The City of Duncan is hoping for a grant to help pay for a solar-energy project, similar to the one pictured that GreenCoast installed on the roof of the Hilltop Building in Duncan last year, that is planned for the roof of the Duncan fire hall. (File photo)

The City of Duncan is hoping for a grant to help pay for a solar-energy project, similar to the one pictured that GreenCoast installed on the roof of the Hilltop Building in Duncan last year, that is planned for the roof of the Duncan fire hall. (File photo)

City of Duncan wants to put solar panels on fire hall

Application made for grant to help fund project

The City of Duncan is hoping to place a solar-energy system on the roof of its fire hall, located on Duncan Street.

City council decided at its meeting on Monday that it would apply for a grant from the Investing in Canada Infrastructure –CleanBC Communities Fund to pay for almost three-quarters of the expected $125,000 cost to install the solar energy system.

RELATED STORY: SOLAR POWER NOW MORE AFFORDABLE IN THE COWICHAN VALLEY

The city proposes to cover almost 27 per cent of the costs of the project, estimated to be $33,350, if the grant application is successful.

Michelle Geneau, Duncan’s planning manager, said in a report that the city’s 2015 Community Energy and Emissions Plan includes an action to participate in the conversion to renewable energy with solar installations on municipal buildings.

“The Community Energy and Emissions Inventory of BC states that 43 per cent of Duncan’s carbon emissions come from buildings,” she said.

“The installation of solar panels on city buildings has been contemplated for several years. The proposed project will serve as a demonstration project for the community, and will reduce the city’s energy costs and GHG emissions. If we are successful in achieving a grant for the project, the return on investment for the solar-energy system will be much shorter.”

RELATED STORY: ISLAND FAMILY EXPECTS SOLAR POWER TO PAY FOR ITSELF

Geneau said the electrical power generated by the solar panels in the fire hall would be tied to the BC Hydro electrical system.

She said the estimated one-year savings on the city’s electric bill would be $6,428 and, over the 30-year lifetime of the system, the city is expected to have an overall savings of approximately $25,000 over and above the initial raw cost of the system if no grants were obtained.

“However, Clean BC Communities Fund provides grants of up to 73.33 per cent of the cost of installation,” Geneau said.

“The grant breakdown would be 40 per cent from the federal government and 33.3 per cent from the provincial government.”



robert.barron@cowichanvalleycitizen.com

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