St. Patrick’s day, with its signature colour of green, is an ideal time to make an announcement about greener energy, quipped Lethbridge Mayor Chris Spearman.
He was on hand March 17 to hear Alberta Environment Minister Shannon Phillips announce plans to erect solar panels at the Farm Stewardship Centre, which is a government building.
The centre will install a 15-kilowatt photovoltaic system on the building at a cost of $54,000. The money will come from funds generated through the provincial climate leadership plan.
“The power of the sun is something that we can and should harness,” said Phillips.
“It’s especially true here in Lethbridge. We have one of the best solar resources on the North American continent here in southern Alberta and it’s certainly something that if we take advantage of it, we will reduce our costs and create jobs.”
Phillips said the Farm Stewardship Centre, which conducts research on energy efficiency and environmental impacts and stewardship, will become more energy efficient itself with the solar installation.
“This investment is an example of when the government walks the walk. We end up delivering those benefits to the communities and to the taxpayers and the citizens of this province.”
The government has implemented a municipal solar program, an on-farm energy management program and the Alberta indigenous solar program since taking office.
“There will be more to come over the course of this year,” Phillips said.
“It is part of the government’s larger efforts to invest in infrastructure-related projects and programs that will lead to measurable greenhouse gas reductions.”