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Northern B.C. town paves the way with solar energy initiative

<who>Photo Credit: Henderson Services LLC</who>

It’s no secret that non-renewable resources like oil, coal and gas play a critical role in the current world energy market.

With predictions looming that fossil fuel demand will exceed reserves in the coming decades, alternative energy developments are more crucial than ever.

According to the International Association for Energy Economics, oil, coal and gas will become depleted at the current rate of consumption by 40, 200 and 70 years, respectively.

<who>Photo Credit: Alberta North Transport</who>

Amidst the oily mess has emerged an unlikely hero of future prosperity.

Spearheading the renewable energy sector movement is a tiny town in beautiful Northern B.C.- Hudson’s Hope, which sits just on the outskirts of Site C’s Peace River developments.

<who>Photo Credit: Hudson's Hope Visitor Centre</who>

Hudson’s Hope is the “Playground of the Peace” and has been at the forefront of a battle against the massive B.C. Hydro-electric dam project for decades now.

With legislation recently passing the project through, council along with the community’s support has found their own way of combating electricity use.

Hudson’s Hope certainly sees its fair share of sunlight, making great use of solar panel energy technology.

<who>Photo Credit: Hudson's Hope Visitor Centre</who>

A Hudson’s Hope press release shared that many residents are climbing aboard the solar energy movement by investing in private solar power systems. Doing so has achieved net zero electrical usage in their homes.

The District of Hudson’s Hope has taken a progressive lead on solar energy providing 50 to 100% of the town’s electric needs through nine municipal facilities. The initial investment will save the district millions of dollars over future decades.

“We calculate that the District’s electricity costs will be reduced by about $70,000 per year,” explains District CAO Tom Matus. “If we allow for future rate increases, we’ll save close to $3 million over the next 30 years.”

<who>Photo Credit: District of Hudson's Hope</who>

Hudson’s Hope received a $1.35 million grant from the Strategic Priorities Fund/Federal Gas Tax Fund through the Union of B.C. Municipalities for their solar project.

“When completed, this will be the largest municipal solar array in B.C.,” says Hudson’s Hope Mayor Gwen Johansson.

“We are proud to be a leader in electricity self-generation, and appreciate the B.C. Hydro net-metering initiative that helps us achieve it.”

New this year is “The Wave,” the final solar project of the initiative project with a dual purpose to supply energy to the pool complex and provide shade and shelter to the adjacent park area.

Check out this video story by CKUA’s Green Energy Futures featuring the Hudson’s Hope solar movement:

How do you feel about investing in solar energy or other alternative energies?

Have you noticed any initiatives taking place in your community?

Let us know in the comments!

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