Rockyford village council are looking at the success another municipality has had using solar panels on its municipal buildings, and generating some revenues.
Members of Rockyford village council and administration held a virtual meeting with Village of Stirling Mayor Trevor Lewington and Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Scott Donselaar to discuss the village becoming the first net zero village in Canada.
“(Stirling) has taken their municipal power bill from a liability to an asset and is actually generating some revenue for the municipality,” shares Rockyford Mayor Darcy Burke.
Stirling, which is located about 260 kilometres south of the Town of Drumheller, installed solar panels and ground mounted arrays in 2018. Since then, the village has been able to generate enough energy to offset its electrical consumption for municipal use and has reached net zero status.
Along with offsetting its municipal power bill costs, it is also able to sell excess power back to the provincial power grid, helping to generate some additional revenue.
“Little towns and villages need to be creative and use credible green energy instead of just increasing the mill rate (to generate revenue),” says Mayor Burke.
He adds, although there would be some capital investment involved to install the necessary infrastructure, he feels it is a “good investment.” Mayor Burke shares that the village council is interested in visiting Stirling to get a firsthand look at the system.
Administration was directed to further engage with the companies involved in the Stirling project and explore the option of bringing a similar system to the village. It is anticipated quotes from these companies will be brought forward at a future council meeting, though Mayor Burke does not have a timeline at this time for when this will happen.