Solar project grant application moves ahead with support from community

Susan Thompson
Express Staff

The first stage of Town of Peace River’s application for funding for a 1.6 megawatt solar project has been accepted.

Peace River sent a “Letter of Intent” on May 10. Town council has now directed administration to send a letter to engage with a solar energy company to act as a “subject matter expert,” the next stage in the application process.

The Municipal Climate Change Action Centre and Alberta Innovates are offering the grant for communities to install large alternative energy projects.

The successful applicants will have seventy-five percent of their project costs covered by the grant.

The project the Town is proposing would cost around $4 million and would mean solar panels are installed at the airport.

Wanda Laurin, who has been helping spearhead the project, asked community members to contact the town in support of their “Expression of Interest” letter, which several people did.

“We are motoring along with our solar project at the airport. Our marvelous town council has certainly been supportive! A big thanks to them!” she posted to her followers on Facebook.

Laurin organized a meeting at Athabasca Hall on June 27 that brought people together from various surrounding municipalities to hear more about the potential to create a regional solar cooperative with the possible help of an existing cooperative in BC.

The committee working on putting together the coop believes it may be able to raise the 25% of costs not covered in the grant through the sale of shares, and later from income from selling electricity back into the power grid. The group may first form a society to work on setting up a coop.

For more information or to get involved, visit Peace Solar Cooperative on Facebook.

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