Summerland has received conditional approval for $6 million in federal funding to build a one-megawatt solar array to provide power to the community. (File photo)

Summerland has received conditional approval for $6 million in federal funding to build a one-megawatt solar array to provide power to the community. (File photo)

Summerland planning solar project to power community

$Six million grant awarded for integrated solar project

Summerland is taking a big step into the future and making plans to generate a portion of the electricity in the community.

The district received conditional approval for up to $6 million in funding from the Federal Gas Tax Fund to support the development of a one-megawatt solar array with two megawatts of battery storage to be located within municipal boundaries.

“Summerland is incredibly proud to be selected to receive this funding in support of our integrated solar project,” said Mayor Peter Waterman. “Our community has indicated an immense amount of support for our electrical utility to begin generating power locally from renewable sources, and for us to take our energy future into our own hands.

“The economic opportunities this project will provide to Summerland cannot be understated, and we look forward engaging our residents in the process so their vision for this project can be fully realized.”

Related: Municipality considering solar power

Speaking at a press conference, Waterman told about Summerland having a long history of being first: the first community in the Okanagan to enjoy electricity and the first to have telephone service, in 1907. Summerland is only one of five municipalities in B.C. to have its own electrical utility.

That, he said, has helped Summerland ensure the community’s energy future remains in the control of our residents and is operated strictly for their benefit.

There are a number of benefits to adding the solar array and storage to Summerland’s electrical utility systems beyond being a showcase of clean power technology that other communities can look too.

By generating solar energy locally, Summerland will strengthen its existing utility resource, enhance the local economy and create jobs, increase energy security while supporting innovation and, ideally, attracting new residents and visitors.

The project will form the basis for an integrated, long-term approach to sustainable energy management for the community, which will provide ongoing opportunities for job creation, community involvement, and partnerships with local businesses, schools, and not-for-profit groups.

The $6 million from the gas tax fund depends on completing a feasibility study and securing all the funding necessary to complete the project by March 2019. Summerland already received a $100,000 grant from the B.C. Rural Dividend Program for the initial phases of developing and planning the project, along with community consultation.

The additional funding would support the engineering, procurement, and construction of the projects, which are estimated to cost $6,980,000 including $1.4 million for upgrades to Summerland’s existing electrical system. The district will contribute the funds required beyond the grant from its electrical utility capital reserve fund.

More information about Summerland’s integrated solar project is available online at www.summerland.ca/solar.

Just Posted

Discovery House executive director Jerome Abraham in front of the third building, Parkers Place, for the addiction recovery program. (Brennan Phillips - Western News)
Discovery House opens Parkers Place in Penticton to provide transitionary care

The addiction recovery program is now able to provide support for as long as necessary

Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen offices in Penticton. (John Arendt - Summerland Review)
Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen showcases local government

The RDOS has put together a video as part of Local Government Awareness Week

The warm weather means time for a camping trip, or at least an excursion into nature. How much do you know about camps and camping-related facts? (John Arendt - Summerland Review)
QUIZ: Are you ready to go camping?

How many camp and camping-related questions can you answer?

Duckie Lucky Preschool is one of the few child care locations available in Keremeos. (Brennan Phillips – Keremeos Review)
Report: Keremeos to need 40 child care over the next decade

The RDOS has completed their study on child care needs in the region

The future of the Okanagan Lake watershed land use will be subject of a new study supported by a $300,000 grant from the Vancouver Foundation. (Contributed)
Grant to help develop Okanagan Lake protection strategy

Study receives $300,000 grant from the Vancouver Foundation.

Daily confirmed COVID-19 cases reported to B.C. public health, seven-day rolling average in white, to May 12, 2021. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C. preparing ‘Restart 2.0’ from COVID-19 as June approaches

Daily infections fall below 500 Friday, down to 387 in hospital

A man and woman, both 33 and from Kelowna, were arrested on Postill Lake Forest Service Road in possession of two stolen vehicles Friday, May 14, 2021. (File photo)
Kelowna duo arrested with stolen vehicles after ‘brief’ bicycle getaway attempt

A man and a woman were arrested on a forest service road on numerous pending charges

The BC Conservation Officer Service (COS) handed out fines to two anglers on Shuswap Lake who were both casting more than one line, in violation of provincial regulations, Saturday, May 15, 2021. (COS photo)
Conservation officers snag Shuswap anglers for unlawful fishing

Two anglers were given $150 fines for casting two lines at once, against provincial regulations

On Friday, May 14 at Meadow Gardens Golf Club in Pitt Meadows, Michael Caan joined a very elite club of golfers who have shot under 60 (Instagram)
Crowds at English Bay were blasted with a large beam of light from an RCMP Air-1 helicopter on Friday, May 14. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Marc Grandmaison
Police enlist RCMP helicopter to disperse thousands crowded on Vancouver beach

On Friday night, police were witness to ‘several thousand people staying well into the evening’

Lynda Saundry, born 1961, is charged with the murder of North Okanagan resident Barry Jones in July 2020. Saundry will appear in Vernon court May 17, 2021, to fix a date for a preliminary inquiry. (Facebook public photo)
North Okanagan murder suspect to be tried by judge and jury

Lynda Saundry is charged with the first-degree murder of Barry Jones in July 2020

Vernon Search and Rescue’s Legacy vessel is returning to Okanagan Lake for boating season, the society said Friday, May 14, 2021. (VSAR photo)
Vernon Search and Rescue vessel returns to Okanagan Lake

VSAR’s Legacy is back with a fresh coat of paint and some other upgrades

People shop in Chinatown in Vancouver on Friday, February 5, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Vancouver community leaders call for action following 717% rise in anti-Asian hate crimes

‘The alarming rise of anti-Asian hate in Canada and south of the border shows Asians have not been fully accepted in North America,’ says Carol Lee

Sinikka Gay Elliott was reported missing on Salt Spring Island on Wednesday, May 12. (Courtesty Salt Spring RCMP)
Body of UBC professor found on Salt Spring Island, no foul play suspected

Sinikka Elliott taught sociology at the university

Most Read