13.96Simple Payback Period
34,100 kWh/yearElectrical Energy Savings
19.44 tonnes CO2e/yearGHG Reductions
Greenhouse gas emissions reductions for this project are calculated based on Alberta’s Carbon Offset Emission Factors Handbook Version 2.0
During the summer of 2021, Brazeau County completed the installation of a new solar system at the Violet Grove Lagoon. The 64 solar panels generate enough power to run the aeration system for the innovative Constructed Floating Wetlands over the lagoon, and supply power to the transfer station. This new system is in addition to over 900 solar panels installed in 2016/17 at the Breton Fire Hall, Lodgepole Fire Hall, the Rocky Rapids Water Treatment Plant, and the County Administration building.
The new Violet Grove Lagoon solar PV installation, a 28.8 kW solar PV system adjacent to the new innovative floating wetland aeration system at the wastewater treatment lagoon is conservatively estimated to generate 34,100 kWh per year. The system allows Brazeau County to produce renewable energy, lower its carbon footprint, and lead by example in the community. The system received a rebate through the Municipal Climate Change Action Centre’s Alberta Municipal Solar Program for $20,401.8.
The pilot project has successfully proven the ability of the Constructed Floating Wetlands (CFWs) to grow in a cold climate, says Dr. Christopher Walker, one of four scientists working on the project with County staff. “Being able to prove that a CFW system can function through winter and summer cycles in Alberta was critical. This means that this wetland system, which works similarly to hydroponics, can be a valuable ‘green’ approach to retrofitting existing waste ponds across Canada. Being able to improve the treatment capacity of existing waste stabilization ponds, rather than having to build new ones, can represent a major savings to taxpayers.” “Our future goal is to operate the CFW system annually and optimize the level of treatment. There are other options, such as equipping the CFW with an aeration system powered by solar panels to further enhance the polishing processes,” Dr. Walker says. “However, with this system alone, we are at the forefront of innovation by way of being the first ever Canadian municipality to install a full-scale floating wetland system in a cold climate to enhance waste stabilization ponds.”
The project was completed in 6 months after initiation in the summer of 2021.
The entire solar array consists of 64 solar PV modules and has a maximum capacity of 28.8 kW DC. The system will produce enough electricity to aerate both lagoon cells and the transfer station for the Hamlet of Violet Grove. The five AMSP systems combined will generate enough electricity to power the equivalent of 25 average homes, offsetting about 150 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions annually. Enough CO2 reduction from the environment equivalent to 3,496 new trees, and enough to take the equivalent of 46 passenger vehicles driven for a year off the road.
Brazeau County is taking action to protect our environment and air. Combined, these (AMSP) projects will offset almost 150 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions annually, which helps reduce the County’s carbon footprint.Reeve Bart Guyon
Read more about the Alberta Municipal Solar Program