Grande Prairie City Councillor Chris Thiessen was in the town of Devon last week as it revealed 393 solar panels that will power its community centre and offset about 73 metric tonnes of Greenhouse Gas emissions. They are leasing the panel through ENMAX, a program that may not be feasible for GP, but Thiessen sees potential for more solar projects.
“We need the willingness of council, administration and, of course, the general public because there’s a large outcry for any kind of significant investment. Obviously administration and council may or may not shy away from it depending on their level of courage at the time and what the finances available are.”
The City has set a 10 year goal of reducing its GHG emissions to 20 per cent of what they were in 2009. Thiessen thinks more of that could come from solar power.
“Obviously this council and future councils when it comes to clean energy generation are going to have to start considering making investments or building completely differently as how we’ve always built in order to meet those standards.”
City hall already has a set of solar panels on its roof as part of an experiment through NAIT, which have shown GP to have a high amount of daylight hours to generate electricity.