City of KImberley, COTR sign SunMine agreement

Training opportunities possible with College of the Rockies access to research funds

A new agreement will see the City of Kimberley and the College of the Rockies collaborate on research opportunities and student training at the SunMine.

The City of Kimberley has a number of partners and funders in its innovative SunMine project, including Teck, EcoSmart, the Columbia Basin Trust and more.

Another partner on board will be the College of the Rockies.

“The idea is that as we demonstrate Kimberley’s viability for solar generation, we need people to work in the industry,” said City CAO Scott Sommerville. “The College has a small solar component in their electrical program and they are looking to expand. We thought the SunMine would be a great place to bring students for tours and research.”

The College of the Rockies and the City of Kimberley have an opportunity to collaborate on research opportunities, says Mayor Ron McRae. It’s not a financial agreement, more like a memorandum of understanding, he said.

The College of the Rockies, having earned eligibility for research grants through the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), can provide access to funding opportunities that would otherwise be unavailable to the project.

“Collaboration between the College, governments and the private and non-profit sectors provides the greatest opportunity for benefit,” said College of the Rockies President and CEO David Walls.  “The College looks forward to working with the City of Kimberley and EcoSmart in exploring training and applied research opportunities together.”

“College of the Rockies will be seeking opportunities to engage our students in projects like SunMine. Due to the investment in trades capital funding over the past few years by the Provincial government, we have had the opportunity to expand our curriculum to include solar technology for some of our programs. The Sun Mine will provide opportunities for experiential learning for these programs.”

“Kimberley citizens directly endorsed this project and we’re proud to deliver on a bold and innovative initiative,” said McRae. “This project aligns with the community’s values associated with environment, community and a history of innovation and resilience. We’re creating the future, not awaiting it, and this project shows we mean business.”

“The SunMine will be the largest solar facility west of Ontario and has the potential to become a key industry in the area.  The College is committed to pursuing joint priorities and combining strengths, expertise and resources with the City of Kimberley and EcoSmart as this project comes to fruition,” Walls said.

With over 4,000 solar modules generating 1.05 Megawatts of energy, SunMine will be Western Canada’s largest solar project. SunMine is situated on reclaimed land on the former Teck Sullivan Mine concentrator site. Construction is underway and plans are to be producing power by early 2015.

 

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