254,513kWh/yearElectrical Energy Generation
145tonnes CO2e/yearGHG Reductions
Greenhouse gas emissions reductions for this project are calculated based on Alberta’s Carbon Offset Emission Factors Handbook Version 2.0
As part of the MCCAC’s Alberta Municipal Solar Program (AMSP), Big Lakes County installed an 216 kW solar PV ground mount system at the County Office. The main objective of the solar farm is to reduce the cost of the direct energy used by the County. The project was completed in 2020.
The ground mount solar PV array installed at the Public Works Shop includes 576 x 375 watt DC solar modules (panels) and 3 x 60 kW AC string inverters. It is expected to produce 254,513 kWh of electricity per year. The system cost was paid in full upfront by the County who received an Alberta Municipal Solar Program rebate of $183,600. The expected annual electrical cost savings and rebate result in a payback period between 11 and 12 years against the 25-year lifecycle of the solar farm.
The electricity produced is expected to reduce annual electricity costs for the municipality by more than $25,000. As electricity on the Alberta electrical grid is produced mostly by natural gas and coal generators, reducing the Countys grid electricity consumption will also reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 145 tonnes per year, which is equivalent to removing 40 passenger vehicles from the road each year of the system’s minimum 25 year expected lifespan.
Here’s what Ken Matthews, Big Lakes County Reeve, had to say about the project and participating in the Alberta Municipal Solar Program:
Council is very proud and grateful for the opportunity MCCAC, AUMA, and the RMA have provided to us in approving the grant funding for the solar farm. This opportunity is a large part of building sustainability and adopting a clean energy future for Big Lakes County. Big Lakes County’s mission is “building a sustainable municipality.” Sustainability is a broad goal, but it includes being mindful of the resources we use – both physical and financial. We project that these solar panels will offset our electricity use for the office and shop for the next 30 years and will even turn a profit.Ken Matthews, Big Lakes County Reeve
Read more about the Alberta Municipal Solar Program