“The solar panels will ensure that the County’s administration office will operate in a more energy-efficient manner,” said Reeve Lorne Hickey. “This project demonstrated Lethbridge County’s commitment to long-term sustainability and climate-change awareness. It is important to council and staff that we take steps to reduce our carbon footprint when possible, and this project will play a role in that.”

One the panels are installed and the project is completed, the solar panels will produce 99,717 kWh of energy annually and will allow the County to offset as much as 22 per cent of the administration building’s current energy consumption, resulting in an estimated 14-year payback.

The project will cost a total of $156,403 and is partially funded through the Municipal Climate Change Action Centre, covering 25 per cent of the projects cost. The County also received a grant from Energy Efficiency Alberta of $2,263 under the Community Energy Capacity Building Program, to offset design costs of the project.

“Lethbridge County is committed to finding environmentally friendly solutions where possible and this project is an important step in achieving that goal,” said chief administrative officer Ann Mitchell. “The County was able to utilize the available grant funding from the province, which makes the projects like our solar panel initiative more feasible and accessible to smaller municipalities.”

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