Cariboo Regional District Board. (Submitted photo)

Solar panels considered for South Cariboo Rec Centre

Feasibility study underway on solar panels

The Cariboo Regional District is conducting a feasibility study to determine whether to put solar panels on the South Cariboo Rec Centre.

Darron Campbell, CRD’s manager of community services, told the South Cariboo Joint Committee the study will analyze what size of photovoltaic array is needed to meet the arena’s power needs. Once he has the results of the study in a few weeks he will be able to include cost estimates and the recommended design into next year’s business plan. More details on this project will be presented at the next SCJC meeting in October.

“I see it as being a first of pilot program across the region and if it’s successful I can really see (solar panels) going into many different facilities across the region,” Campbell said.

He said he would like to see solar panels at the rec centre, noting if the project goes ahead it would join other energy-efficient technology installed at the site, including a geothermal powered ice plant and recent investments in electrical and mechanical upgrades.

“The building runs as efficiently as it can and we’ve done feasibility studies (on solar panels) in the past, not just at the South Cariboo Rec Centre but across the regional district,” Campbell said. “I think the technology in the past wasn’t quite there. They were expensive, they weren’t incredibly reliable and weren’t efficient but I think that’s all changed.”

TRU’s Williams Lake Campus installed a photovoltaic system last year and Campbell said he toured the facility with Larry Loveng, the CRD’s procurement manager. He said he came away from the tour “duly impressed” both with the lack of maintenance for the equipment and the return it gives the facility in power generation.

100 Mile House Mayor Mitch Campsall suggested the SCJC should look into obtaining grants for the project, especially with both the federal and provincial governments trying to go green.

Campbell said his strategy is to use CRD community works funds, which was the intent of the Gas Tax, to fund the entire project.



patrick.davies@100milefreepress.net

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