Alberta spending $54 million for ‘green’ municipal projects

Over 75% of the global potential in demand-side response lies in buildings, with space heating, water heating and air conditioning loads contributing the most (Photograph: 2018 Getty Images)

Alberta Municipal Solar Program supported about 85 jobs since March 2016 according to Alberta Government

The Alberta government announced it is helping support municipalities by investing in new programs that will save communities money and help diversify local economies, according to a press release.

The Municipal Climate Change Action Centre (MCCAC) will use $54 million in funding from the Climate Leadership Plan to deliver multi-year programs for small-scale community generation, energy-efficiency upgrades for buildings, solar energy for schools and more. The funds will be delivered as follows:

  • $16.5 million for Renewable Energy and Community Generation, supporting smaller-scale renewables projects in municipalities across the province.
  • $17.5 million for Community Infrastructure Greening, helping municipalities reduce greenhouse gas emissions by retrofitting existing municipal buildings such as community rinks, arenas, swimming pools, and more.
  • $5 million for Municipal Fleet Greening, which would target the testing of electric busing in municipalities with a view to sharing the knowledge and experience broadly across the AUMA and AAMDC.
  • $15 million for Renewable Energy for Schools, providing funding to school authorities to install solar technology systems on existing school facilities.

“From solar panels on schools to energy-efficient hockey arenas, this grant invests carbon levy revenues into programs that will empower municipal leaders and their organizations to make life better for Albertans. Our government is proud to continue supporting municipalities as we work together to advance clean technology, create jobs, save money and reduce emissions,” said Shannon Phillips, Minister of Environment and Parks and the Climate Change Office.

MCCAC provides funding, technical assistance and education to help Alberta municipalities address climate change. It is a collaboration between the Government of Alberta, the Alberta Association of Municipal Districts and Counties, and the Alberta Urban Municipalities Association.

“I know first-hand that many municipalities share our government’s commitment to advancing Alberta’s climate leadership goals. The MCCAC is an example of the strong, collaborative relationship that exists between the Government of Alberta, the AUMA and the AAMDC. I think this is a great investment into programs that will affect all Albertans in meaningful, lasting ways,” said Shaye Anderson, Minister of Municipal Affairs.

The grant builds on MCCAC’s current programs, which fund solar panel installations, energy-efficiency audits and retrofits, as well as climate change resilience workshops.

The new funding will help ensure that the buildings Albertans rely on, including community arenas, recreational centres and swimming pools, are more energy-efficient and sustainable for the long term.

“The Alberta Association of Municipal Districts and Counties is encouraged by this new injection of funding into the Municipal Climate Change Action Centre. We believe that the magnitude of this new funding is an important recognition of the role municipalities play in addressing climate change,” said Al Kemmere, president, Alberta Association of Municipal Districts and Counties.

“For almost 10 years, the AAMDC has worked with municipal partners and the MCCAC to support clean energy investments in municipalities to reduce greenhouse gas emissions across Alberta. We look forward to continuing to work with the MCCAC to get this new funding flowing to local projects throughout Alberta’s rural communities.”

MCCAC’s Alberta Municipal Solar Program has supported about 85 jobs since March 2016 according to the government. In 2016-17, the existing municipal solar program supported 36 projects, representing 23 municipalities, resulting in combined annual savings to municipalities of close to $500,000 on power bills.

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