HUDSON’S HOPE, B.C. — The District of Hudsons’s Hope will be celebrating with a ribbon-cutting ceremony this weekend for its municipal solar project.
In total, the District has installed 1550 solar panels on nine municipal facilities, creating B.C.’s largest municipal solar project and making Hudson’s Hope the most-solarized community per capita in the province. As the solar panels go up, the District says its electrical bills are going down.
“We calculate that the District’s electricity costs will be reduced by more than $70,000 per year in the first year,” said District CAO Tom Matus. “If we allow for expected future rate increases, we’ll save close to $3 million over the next 30 years.”
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Last year, 510 kilowatts of grid-tied solar panels were installed at nine Hudson’s Hope municipal facilities, including the curling rink, arena, District Office, public works shop, tourist information centre, museum, swimming pool, regional fire hall and sewage treatment facility. Hudson’s Hope received a $1.35 million grant from the Strategic Priorities Fund/Federal Gas Tax Fund through the Union of BC Municipalities for the project.
“We are proud to be a leader in electricity self-generation,” says Mayor Gwen Johansson, “and we appreciate the BC Hydro net-metering program that helps us achieve it and make this possible. This project will reduce our Municipal District electrical costs for these buildings by an average of about 60 percent. It will also be a source of community pride and contribute to our long-term economic development. We are thrilled by the benefits that come with our move to a clean energy future.”
For the District, local hiring, training and community engagement were important parts of their solar project. Students from Hudson’s Hope School were hired over the summer to help with the solar installation, and a series of well-attended solar workshops were held in the community.
The ribbon-cutting will officially commission the finished solar project on Saturday, June 2nd.