Historical solar project moves ahead at newest Kamloops park

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KAMLOOPS - The newly renovated West Highlands Park Community Centre will soon be home to the largest solar project in Kamloops history.

Installation has begun on rooftop solar panels that will harvest 27,600 kilowatt-hours of electricity per year, or the equivalent of the electricity used by two and a half average B.C. households.

“Featuring a solar array of this scale in the heart of our newest park underscores our message of sustainability through innovation and healthy living initiatives," arks director Byron McCorkell says in a release.

The City of Kamloops applied to the Ministry of Energy and Mines for funding and was awarded a grant of roughly $31,000 to cover 33 per cent of the total costs. Council authorized roughly an additional $62,000 in funding for a total project expenditure of $93,500.

The 24-kilowatt solar panels will generate an estimated $3,000 of annual revenue. The system will be metered so that when it generates more electricity than is being consumed, the city will receive a credit from B.C. Hydro that will be applied against future electricity use.

The city hopes the solar panels will encourage residents and park visitors to research the benefits of renewable energy, as well as into other sustainable initiatives at work in the park. The community centre will be available as a host site for educational workshops, such as 'solar boot camps' for home and business owners.

The solar system installation is scheduled to be complete in spring 2016.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Dana Reynolds at dreynolds@infonews.ca or call 250-819-6089. To contact an editor, email mjones@infonews.ca or call 250-718-2724.


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