The Kimberley Aquatic Centre will soon see the installation of a solar photovoltaic system on its roof after the city’s successful receipt of a grant from Columbia Basin Trust.
At a regular council meeting on Monday, council voted to receive the grant for $43,000 while the city will pay for the remaining 25 per cent, or $14,400.
Manager of Parks and Facilities Brett Clark says the grant presents the city with a great opportunity to reduce emissions and operating costs.
The solar photovoltaic system converts sunlight into direct current electricity through solar panels.
Clark adds that the building already has the footings required for the solar panel installations, as it was “part of the big picture from the get-go”.
“There was a solar feasibility study that was done and the results were fairly significant,” said Clark. “That study lead to an energy audit which was also funded by Columbia Basin Trust.”
In 2018, the aquatic centre used 742,233 kilowatt hours of electricity. The solar feasibility study showed that “significant cost savings could be achieved” through reducing greenhouse gas emissions and overall operating costs.
Clark estimates that the solar photovoltaic system will result in energy savings of approximately $3,000 per year.
Mayor Don McCormick says the city is lucky to have CBT invest the grant funds and ultimately save tax payers’ money.
Councillor Kyle Dalum asked Clark if staff has looked into any solar thermal solutions, which Clark says may come in the near future.
“We’ll put our feet in the water with the voltaic system, it’s a great place to start,” said Clark. “The aquatic centre has some aging mechanical systems which need to be upgraded.”
CAO Scott Sommerville says that the grant has already been received, and they expect the solar photovoltaic system to be installed this summer.