Kimberley expects more accurate revenue projections for its commercial solar project with two and a half years worth of data now in the books.
Until now projections for the SunMine were based off 20 years worth of weather information.
The City presented its latest report on the solar array this week showing 90 per cent of estimations were met in 2017 but November and December just limped past the 50 per cent mark.
CAO Scott Sommerville says the new numbers will benefit Council and staff when budgeting.
The City promised its taxpayers before constructing the $5.3 million alternative energy initiative they wouldn’t be on the hook for subsidizing it, and Sommerville explains the new data will help them plan better for expenditures and maintenance costs.
He says the goal is to continue to ensure the municipality is bringing in more money from selling power to BC Hydro than it is spending on upkeep and debt payments.
Kimberley has to pay back a $2 million loan over ten years.
The City expects revenue will drop from $210,000 a year to more than $189,000 thousand based on the new revenue projections.
Sommerville also believes the concrete data could help the City attract a partner to expand the SunMine.
As for addressing such shortfalls in the final two months of the year, the City Manager says they’re always looking to improve efficiency.
Kimberley saw similar numbers at the conclusion of 2016, and Sommerville suggests there is a “snow-dump” feature.When it snows, according to Sommerville, the solar panels can weigh the amount of that’s accumulated on them, and move to shed the snow off.
He assumes significant snowfall the past two years could be behind the lower numbers.
– City of Kimberley Chief Administrative Officer Scott Sommerville