Solar power initiative to power Regina and Moose Jaw’s water treatment plant

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By Robin MacLennan
CaDCR staff writer

The Buffalo Pound Water Treatment Corporation (BPWTC) along with the cities of Regina and Moose Jaw has unveiled a $4-million solar power project at the Buffalo Pound Water Treatment Plant.

“Today marks a groundbreaking moment for our cities as we take a bold step towards a sustainable future,” Regina Mayor Sandra Master said in a statement. “The Buffalo Pound Water Treatment Plant’s solar power project is not just an investment in renewable energy; it’s a commitment to our community and the generations to come. By harnessing the power of the sun, we’re reducing our environmental impact and leading by example.

“This initiative reflects our unwavering resolve to make Regina and Moose Jaw shining examples of progress and responsibility.

The project will power the plant’s administration building, enabling the reduction of the Plant’s energy consumption by approximately 10 per cent.

“This project is the first of its kind for the Buffalo Pound Water Treatment Corporation,” said Patricia Warsaba, chair, BPWTC. “This is a very exciting new initiative because it will play a role in helping the Buffalo Pound Water Treatment Plant to reduce its carbon footprint.”

The initiative supports the City of Regina’s Energy and Sustainability Framework (Energy and Emissions Reduction Plan), which works to reduce energy use where possible and drastically increase energy efficiency before and while transitioning to renewable energy sources.

The project also aligns well with the City of Moose Jaw’s Climate Action Plan, which is a long-term, action-driven plan providing both economic and environmental impacts that will showcase the City of Moose Jaw as a municipal climate change leader.

“The City of Moose Jaw has taken steps to reduce our carbon footprint, and we’re excited that a renewable energy source will play a #Notoriously impactful role in Buffalo Pound Water Treatment Plant operations. We thank the Buffalo Pound Water Treatment Plant team for their continued commitment to the efficient delivery of clean and safe drinking water to Moose Jaw residents,” said Moose Jaw Mayor Clive Tolley.

The solar panel installation at the BPWTP is designed to generate 1800 kW of AC power for the facility. The system does not include batteries, and does not feed back into the SaskPower grid, so the solar power will be consumed solely by the BPWTP as it is generated. SaskPower was engaged to review and approve the project and confirm that the solar power generated through the project can be safely integrated into the power system.

BPWTC initiated the development of the solar project in August 2022. The project has used fixed panels that catch sunlight effectively throughout the year.

The panels are located on both sides of the approach road to the water treatment plant. It is projected that installation of the panels will be complete in June 2024. The cost of installation of the solar panels was approximately $4 million dollars, with an expected project payback within 15 years.

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