Investment & Attraction
Tourism & Economic
In 2014, the Town of Raymond accessed provincial grant funding under the TAME+ Energy program to conduct efficiency audits on the Raymond Ice Arena. The consultant at the time offered to include a solar assessment into the report as well and the Town accepted the recommendation and acquired the report. The report concluded that no site in Raymond was a good candidate for community solar.
In 2017, the Town of Raymond began again to explore the benefits of installing solar panels on municipal infrastructure to take advantage of government grant programs and mitigate the uncertainty in our operating budgets associated with fluctuating electricity prices due to supply/demand and carbon taxation. The Town of Cardston had recently entered into an agreement with Enmax Energy and installed solar panels on a couple of their facilities.
Since the geographic realities of our communities were basically the same, we approached Enmax to explore what could be done in Raymond. They came down and initially reviewed 10 locations and determined 7 locations had sufficient return on investment potential to warrant consideration. Town administration then presented the proposal to Council and they considered if this initiative was in the Town’s best interests.
Raymond Solar Initiative Phase 1 – Completed 2018
Council determined that there was a business case to proceed with Phase 1 of our Municipal Solar Initiative and installed panels on 6 locations in Town and at our regional water treatment plant. We applied for grant funding from the Municipal Climate Change Action Centre (MCCAC) and received $380,893 in grants that acted as our down-payment and entered into a lease arrangement with Enmax to finance the remaining $1,143,769 over 15 years. During this time, Enmax would be responsible for all maintenance and warranty work.
Raymond Solar Initiative Phase 2 – Completed 2019
The province carried out some regulatory changes, which allowed us to off-set the remaining portion of our municipal consumption. Previously, you could only produce as much power as you were consuming at one specific location. With these provincial changes, we were able to off-set our street light infrastructure, the remaining 52% of the power consumed at the pool, along with any other electrical connection that was attached to municipal infrastructure.
Council proceeded with Phase 2 which offset the remainder of our total municipal operating consumption and installed panels on our new Town office as well as on a carport structure at Victoria Park. We applied for additional funding from the MCCAC and received an additional $253,124 and financed the remaining $1,004,134 over 15 years under the same conditions as in Phase 1.
Since our system went live, we have hosted dozens of site tours, spoken at numerous conferences, won provincial and national awards and given radio and tv interviews to organizations around the world. Phases 1 & 2 have been tremendous economic, environmental and marketing successes and once the leases are paid off, we will be saving approximately $150,000 annually in power consumption expenditures.
We are considering 4 additional phases of electrification that will benefit our community and operations in the future!
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Tourism & Economic Development
Sugar City Development Corporation
Box 629 210 N 200 W Raymond, Alberta T0K 2S0 Ph: 403-752-3322 Fax: 403-752-4379
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