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investing in solar power pays off for communities

by:CHZ     2020-04-02
As world leaders meet in Paris and develop cleanup policies that affect the planet as a whole, let us remember that the most important changes usually take place closer to home.
I\'ve seen the positive impact of solar energy and energy efficiency on communities.
So when we launched a major infrastructure renovation project at the Evansdale Community Alliance, I knew exactly what to promote.
In Edmonton, Alberta, almost every community has a community alliance.
These local elected community volunteer committees have done well in running facilities and projects and in participating in civic affairs.
There are 158 such alliances in this city.
This is the lowest level of representation we have, and these dedicated volunteers drive the community\'s agenda.
My own community league runs football, an outdoor hockey course and dance, and advocates for the community on Municipal issues, and so on.
Personally, for the past 20 years, I have been volunteering with them in some capacity.
I have coached sports teams and served as chairman and vice-chairman of the board of directors. -
And actively participated in many civic issues and committees.
To be sure, I have great faith in their importance and their contribution to the quality of our lives.
As world leaders meet in Paris and develop cleanup policies that affect the planet as a whole, let us remember that the most important changes usually take place closer to home.
Since 2012, I have traveled all over Canada to analyze inspiring and successful renewable energy projects.
I\'ve seen the positive impact of solar energy and energy efficiency on communities.
So when we launched a major infrastructure renovation project at the Evansdale Community Alliance, I knew exactly what to promote.
We raised $800,000 to repair hockey and basketball courts, install a new outdoor hockey court and build a matching winter sports facility.
As part of the project, we also installed super efficient LED skating rink lights and two LED parking lights.
Icing on the cake: We spent $43,500 installing a 13.
A 6 kW solar system.
Gordon Howell is an electrical engineer who designed our system.
According to his calculation, this project will produce half of our electricity consumption in a year.
\"In the long run, this is an extraordinary investment,\" Howell said.
Easier to decide is that the governments of Edmonton and Alberta pay 85% of the upfront costs through infrastructure allocations.
With this money, our solar project will have a simple return of four to five years, depending on the price of electricity.
The final cost of the system is $3.
The installed power is 20 watts, which is less than the cost of California people buying roof systems.
Don\'t get me wrong. Stadiums and skating rinks are important components of community organizations, but over time, they are expensive to use and need to be maintained and replaced.
LED lights and solar energy systems are different.
These lights will save 65% of our skating rink\'s electricity costs, and solar systems will pay a monthly dividend in the next quarter century.
\"At the same time, all the money you save[with solar]
\"You can use it for community sports and so on,\" Howell said.
Although this is a small project, LED and solar systems are closely linked to the Edmonton Community Energy Transition Plan.
We talked to Don Iverson, Mayor of Edmonton, about this ambitious plan.
By 2035, the city hopes that 10% of Edmonton\'s electricity will come from local renewable sources.
The Community Alliance roof is a good start.
Ben Henderson is a member of the Edmonton City Council.
He supports energy transformation plans and believes that such projects are essential to achieving these goals. \"Each[projects]
It feels like a small part of a jigsaw puzzle, but when you add them up, it\'s the only way you can really change it, \"Henderson said.
Henderson said: \"Our energy transformation strategy has two aspects.
\"It\'s about how we can improve our game and show leadership in our own practice, but it also creates incentives to make business easier because[community]
League tournament, all kinds of non-league tournaments-
Interest groups, as well as individuals in their own homes, can also stand up and remove some real or imaginary barriers that prevent people from making choices. \"Our 13.
The 6 kilowatt solar system will account for about half of our annual electricity consumption. --
But if you don\'t notice, only half of our roofs are covered with solar energy.
Gordon Howell designed the system so that we can easily double the size of the system in the future to fully meet our electricity needs.
Although helping manage such a big project may turn my hair white, it\'s worth every time I drive past the Community Alliance Hall and watch the sun shine on our future.
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