Here comes the sun: FortWhyte Alive with so­lar power

Winnipeg Free Press - - NEWS - MUR­RAY MCNEILL mur­ray.mcneill@freep­

INNIPEG’S largest so­laren­ergy in­stal­la­tion was of­fi­cially un­veiled Thurs­day at FortWhyte Alive.

The 60-kilo­watt sys­tem boasts a to­tal of 167 so­lar pan­els, each roughly one by two me­tres in size. The sys­tem will gen­er­ate enough car­bon-free so­lar power to meet half of FortWhyte Farms’ an­nual elec­tri­cal needs. Over the 30-year life­span of the so­lar pan­els, that will translate into about $350,000 in en­ergy sav­ings for the op­er­a­tion.

W“As com­mu­nity lead­ers in sus­tain­abil­ity, we be­lieve that har­ness­ing so­lar power at FortWhyte makes per­fect sense from both an en­vi­ron­men­tal and eco­nomic per­spec­tive,” FortWhyte Alive pres­i­dent and CEO Bill El­liott said. “As we face the grow­ing chal­lenges of cli­mate change, we look for­ward to us­ing this so­lar farm as a tool to ed­u­cate the pub­lic on the im­por­tance of tran­si­tion­ing to clean, re­new­able en­ergy across the globe.”

The FortWhyte Alive project was un­der­taken with the help of Bull­frog Power, In­vestors Group and Man­i­toba Hy­dro’s So­lar En­ergy Pro­gram.

As part of its work as a so­cial en­ter­prise, Bull­frog Power has sup­ported more than 130 green en­ergy projects na­tion­wide, through its com­mu­nity re­new­able projects pro­gram. Win­nipeg­based In­vestors Group is help­ing to sup­port the FortWhyte Alive so­lar project as part of its com­mit­ment to re­new­able en­ergy.

“Bull­frog Power’s com­mu­nity re­new­able projects pro­gram is all about sup­port­ing clean power projects that ed­u­cate peo­ple about the im­pacts of how we power our lives and the ac­tions we can take on cli­mate change,” Bull­frog CEO Ron Sef­tel said. “We hope the FortWhyte Alive so­lar project will have a mean­ing­ful im­pact in terms of gen­er­at­ing both green elec­tric­ity and aware­ness on cli­mate change for decades to come.”

“In­vestors Group be­lieves in giv­ing back to the com­mu­ni­ties where our peo­ple live and work,” added An­drea Carlson, the mu­tual fund giant’s vi­cepres­i­dent of fi­nance and cor­po­rate re­spon­si­bil­ity. “FortWhyte Alive has al­ways fo­cused on help­ing us learn about the nat­u­ral world; this so­lar project will show­case the clean tech­nol­ogy we need to pre­serve the nat­u­ral world for fu­ture gen­er­a­tions.”

FortWhyte Alive is Canada’s preem­i­nent, pri­vately op­er­ated, non-profit, en­vi­ron­men­tal ed­u­ca­tion fa­cil­ity, with 640 acres of lake, for­est, marsh, prairies and farm­land on the south­west out­skirts of Win­nipeg.

The largest so­lar-en­ergy in­stal­la­tion in Man­i­toba is a 200-kilo­watt sys­tem in­stalled re­cently at the Tallpine Lodges in West Hawk Lake.


Alex Stu­art of So­lar Man­i­toba checks out the largest so­lar in­stal­la­tion in Win­nipeg at FortWhyte Alive. The 60-kilo­watt in­stal­la­tion will gen­er­ate enough car­bon-free so­lar power to meet half the elec­tri­cal needs of FortWhyte Farms.

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