Penhold Mayor Michael Yargeau says a solar panel project will bring down the cost to operate the Penhold Multiplex. Contributed photo

Penhold Multiplex solar panel project moving forward

The project is expected to be complete by the end of summer

The Penhold Multiplex is going green.

Town council recently approved a $750,000 project to mount solar panels on the roof of the multi-purpose facility.

“This is an opportunity for us to bring down the cost to run … our multiplex. There were some good opportunities through government grants to make this,” said Penhold Mayor Michael Yargeau.

“It’s also environmentally friendly too, and we’re reducing the carbon footprint of the town.”

Yargeau said it’s possible the town could do similar projects in the future.

“In this case, we had a government grant that helps us with a large portion of it, so if those grants are still available, then it’s absolutely something we’ll continue to explore,” said Yargeau.

The value of the provincial government grant’s will be determined by the output of solar energy. Penhold chief administrative officer Rick Binnendyk said the grant is expected to be about $350,000.

“When the project is up and running, we’re anticipating it will be pretty much a zero cost the first year, and in the second year, we’ll start to see a bit of recovery on it,” said Binnendyk.

If everything goes according to plan, solar panel installation will begin by the end of June and be completed by the end of July, Binnendyk said.

The multiplex is “a newer facility, so it shouldn’t be that complicated to tie in (solar panels),” said Binnendyk, who praised council’s willingness to get the project approved.

Yargeau said the project will not result in a tax increase for Penhold residents.

“Ultimately, once the solar panels are up and running, eventually, we will see lower utility bills for our multiplex, which could lead to benefits to residents,” said Yargeau.

Town administration received council’s approval to enter into an agreement with Enmax Generation Portfolio Inc. to provide solar energy to the facility.

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