The Town of Athabasca is the most northerly municipal participant in the Alberta Solar Showcase Project. Their roof-mounted 1 kW solar array on the Town Office can be seen from a distance in this town of hills.
"Renewable energy is going to become a greater part of our lives as alternate sources of energy become more important." says Mayor Colleen Powell, "The Lasso the Sun project provides a visible example of how solar power can be used and will help encourage people to make more use of this resource. We are proud to be part of this project."
To that end, the Alberta Solar project will make its way into the classroom of local schools, championed by a resident teacher who also serves on Town Council. Students of all ages will have the opportunity to explore the project website and watch the Athabasca project and the other 19 Alberta Solar projects generating clean local electricity.
Athabasca is no stranger to acts of "green". The Town has included results from broad consultation with the community into their recently-completed municipal Sustainability Plan which formalizes their commitment to follow through on green projects already on the go.
In 2007, Council passed a bylaw requiring all new residential buildings to install low-flow toilets. Now, modeled after the rebate program offered in other Alberta municipalities, the Town has implemented a $50 rebate program for residents who replace their existing toilet with a low-flow unit.
In 2008, Council managed their Project Porchlight program, replacing incandescent front porch light bulbs with compact fluorescent bulbs throughout the community. They were one of the first rural communities in Alberta to initiate recycling. The Recycling Centre is managed independently by Blue Heron Support Services, a regional organization devoted to residents with disabilities. Athabasca also has a composting site where residents can exchange garden waste for garden mulch.
Solar Team: Off the Grid Renewable Energy (Edmonton), Councillor Paula Evans, Michael Tratch, Outside Services Superintendent.