Alberta Solar Municipal Showcase

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Drayton Valley is perhaps best known for its beginnings as an Alberta oil town. It is now moving firmly to also establish itself as a sustainable community. A tangible sign of this commitment is the recent installation of a 1 kW grid-connected Alberta Solar Showcase on the flat roof of the town’s new Early Child Development Centre.

“Drayton Valley is starting to think green in everything we do” says Mayor Moe Hamdon. “For our first solar project we chose the Early Child Development Centre because it’s a great location in the heart of the community. People will get a chance to see it and learn about the benefits of the technology. Most people aren’t aware of how much solar PV we can generate here - we get lots of sunshine and long daylight hours in the summer. Our understanding of renewable energy will improve with education from projects like this.”

In 2004, the town installed SolarBee, a solar-powered wastewater aeration system in its sewage lagoons, the first of its kind in western Canada. The town is in the midst of developing its Integrated Community Sustainability Plan. As part of this exercise, it is undertaking energy assessments of many town facilities and looking to reduce energy use wherever possible. For example, they are replacing existing traffic signal lights with high-efficiency LED lights. Meanwhile, the local Kinette Club, a volunteer-based women’s group, has launched Project Porchlight with the full endorsement of the town. This project provides residents with free, energy-saving compact fluorescent bulbs.

Solar Team: Conergy Canada, Off The Grid Renewable Energy System