One Regina councillor wants to see if the city can harness the sun more for both environmental and financial purposes.
Mike O’Donnell has asked city administration to look into the possibility of the city using an increased number of solar panels.
“We are a situation where Regina gets a great deal of sunlight, perhaps much more than any other place in Canada, certainly in the top few, and so maybe we could become a solar capital,” said the Ward 8 councillor.
During Monday night’s council meeting, O’Donnell submitted a notice of motion to have city staff prepare a report to analyze the cost-benefit of removing certain facilities from the power grid to be self-sustaining and to determine if there’s a financial benefit in selling power that would be generated.
In addition, O’Donnell wonders whether a number of panels could be put onto city-owned land to generate revenue.
“What if we put a number of panels on a number of city facilities? What if we considered having a whole field of these things? Could that generate revenue for us? Or could that in the very least take some of our buildings off the grid,” O’Donnell asked.
He said he’s had the recent opportunity to tour facilities where he’s been told this kind of initiative is now cost-effective.
“The cost of installation is coming down for solar panels and therefore we might be able to look at this as a financial benefit in addition to any kind of environmental advantage that we might have.”
The administration will also determine whether there are any potential partnerships available regarding the installation of solar panels — including with SaskPower — that could result in more revenue for Regina.
The report is expected to be complete and back to council before December 2019.