Solar Project Has Official Launch
Brazeau County Council along with invited dignitaries, administration and members of the public gathered on a beautiful, sunny day in May to unveil the County’s solar project completion. Over 900 solar modules on Brazeau County buildings will now produce almost 300,000 kilowatt hours of electricity every year, a step on the way to a brighter energy future for Brazeau County.
The County announced the completion of its solar project on May 23rd with an event at the Brazeau County Administration Building with dignitaries Jim Eglinski, MP for Yellowhead, Wetaskiwin-Camrose MLA Bruce Hinkley, and ENMAX Director of Operations, Distributed Generation Jason Atkinson.
“We are leaps and bounds ahead of many other places,” Eglinski said of Brazeau County and Alberta leading the way in alternative energy projects like solar. “We can be proud of our local government leaders and what they are doing today.” Hinkley, speaking on behalf of the provincial government, congratulated Brazeau County on the solar project and thanked the County Council for its leadership and foresight.
Atkinson said ENMAX was proud to partner with the County on the solar project, which got underway last summer. The system was turned on in January, and has been producing electricity ever since.
In April 2016, Brazeau County Council adopted the Climate Energy and Climate Action Plan (CECAP) policy. CECAP was Council’s commitment to take a leadership role in reference to sustainable and energy efficient measures for the County, thus showing leadership and good stewardship for the environment. A month later, the solar project was launched.
At the unveiling event Reeve Bart Guyon pointed out not only that the solar project helps the environment, but that it helps protect the municipality and its residents from rising energy prices.
"We’re taking important steps to stabilize our energy costs now and for decades to come,” he said. “We know that the only place the power prices will go is up. This project will help us provide our own power and save money.”
The solar panels on four County buildings (Administration Building, Cold Storage Building, Lodgepole Fire Hall, and Rocky Rapids Water Treatment Plant) will produce about 30% of the combined annual electricity needs, with an annual savings of $16,200 for all three locations, offsetting about 200 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) each year.
And the County is not done yet – staff are currently working on a project to install additional solar modules at the Breton Fire Hall in 2017.
A real-time display of the electricity being generated by the solar system can be found by clicking the “View Brazeau County Solar Array Activity” link on the County website at www. brazau.ab.ca. The same display is also broadcasting in the Administration Building lobby. For an aerial look at the solar project, you can view a video on the County’s YouTube channel (visit YouTube.com and search “Brazeau County solar”).