The Town of Sexsmith believes it has taken a giant step forward in the push to become greener.
The recently constructed solar power farm, completed in partnership with ENMAX, will allow for 706.86 kW of energy to be sourced and delivered to the municipality. The capacity, according to the town, is enough power to supply around 70 per cent of electricity needs for over 30 town-owned properties.
Sexsmith Mayor Kate Potter says despite being a pretty large undertaking for a town the size of Sexsmith, the idea was far too good to pass up.
“We saw the opportunity, and council was not only excited for savings, which is a huge one but renewable energy and moving forward with a sustainable community,” she says.
“Having a reclaimed landfill, it is very limited as to what you can use it for anyway, so it was a perfect partnership to try and marry these two projects together.”
Potter says while the size of the project is nothing to sneeze at, it actually doesn’t cause a heavy carbon footprint. She says the project will be worth its weight in gold year over year, and that was vital when it comes to greenlighting it in the end.
“We were supposed to have the ribbon-cutting, but unfortunately with changes with gathering restrictions, we decided to postpone it to the spring.”
“When you’re working with public tax dollars you have to see a return on investment fairly quickly in order to invest, and tie up that money, so for us it was a no-brainer when it came to that decision being made.”
This project was approved in October 2019, with nearly one-third of the $1.8 million in funding needed coming from Climate Change Action Centre’s Alberta Municipal Solar Program.