Landfill solar panels a step toward Saskatoon's renewable energy goals

A new solar panel demonstration site in Saskatoon is being touted as one of the first of its kind in the province.

City wants to eventually generate 10% of its power from renewable sources

Saskatoon's solar demonstration site could be a part of a commitment by the City of Saskatoon to generate 10 per cent of its power through locally-generated renewable power. (Trevor Bothorel/CBC News)

A new solar panel demonstration site in Saskatoon is one of the province's first power generation co-operatives.

Saskatoon Light and Power has partnered with the Saskatchewan Environmental Society and Saskatchewan Polytechnic on the project.

"This project was perfect for the SES Solar Co-op and its members," said SES Solar Co-op president Peter Prebble.

"For those who wanted to invest in solar power, but didn't have the means to install solar panels on their house or apartment, this provided an ideal opportunity."

The solar project, located at Saskatoon's Landfill Gas Collection and Power Generation System, is part of the city's goal to generate 10 per cent of its energy from local, renewable sources.

It's also a way to test how solar arrays can work in Saskatoon. With the help of Saskatchewan Polytechnic's mechanical engineering technology program, students have performed a comprehensive survey of the site, including predicting annual power performance and determining the best days to move the array's panels.

"This project is designed to develop a practical understanding of the actual operational characteristics of solar panels in Saskatoon's climate," said Mayor Charlie Clark. "This is a great opportunity to increase awareness of alternative forms of electrical generation, such as solar power."

Right now, 1.5 per cent of the city's power is generated through the solar demonstration site and the landfill gas collection site.