Thursday, 05 September 2013 09:11

Vulcan unveiled unique solar project this year

Written by  Stephanie Labbe
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This unique solar project was completed in time for the town of Vulcan’s Centennial celebrations. This unique solar project was completed in time for the town of Vulcan’s Centennial celebrations. Photo submitted

Being one of the most technologically-advanced communities in the province of Alberta is the town of Vulcan’s goal. Officials are always looking for new ways to have the latest innovative technology.

The community celebrated its centennial celebrations Aug. 2-5 and its motto was, “Remembering the past, celebrating the present and looking to the future.” 
Matt Orr invented a solar project for the community’s centennial project of the future.
“This was our looking-to-the-future project and it’s a young man that’s working in the solar energy area ... He’s got several other solar projects on the go and this is his own invention and he organized it and found the people to produce it,” says Louise Schmidt, the co-chairman of the centennial committee.
The solar project’s unique design is in the shape of a tree. It’s a one-of-a-kind design that will generate enough electricity to power the highway tourism area.
Schmidt says Orr got started on this project about a year ago and then brought forward the finished product at a March meeting.
The committee decided at that point it was going to be a good project to complete.
There were many people at the project’s launch during the Centennial celebrations and a lot of people stopped in throughout the weekend.
“I think too, we would like to become one of the most technically-advanced towns in Alberta and I think this is a start,” says Schmidt.
Having the solar tree in the town is a benefit as it is an environmentally-friendly way of conducting electricity.
The total cost of the project isn’t being released at this time. However, Schmidt says Orr received funding from many different areas.
The centennial project supplied some money for the project along with the Town of Vulcan, a grant from the Lethbridge and Southwest Alberta Community Foundation and a lot of individual people donated money.
As well, the Kinsmen and Kinettes donated some money towards the project along with the County of Vulcan.
Schmidt says the solar tree project has been placed at the entrance of the town to light up the area entering the community. Any extra solar energy produced will go into the grid and the Town of Vulcan will get credit for it.
“This is a sample of his (Orr) work. He has some other great plans such as a solar park that would combine both recreation and the producing of solar power that would go into the grid, so he’s got many other ideas and plans, but this one is probably a one of a kind, although it may not be,” says Schmidt.

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