Medicine Hat cherishes its energy independence. To develop and support a healthy energy business, City Council in 2005 created a $1-million fund (Nature’s Best Reserve Fund) for exploring renewable energy alternatives.
An early application to the new fund was for the Alberta Solar Municipal Showcase project, half funded by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities and supported by C3. The city fund covered Medicine Hat’s portion of the costs to install a one-kilowatt solar photovoltaic (PV) system on a municipal building.
As Canada’s sunniest city, it was most appropriate that Medicine Hat was the first Alberta community to install a solar PV system under the Solar Municipal Showcase. Installed in May 2006, the PV array sits proudly on the roof of the Medicine Hat Public Library, a high-traffic location and a community educational hub. This site will provide excellent opportunities to educate residents about alternatives to non-renewable energy sources.
This renewable, environmentally-friendly electricity source will help Medicine Hat better understand the long-term potential of solar PV and complementary technologies such as domestic hot water, aquifer thermal energy storage and swimming pool heating.
“Medicine Hat is proud to be part of the Alberta Solar Municipal Showcase. We believe the future is in using our existing resources wisely, while turning our focus to sustainable alternative energies. Our city has been dependent on natural gas – a non-sustainable resource - for more than 100 years, so we are very interested in pursuing other sources of renewable energy.”
Mayor Garth Vallely, Medicine Hat
Solar Team: ETI Solar (now Conergy)