Solar installation begins operating at Commonwealth Recreation Centre

Tuesday, April 2, 2024

A newly installed solar photovoltaic array at Commonwealth Recreation Centre in downtown Edmonton is now operating with 1,128 panels that cover an area of 40,760 square feet.

The panels are expected to produce 708 MWh of energy in the first year of operation, the equivalent to powering 100 residential homes for one year. The installation can offset between 75 and 100 per cent of the facility’s energy needs in ideal solar conditions on a day with average building consumption.

Architecture firm DIALOG said it strategically placed the installation on the field-house roof, adjacent to the Commonwealth Stadium, to reduce design complexities and capital and maintenance costs. The project includes upgrades like lightning protection system modifications for a successful implementation of a solar PV of this scale.

“Using innovative technology, including the installation of solar photovoltaics on City-owned buildings, we are reducing greenhouse gas emissions and building a low-carbon city, protecting the environment for future generations,” Mayor Amarjeet Sohi said in a statement.

DIALOG says the 600kW solar installation is expected to offset more than 300 tons of greenhouse gases per year.

The project received $340,000 in funding from the Municipal Climate Change Action Centre, a partnership between Alberta Municipalities, the Rural Municipalities of Alberta and the Government of Alberta.

Solar plays a major role in the city’s goals for sustainability and climate resilience as Edmonton has more than 2,300 hours of bright sunshine in an average year. As of March 2024, 12 city-owned facilities have such installations in operation. The city is continuing to look at any new build as an opportunity to incorporate solar panels.

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