Time to get energized: City installs solar panels at Killarney Lake Lodge

Killarney Lake Rotary Centennial Lodge is the right fit for the City of Fredericton's plan to experiment with solar array technology.

City of Fredericton also announces agreement with NB Power's Net Metering program

Solar panels were recently installed on the roof of the Killarney Lake Rotary Centennial Lodge. The panels will produce up to 20 per cent of the building's annual electricity. (Submitted)

City officials are saying Killarney Lake Rotary Centennial Lodge is the right fit for Fredericton and its latest plan to experiment with solar array technology.

The city signed a deal with NB Power to take part in its Net Metering program, which allows customers to connect their own environmentally sustainable generation unit to the utility's distribution system.

The solar panels will connect to the city owned building, which will offset some of the electrical costs. 

"We [City of Fredericton] want to get into the renewable energy sector and this is a good first step," said Scott Brown, manager of building services with the City of Fredericton.

The agreement will work the same way the net metering program does for any utility customer who connects to the grid. 

The meter will track how much energy the panels send to the grid, compared to how much the building draws out of it on a monthly basis. 

Scott Brown, manager of building services with the City of Fredericton, expects the solar panels to be fully active in upcoming months. (Gary Moore/CBC)

Every year, the lodge costs the city between 15 and $17,000 in electrical bills.

Meanwhile, the project costs a bit more than $34,000. But city councillors expect to see a return on investment within the next 16 years.

Once they're fully functioning, the solar panels are expected to produce between 18 and 20 per cent of the building's annual electricity.

Brown said council was looking for a way to get into the renewable energy sector and the Killarney Lake Rotary Centennial Lodge was the perfect place to start. 

"It has to be a south facing roof, so we can capitalize on the sun, and also it had to be structurally ready."

The City of Fredericton believes the lodge was the perfect fit for its first project with solar array technology. (Submitted)

Solar panels have already been installed onto the lodge, but Brown said it will be a couple of months before they're officially active.

"This will be a learning curve for us, it's no different than anyone else when we embark on a new technology to see how it performs," he said.

About the Author

Gary Moore

CBC News

Gary Moore recently moved from Corner Brook, NL to join the CBC team in Fredericton. He's an associate producer with Information Morning.