The District of Hudson’s Hope celebrated the completion of its municipal solar power system with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on June 2.
“In the 25 years that I’ve been on council, I’ve never been part of something so innovative and forward thinking — this one is really special,” said Mayor Gwen Johansson, adding it wouldn’t have been possible without a $1.35-million grant from the Strategic Priorities Fund and Federal Gas Tax Fund through the Union of BC Municipalities.
With 1,550 panels on nine grid-tie facilities, it’s the largest municipal solar project in the province, making Hudson’s Hope the most solarized community per capita in BC. A 10-kilowatt solar wave was installed at the local pool as the final touch for the project.
“It’s proof that solar can be artistic, not just practical,” said Johansson on the shelter-style panels.
MLA Dan Davies congratulated the small town on the array.
“It’s set the standard very high I think, for all municipalities across the province of British Columbia,” said Davies.
“In my 12 years on city council for Fort St. John, I don’t think we were ever lucky enough to get 100 per cent funded projects.”
While changes to BC Hydro’s net-metering program were implemented April 20, the original rate of 10 cents per kWh will be honoured for the municipal array. It’s estimated that the district will save around $74,000 a year, or $3 million over the next 30 years with the system.
“I can remember fighting the fight for net metering in the 1980s,” said Johansson. “We really do appreciate that it’s here now.”
Tom Summer is a Hudson’s Hope correspondent for the Alaska Highway News. Email your news tips to firstname.lastname@example.org.