Solar could power Falher rec complex

Richard Froese
South Peace News

The Town of Falher could soon get solar power for the recreational arena and a charging station for electric vehicles.

At its regular meeting May 10, Falher council discussed a solar project suggested by municipal energy manager Emily Plihal.

She proposes the Town install solar panels at the Falher Regional Recreation Complex.

“We talked about solar at the rec complex two years ago,” Plihal says.

A new federal funding program now provides up to 80 per cent of funds energy-saving improvements to recreational facilities.

She says 80 per cent grants don’t come by too often.

“Recreational facilities are such high-energy buildings,” Plihal says.

Mayor Donna Buchin- ski says that grant program may be too good to pass up.

“It’s definitely something to consider,” Buchinski says.

“Within five years, we say see break even.”

However, council wants to first study the impact of solar energy at the arena complex.

“We might have to spend $500 to $1,000 to get a plan for the application,” Buchinski says.

Council passed a motion to allocate $1,000 for a study on solar power for the recreation complex.

“Hopefully the plan will help us decide.”

Plihal says the funding program may not be around too long if a new government is formed after a federal election that could happen in 2021.

“After a federal election, we don’t know what will happen with the program,” Plihal says.

The government announced the Community Buildings Retrofit initiative grant program April 15. It is administered through the Federation of Canadian Municipalities’ [FCM] Green Municipal Fund.

Up to $167 million is available over for the next six years to improve energy performance and reduce greenhouse gas emissions in recreational and cultural facilities owned by local governments or not-for-profit operators.

Council also discussed a charging station.

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