Solar Sunday

Solar Panels near Brooks, AB

Alberta is prime for Solar Panels! About half-way between Medicine Hat and Calgary as you drive the TransCanada highway is a quaint town of Brooks (at a 2016 census of over 14,000 people, in Alberta that makes it a city I think.. )

But I digress: For me, as I’m on the road a lot, it’s a nice stop for a quick break. A stop at Tims, maybe a local lunch from a variety of places, top-up the gas on the truck, and off I go!

As such, I’ve been able to witness some of the construction taking place for the Solar Array just to the north of the highway, the largest to date in western Canada.

According to Elemental Energy, the cost is roughly $30 million to complete, and a footprint of about 70 acres.

“50,000 solar panels that can power up to 3,000 homes.” (Cool!)

Sunny ways

As you may have heard on a previous Solar Sunday.. The southern part of the province gets a lot of sunlight, nearly 330 days a year on average! (And as I’ve stated, seems like a good place to throw up some solar panels!)

Ironically, this showcase of Alberta Solar potential also highlights the diversity of Alberta’s energy sector: “This area is agriculture and oil and gas, but it’s really just resources. [Solar] is just another resource,” says Graeme Millen, with Elemental Energy.”With the shared uses on this property between oil and gas, fibre optic, agricultural irrigation —it’s a fantastic showcase for diverse resource development on Alberta land.” ( I agree! ) *Thanks to Graeme and CBC

Let’s Get to Work

So, Saskatchewan and Alberta are leading the way in Renewable projects and the diversity of our Energy future. As other provinces scream and shout over politics, Albertan’s (and our neighbors in Saskatchewan) quietly get to work on a project mix of oil & gas, wind and solar. We see the need and value for diversity. Not to mention the jobs (60% construction jobs being local to the area)

Right now this solar project is the biggest in the West, and honestly I did not hear very much arguing over it’s merits. Even in the local Tim Horton’s not much is said about it, other than “it went up pretty fast”… (Agreed!)

With Alberta turning it’s sails to Wind for the 4 upcoming projects, the opportunities are as diverse as the province itself!

I for one, am optimistic, and the future is looking bright!

That’s your solar sunday.


Kelly Hall

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