The Town of Banff’s latest solar photovoltaics (PV) project is now complete. Located on the roof of the Waste Transfer Station in the Operations Compound, the new 100 kilowatt (kW) solar PV array is the second largest owned by the Town of Banff, after the Fenlands Banff Recreation Centre. The Waste Transfer Station solar PV array began generating renewable energy this spring and is the most affordable solar PV project in Banff to date.
This is the sixth solar PV array to be installed on a municipal building in Banff. By harnessing the power of the sun and through future environmental projects, this project will help the Town of Banff achieve its goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) by 30 per cent by 2030, 80 per cent by 2050, and ultimately operate with 100 per cent renewable energy by 2050.
“This shift to renewable energy sources is another way Banff is striving to be an environmental leader, to help protect this special place in the mountains, while reducing our global carbon footprint,” said Banff’s Mayor Karen Sorensen. “Gradually shifting to renewable energy provides immediate savings on electricity, helping to save taxpayers’ money, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and contribute to future clean transformations in the community.”
The project was approved by council in June 2019, with an estimated net cost to the Town of $107,893 and the remaining $46,240 coming from the Alberta Municipal Solar Program. Since then, as part of the federal funding agreement for the Biomass District Heating Facility project, the Town has secured an additional $61,653 in funding for the solar PV array. As a result, the Waste Transfer Station’s solar PV array project will ultimately have a net cost to the Town of only $46,240, and it will start saving costs for purchasing electricity immediately.
The new solar PV array, which started drawing electricity May 11, is expected to meet approximately 50 per cent of the annual electricity requirements of the Waste Transfer Station, which is the fourth largest electricity user in the Town’s facilities portfolio. This will generate approximately 95,000 kWh of clean electricity, reducing the Town’s electricity bill by approximately $8,500 per year. Additionally, the Town’s greenhouse gas emissions are expected to be reduced by 72 tonnes per year as a result of this project. With the newest solar addition, the total number of installed solar PV arrays has increased in the community, providing enough energy to generate more than one per cent of the community’s annual electricity consumption.
“The Town of Banff has outlined considerable goals for a long-term transition to renewable energy and solar PV is a key enabling technology to help achieve this,” said Michael Hay Manager of Environment and Sustainability for the Town of Banff. “The completion of the Waste Transfer Station solar PV array is a measurable advancement towards our renewable energy goals.”
The Town of Banff strives to be a leader in environmental protection. For more information on environmental initiatives, visit banff.ca/Environment
The Government of Alberta, through the Municipal Climate Change Action Centre, offers the Alberta Municipal Solar Program that provides funding to install solar PV on municipal facilities or land to save on energy costs and reduce environmental impact. For more information, visit mccac.ca/programs/AMSP.
For media information:
Jason Darrah | Director, Communications
Town of Banff