Solar energy pilot project tested at Fredericton high school

The provincial government has installed solar panels on the roof of Fredericton High School as an investment in energy efficiency. The 100 kilowatt pilot project is the largest solar installation in New Brunswick.

Fredericton High School, New Brunswick, solar panels
Fredericton High School. Image via Google Maps.

“We owe it to our children and grandchildren to combat the worst effects of climate change,” said Environment and Local Government Minister Serge Rousselle. “That is why we are investing in energy efficiency projects in all public buildings in the province, with a goal of being carbon neutral in government facilities by 2030.”

The solar panels at the school were designed by staff at the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure and installed by Solar Global Solutions. The panels are expected to generate 118,300 kilowatt hours per year. On a sunny day, the panels generate more energy than the school can consume so excess energy is transmitted to the NB Power grid. Those kilowatt hours will be used up on days that the panels do not generate as much energy.

“The provincial government owns and manages about 1,000 buildings. By incorporating alternate energy sources and energy efficiency measures into those buildings, we can make real progress towards our carbon reduction goals,” said Transportation and Infrastructure Minister Bill Fraser.

The provincial government will invest $101 million in energy efficiency programs in provincial government buildings over the next five years. That is in addition to up to $51 million in the federal government’s Low Carbon Economy Fund and up to $82 million by NB Power.

Last year the provincial government launched Transitioning to a Low-Carbon Economy – New Brunswick’s Climate Change Action Plan. Based on recommendations from the select committee on climate change, it provides a list of actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions while promoting economic growth and increasing the province’s resilience to climate change through adaption.

In the coming days, the government will introduce climate change legislation that is intended to minimize the impact upon consumers and help ensure industry pay their fair share of costs related to addressing climate change. The legislation will allow for a managed introduction of carbon pricing and provide the framework for New Brunswick to fully participate in efforts to address climate change.

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