Midway named solar community
Midway is one of 15 communities and one First Nation receiving funding totalling $80,000 to develop and expand innovative solar power programs, making healthier communities for families across B.C., announced Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources Minister Bill Bennett. The funding for B.C.’s newest Solar Communities will enable them to further develop solar hot-water programs and other solar projects in an effort to promote clean energy, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and promote sustainable communities. “B.C. is at the forefront of clean energy development, and our Solar Communities are examples of how this technology will reduce pollution and promote healthier communities across the province,” said Bennett. “Ashcroft, one of the new Solar Communities, is improving the recreation and well-being of their community by installing a solar hot water system for their outdoor swimming pool.” Midway has passed the Solar Ready regulation and some of the plans for solar in the village include setting a target of two installations by April 2011 and 10 percent of homes by 2020. This regulation requires that when a new house is built it include pre-installed plumbing and wiring on conduits so that it can be retrofitted for solar hot water in the future. Staff will also be discussing a solar hot water installation at the Boundary Central Secondary School. Midway will provide solar hot water training for its public works employees and committing to the installation of one, possibly more, solar hot water installations at its municipal buildings. The latest communities and First Nations selected are: the Village of Ashcroft, the Village of Alert Bay, the City of Castlegar, the City of Colwood, City of Duncan, the Township of Esquimalt, the City of Kimberley, the Town of Ladysmith, the Lasqueti Local Trust Committee, the Village of Midway, the District of Peachland, the City of Quesnel, the Salt Spring Island Local Trust Committee, the District of Sechelt, the City of Surrey and the Cowichan Tribes. These communities were chosen through an RFP process, and each will receive $5,000. This brings the total number of Solar Communities to 32. On July 17, 2008, the Province announced a $5-million investment in SolarBC to support six solar hot water programs, including installations in residences, local government buildings, First Nations homes, social housing, schools and the Solar Communities program. “These Solar Communities will provide leadership by their innovative strategies and plans for the deployment of solar energy and will become role models for communities across B.C.,” said Nitya Harris, executive director of SolarBC. A solar hot water system can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by one to two tonnes per year for a single-family home using natural gas for water heating. The increased use of solar energy technology is part of a broader sustainable energy strategy that will help the Province reach its goal of curbing greenhouse gas emissions by 33 percent by 2020. SolarBC supports the conservation and clean energy objectives of B.C.’s Clean Energy Act and the BC Energy Plan. For more information on SolarBC, please visit www.solarbc.ca.