Capital Power hosted a pancake breakfast today from 8 to 10 a.m. at the Strathmore Royal Canadian Legion to celebrate the opening of Capital Power's new solar power plant!
The new plant has more than 109 000 solar panels, which produces 88 000 megawatt hours a year. That's enough energy to power 12 000 homes for an entire year! The energy is being sold to Telus.
Capital Power's Senior Vice President of Construction and Engineering Steve Owens says it's exciting to be at the forefront of the push to green energy.
"It's mostly exciting because it's our first solar facility in Canada. It's in a community nearby and providing benefits. But it's also exciting because it is one of the steps towards decarbonization, which is one of the focuses the company is doing right now."
Owens explained Capital Power is committed to be carbon neutral by 2050. While it's a long journey to get there, he said it's a priority for them and something that has to be done in the long term
This is just one of many projects Capital Power is looking at to reach their goal.
"We're looking at wind facilities throughout North America, as well as solar. We're also looking at potentially putting in batteries for battery storage. We're also doing a major refit of our Genesee facility, that's a coal fire facility. We'll be off of coal at the end of 2023, and we're converting that to natural gas."
The conversion to natural gas will be much better for the environment compared to coal, but some may consider this treading water, as natural gasses still aren't fully sustainable. However, Owens explained that you have to have natural gas power as well in case there isn't enough green energy.
"Natural gas is required to backstop green energy, because it's intermittent. Solar only during the day, wind when the wind blows, you've got to have something to backstop. The conversion from coal to natural gas at Genesee alone will eliminate 3 megatons of CO2 annually."
The grass at this solar plant is also maintained by sheep from Whispering Cedars Ranch, so that's another way this plant is staying green.
Send your news tips, story ideas, pictures, and videos to firstname.lastname@example.org