FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - July 14, 2020
~Updated August 7, 2020~
Mayor Jason Ritchie and Council of the Town of Viking are very excited to announce that the Viking Solar Project was commissioned on June 26, 2020 and is now producing power.
This project was only made possible by the cooperation of the Municipal Climate Change Action Centre (MCCAC), a partnership of the Alberta Urban Municipalities Association and Rural Municipalities of Alberta. The Town was able to access almost 44% of the money required for the installation of the Viking Solar Farm. The Town of Viking applied for and received funding from the Municipal Climate Change Action Centre to install a 1.05 Mega Watt solar farm east of the main lift station. The MCCAC provided leadership and guidance throughout the research and process of selecting a reputable company for doing the project.
The cost of the project was estimated at 1.726 million. The funding from the MCCAC was over $768,000. The Town took out a 15 year debenture to cover the rest of the cost. Without this funding this project would not have occurred. The project came in on budget.
The main idea of the solar farm was to reduce the cost of the direct energy used by the Town. The solar farm is putting electricity back into the grid and we are receiving credits. The credits offset the cost of the debenture (principle and interest) therefore no tax increase. The credits will also be used to offset the energy costs associated the Carena, Multiplex, water plant, water tower, town shop, lift stations, streetlights and more.
Originally the thought was to install the solar panels on the Carena but due to the orientation of the Carena and possible roof load concerns this would not be acceptable. That is when council decided to move the solar project to the Town owned land. By placing the solar panels on this property, proper orientation to the sun can be obtained. This land was chosen as the cost to commercially develop it would be prohibitive.
The contract was awarded to Dandelion Renewables from Edmonton. The company has installed many commercial applications including the Leduc Recreation Facility and the new Irma School.
Dandelion Renewables helps The Town of Viking achieve Net-Zero!
Viking Solar Power Generation Project is operational of June 26,2020.
Dandelion Renewables has worked closely with the Town of Viking to take advantage of the Alberta Municipal Solar Program rebates to cover a large portion (44%) of costs to build a 1MW solar PV ground-mounted power generation system.
Dandelion Renewables has installed a total of 2,880 solar modules with a total capacity over 1MWp in Viking. This Solar Power Plant is expected to begin producing power in the first half of 2020. Through this project, Dandelion Renewables and the Town of Viking have added value to an otherwise swampy prairie land and turned it into a beacon of future that will bring the province of Alberta one step closer to a clean energy future.
The Town of Viking has demonstrated great leadership to its fellow Albertan communities in taking on the development of local renewable energy resources and ensuring a successful completion of this project. This renewable energy system will bring both environmental benefits and cost savings for the entire Town as a whole. Photo 1: Solar PV Module Installation In-Progress March 2020 (Dandelion Renewables)
The Viking solar PV system is expected to produce 1.4GWh/year of electricity to offset 100% of the annual electrical consumption of multiple municipal buildings and sites, including the Carena Complex (Arena & Recreational Centre), Multiplex Curling Club & Golf Course, Community Hall, Museum, Station Gallery & Arts Centre Guild, Parks, Airport, Offices, water tower, and wastewater treatment and handling sites.
The municipal facilities provide services for Viking’s population near 1,000 people and 500 households. For comparison, a 1MW solar PV system can produce enough annual electricity to power 215 average households.
The solar power generated is expected to save the Town of Viking over $100,000/year in electricity costs (based on January 2020 power prices) while reducing grid electricity GHG emissions by over 740 tonnes CO2e/year (equivalent to the emissions of 160 gasoline vehicles). The Town will use this savings to pay the debenture taken out to finance the project.
Grid electricity prices have been rising recently, including the removal of a rate cap (6.8 cents/kWh) from power prices by the UCP AB government in November 2019. Solar power generation can provide the Town of Viking with greater cost savings during higher grid power prices and provides protection from future fluctuations in grid power prices.
Solar power generation will provide the Town of Viking with decades of benefits including positive yearly cash flow, positive return on investment, quiet clean local power generation, and a demonstration of renewable energy commitment to attract environmentally conscious business growth.
Dandelion Renewables is proud to have been selected by the Town of Viking to work together in making the solar PV installation a success. Our team at Dandelion Renewables appreciates the warmth by which it was welcomed by the local community and support it has gotten from the Town Administration.
Photo 2: Dandelion Renewables Installation Team at the Town of Viking Solar Construction Site
Your town can be next!
The Alberta Municipal Solar Program (AMSP) facilitates Albertan municipalities in the installation of micro-generation solar photovoltaic (PV) systems on lands and facilities administered by the municipality.