One of the big capital projects in the City budget is the Sun Mine, with $1,324,542 budgeted for that.
The current status of the Sun Mine, said City CAO Scott Sommerville last week, is that hook up with BC Hydro is planned for mid-May. A transformer is still on its way from Korea, he said.
“We really are at the mercy of BC Hydro.”
The comments were made at the Mayor’s Lunch last week and Don McCormick was asked for an update on the solar project, including how it went from 2MW to 1MW.
“The original plan was for 2MW,” McCormick said.
“And the revenue it would generate at 2MW was far in excess of what it is now. That was the original plan. But in the eleventh hour, $1.5 million in grant money went away and the project was scaled back. The question was do we put the project on hold or do we scale back to 1MW to fit the money we had, which was $5.3 million. The business case for 1.05 MW is break even.”
McCormick said the ideal scenario for the Sun Mine would be that once its producing, an industry decides to locate right beside it and take advantage of clean energy right next door.
“That’s a good scenario,” he said. “Right now, we’re in the last 20 per cent of the project and it’s dragging on. People are wondering. The good news is we are starting to plan the grand opening.”
“Solar power is fairly simple,” Sommerville said. “But we are surprised by how complex this project became.”
“We have really high expectations about what we can do with it,” McCormick said.