Wednesday, 29 March 2017 13:48

Lethbridge Farm Stewardship Centre gets grant money to be more energy efficient

Written by  J.W. Schnarr
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The Lethbridge Farm Stewardship Centre has found another use for the sun through solar energy efficiency upgrades.

On March 17, Environment Minister Shannon Phillips, Lethbridge East MLA Maria Fitzpatrick, and Mayor Chris Spearman were on hand for the announcement of $54,000 in climate funding to install a 15-kW solar photovoltaic system and upgrade lighting to save energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
“It will allow them to save a tremendous amount of money on their electricity bills,” said Phillips. “It will also create jobs right here in Lethbridge in an industry that is growing in leaps and bounds.”
The facility employs engineers, technologists and specialists who research agricultural practices and monitor environmental impacts. Phillips said the upgrades were the government leading by example.
The facility serves as a valuable resource for producers and other partners to explore innovative ways to care for the environment and make informed decisions related to environmental stewardship.
The staff develop, support and deliver the province’s On-Farm Energy Efficiency and On-Farm Solar PV Programs which fund energy-efficiency improvements and solar panels on Alberta farms.
Phillips said there will be more announcements coming as the government continues on its Climate Leadership plan.
“We’ve already made a number of investments in municipalities, and we will continue to do so,” she said.
“I think what you will be seeing, economy wide, the carbon levy funds into projects that lower costs, create jobs, and lower emissions.
“It means Alberta will be catching up in a lot of ways, to many American jurisdictions that have already moved forward with a lot of solar development. What it will do is create jobs and diversify the economy.”
She also said electricity companies are moving into solar programming or other technologies in anticipation of green technology developments and upgrades.
“Many of these companies are power companies and are not necessarily one technology,” she said. “They view themselves as being able to move forward and being able to keep pace with the times.
“Our government is committed to making sure we stabilize those prices, either by capping electricity rates for homeowners, small business, and farmers, and by providing incentives for things like solar so that life can be more affordable for everyone.”

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