Prince George installs B.C.'s 1st solar-power parking lot

A 20-square-metre area of panels was installed at city hall as a pilot project to test how the technology performs in northern communities.

Pilot project at city hall aims to understand how well panels hold up under northern conditions

The city installed 20 square metres of solar panels as part of a pilot project. (City of Prince George)

The City of Prince George has installed B.C.'s first solar-panel parking lot.

A 20-square-metre area of panels was installed at city hall as a pilot project to test how the technology performs in northern communities.

The project, which comes at no cost to Prince George, is a partnership with Wattway solar panels, which approached the city with the idea.

"We're pretty pleased that they picked Prince George," said Mayor Lyn Hall.  "If it does work, maybe it's an opportunity for us to do something down the road."

The solar panels are fixed directly to the pavement — and because they are only millimeters thick, installation doesn't require any additional construction.

"The intent is to see what it does to generate solar power that we can then apply back into our grid at city hall. It's also providing power to our electric-car charging station," said Hall.

Hall says the project is also an opportunity to look at alternative heating sources for their building as the city attempts to curb its greenhouse gas emissions.

"So far, we're very pleased with the amount of power that's being generated," he said.

The city has no future plans for more solar panel roads, but Hall says he'll be watching the results of the pilot project closely.

Last year, solar panels were installed on pavement at Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops, B.C., but for an area that only saw foot traffic.

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