It wasn’t yet approved at press time, but the Hamlet of Rankin Inlet’s senior administrative officer was optimistic about his pursuit for a solar power project on top of the Singiituq Complex.
Darren Flynn is seeking a $1.26-million-dollar, 250-kilowatt solar project on top of the old arena through CIRNAC’s Northern Reach program.
If approved, the hamlet would pay only about $20,000 to $25,000 in equipment and in-kind work.
“We expect that once that’s in place, that’ll generate savings of just a little under $80,000,” said Flynn about the annual revenue boost the project would give the town.
The hamlet collects that savings because Qulliq Energy Corporation buys the power from the solar panels to supplement its grid.
“Under this program, we’re not actually powering the building itself,” explained Flynn.
Instead, the panels capture power and distribute it to the grid, and then the hamlet invoices QEC monthly.
Last summer, a 110KW solar panel project was installed on the Agnico Eagle Arena. That grid was expected to come online by the beginning of March, now that there’s more sun.
Using large buildings as solar panel farms makes perfect sense, said Flynn.
“If you put it on top of a building, it’s out of the way, it’s catching all the solar power that’s coming out, and especially here in the summer months, that thing will be generating 24 hours a day.”
Flynn added that normally it wouldn’t be economical to make a $1.26-million investment to generate $80,000 a year in revenue, but with the federal government footing the vast majority of the bill, it’s a win-win for the hamlet.
If his proposal gets approved soon enough, Flynn hopes installation could happen this summer.
But until it is officially approved, the project remains a dream for now.