Further development of Kimberley’s SunMine will be slower than the city hoped.
This from CAO Scott Sommerville, who met with BC Hydro at the Union of BC Municipalities convention in September.
He pitched Kimberley’s plan to expand the SunMine to a 15 megawatt facility.
Sommerville says BC Hydro has no plans to acquire more renewable energy at this time and the community should be content with a two megawatt expansion.
“Rather than having a really ambitious expansion plan, we’re just going to look at ways to fill that second megawatt,” Sommerville says. “We’re still learning from the first megawatt and we want to make sure the timing is right and that we’ve worked all the kinks out of it before we move on.”
Sommerville adds they hope to look at other avenues for renewable energy.
This includes rooftop solar projects to help power city facilities.
“We’re looking next year at doing a feasibility study on some rooftop solar in Kimberley, so we can work behind the meter,” Sommerville says. “If BC Hydro is not a willing customer for anything more than two megawatts, maybe we should be looking at expanding behind the meter and powering some city facilities ourselves.”
Sommerville says the SunMine is expected to meet its budget for 2017.
The facility has generated $163,225 in revenue so far this year, compared to $216,483 in all of 2016.
– Kimberley’s CAO, Scott Sommerville