$69M plan for Summerside solar farm announced Tuesday
Project aims to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 21,000 tonnes per year
Plans to build a solar energy farm and storage facility in Summerside were announced at a press conference Tuesday afternoon.
In a release, the province said the project will include a new 21-megawatt solar farm and battery storage facility. The project is expected to cost about $69 million in total.
Construction of the farm is expected to begin in the spring and take between 18 and 24 months, creating about 200 jobs, officials said.
The plan is to put the farm at a 32.5-hectare well field near the rural municipality of Linkletter, P.E.I., said Greg Gaudet, with the city of Summerside.
The well-field land can't be used for many projects "because of the groundwater source contaminant possibilities from development," he said.
"So one of the benign uses of well-field land for Prince Edward Island from groundwater source is to re-utilize it for solar panels."
He said the battery storage facility will be located just off the site to ensure there isn't a risk for chemical contaminants.
The aim is to improve the city's energy efficiency and "will allow the city to meet 62 per cent of its electricity needs through renewable energy and reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 21,000 tonnes per year," the release said.
The federal government is contributing more than $26.3 million to the project.
The government of P.E.I. is giving more than $21.9 million, and Summerside is providing $20.5 million.
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With files from Nicole Williams