The Town of Olds was looking for a renewable energy project to help launch its municipal sustainability plan and found a perfect opportunity in the Alberta Solar Showcase.
The Olds Aquatic Centre on the south side of town, was an ideal location for their grid-connected solar PV project. Mounted on a short, high wall on the southwest corner of the roof, the solar array greets people driving into town from the south. The Aquatic Centre’s popularity among area residents also provides a great educational opportunity for the solar showcase.
In another sustainability initiative, the Town is recovering waste heat from arena refrigeration equipment and reusing it to melt ice scraped from the rink. They have also invested in a new electric ice re-surfacer called an “Ice Bear”. While the electric motor produces no onsite emissions, the town is exploring the purchase of green power for the electricity it consumes.
The town also works closely with Olds College on clean, green initiatives such as a college composting project. As a pilot project, one of their Public Works vehicles is running on biodiesel produced on the college campus.
“We are very proud to participate in the Alberta Solar Showcase” says Mayor Judy Dahl. “It is one of a variety of initiatives that we believe keeps Olds at the forefront of sustainability. We appreciate that one small, grid-connected system cannot contribute significantly without a lot of work on reducing energy use in the rest of a building. Therefore, the town is investigating other opportunities to be the leader in energy efficiency and this includes possibilities of LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification for municipally owned buildings.”
Olds’s Solar Showcase team included CAP Solar, AEE Solar, Olds Electric. For more information on the installation, please contact John Napier or Alison Cheng at Olds Aquatic Centre: email [email protected] or phone 403-556-7665.