May 18th, 2024

Carmangay becomes electrically net zero for municipal infrastructure

By Lethbridge Herald on December 9, 2020.

Photo submitted The Village of Carmangay has installed 384 solar panels which create 145.9 kW of DC power.

The Village of Carmangay has partnered with Municipal Climate Change Action Centre, Federal Gas Tax Fund and Alberta Municipal Sustainability Initiative to take a major step forward in progressing as an environmentally and financially sustainable municipality in becoming electrically net zero for municipal infrastructure.
“Carmangay is fortunate to be able to leverage an MCCAC grant to make our Village greener and a viable destination for new business,” said Mayor Stacey Hovde.
The project creates 145.9 kW of DC power or 213,765 kilowatt hours per year that is then converted to AC power to be returned to the electrical grid. The green energy produced more than offsets all of the electricity currently used by the Village for its buildings and infrastructure, the Village said in a news release.
The additional electricity created will provide power for the upcoming electric car charging station that will be free to those who would like to visit Carmangay and enjoy the new restaurant, library and other amenities.
The total cost of the project was $380,000 and was funded in part by the Alberta Municipal Solar Program offered by the Municipal Climate change Action Centre, a partnership of the Alberta Urban Municipalities Association, Rural Municipalities of Alberta and the Government of Alberta. The balance of funding was provided by an Alberta Municipal Sustainability Initiative grant as well as the Federal Gas Tax Fund grant.
The vendor chosen to complete the project was 3B Energy from Lethbridge. There are 384 solar panels mounted two high on three rows of racks. The solar panels have a 25-year warranty and even in the winter the panels will produce a significant amount of electricity.
The system is expected to produce an annual savings of $13,403, based on 2019 electricity prices.
The Municipal Climate Change Action Centre grant made the project viable and reduced the payback period to between 14 and 15 years against the 25-year lifecycle of the solar farm. The payback timeframe will be reduced further when electricity rates climb.
“The Carmangay project is a fantastic example demonstrating how, regardless of size, communities can leverage the power of the sun to reduce operating costs and greenhouse gas emissions. The Action Centre is proud to support projects in small and large communities. We look forward to seeing the savings come to fruition,” said Trina Innes, executive director, Municipal Climate Change Action Centre.

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Roughly $1000 per capita… Why isn’t Lethbridge buying hundreds of these?