The first utility-scale solar and battery storage facility in the Okanagan has opened in Summerland, British Columbia. The facility, called the Summerland Energy Centre, took eight years to plan and execute. It includes 700 solar modules, a solar array with 412kW solar power capacity, 1MW of battery storage, 3.56 MWh power supply, and upgrades to the existing electrical system. The Energy Centre is located at the site of the former Municipal Works yard and is close to an eco-village that is soon to be built.
The site currently operates at around 60% capacity despite being in November, which is higher than expected. The energy generated will benefit everyone in the community, including residents, businesses, and farming operations. This project was cost-saving initiative for the community as it reduces the need to buy electricity from the grid.
The $6.98-million project was completed on time and on budget, with funding from the Canada Community-Building Fund and the Summerland Electrical Utility Capital Reserve. This project is a step towards gaining more control over the local grid and reducing costs for the community.
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