Officials in Medicine Hat have announced that funding for the city’s new solar-thermal power project has been found. The project will generate one megawatt of power per year, at the price of $9 million.
Medicine Hat Deputy Mayor Ted Clugston says the green project makes little economic sense, but is nevertheless morally the right thing to do. Provincial and Federal Governments agree, though each have contributed $3 million in funding.
Mayor Clugston says the ease with which funding was located stems from the enthusiasm for environmental projects in Alberta. “We've been trying to build a new hockey rink here in Medicine Hat, we've been trying to build overpasses, we haven't had a school built in 29 years, and we've been asking money for those things and we can't get them”.
The Medicine Hat Concentrating Solar Energy Demonstration Project will be the first in Canada to add a solar-powered steam generation system to an existing power plant. Solar-thermal energy is a renewable, carbon-free alternative to fossil fuels. Medicine Hat is an ideal location because it is the country’s sunniest city, said Mayor Clugston.
The project is expected to be completed in late 2012. Once it is operational, the solar-thermal project will generate approximately 0.5% of the city electricity.