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Sturgeon County goes solar

MacDougall said the panels should reduce the county’s greenhouse gas emissions by 64.5 tonnes a year, which the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says is the equivalent of recycling 3.1 garbage trucks full of waste instead of landfilling them.
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POWER ROOF – Sturgeon County officials energized these panels atop the protective services building last month. The panels are expected to produce enough power in a year to drive an electric car across Canada 10 times. STURGEON COUNTY/Photo

Sturgeon County has officially joined the solar revolution by energizing one of the biggest arrays in the county.

County officials announced March 16 they had energized the 312-panel solar array atop the roof and walls of the protective services headquarters building near Namao. Backed by an $86,649 grant from the Municipal Climate Change Action Centre, it’s the first major solar array built at any county facility.

In an email, Scott MacDougall, chief operations officer for the county, said the protective services building was ideal for solar due to its vast, relatively unobstructed roof.

“We were able to install 255 panels on the roof and 57 panels on the building sides to maximize our return on investment and capture as much energy from the sun as possible.”

In a media release, Mayor Alanna Hnatiw said this project was the first of its kind in the area and that it would produce some 113,300 kWh per year of electricity – enough to power 14.5 Alberta homes for a year or to drive an electric car across Canada 10 times.

MacDougall said the panels should reduce the county’s greenhouse gas emissions by 64.5 tonnes a year, which the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says is the equivalent of recycling 3.1 garbage trucks full of waste instead of landfilling them. The county would consider putting up solar at other installations in the future, particularly at sanitary lift stations.

Residents can track the array’s output at bit.ly/39W2WGM.


Kevin Ma

About the Author: Kevin Ma

Kevin Ma joined the St. Albert Gazette in 2006. He writes about Sturgeon County, education, the environment, agriculture, science and aboriginal affairs. He also contributes features, photographs and video.
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