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Largest rooftop solar array in Canada installed at Edmonton Expo Centre

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Largest rooftop solar array in Canada installed at Edmonton Expo Centre
When the $5-million solar panel project is done at the Edmonton Expo Centre, it will be the largest rooftop solar array in the country. Sarah Reid reports. – Aug 18, 2022

There are certainly other buildings in Edmonton with rooftop solar panels, but the Expo Centre is certainly the biggest.

In fact, when the $5-million project is done, it will be the largest rooftop solar array in the country.

Read more: City of Edmonton offering rebates for green home improvements

The Expo Centre will have 5,754 solar panels installed in Phase 1 of the project (across 193,735 square feet above Halls D through H) and if approved, Phase 2 will see more panels installed over Halls A, B and C.

“The Edmonton EXPO Centre is a unicorn of sorts when it comes to rooftop solar panels,” program manager Brad Watson said.

“Its size and dimensions, unobstructed sightlines and lack of interfering rooftop infrastructure allowed us to build an array of this size.”

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The Expo’s solar array will generate at least 2.8 gigawatts of energy annually, “equal to that of about 375 homes,” Watson explained.

It’s estimated to save about $290,000 to $460,000 per year.

Solar panels on the roof of the Edmonton Expo Centre on Thursday, Aug. 18, 2022. Global News

“Our new rooftop solar installation means that we will be producing our own renewable, clean solar energy right here on top of our building,” Melissa Radu, with Explore Edmonton, said.

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“It also acts as a reminder to Edmontonians and visitors to our city that Edmonton is a leader for innovative energy technologies in our country and that we are working hard to support a transition to a lower-carbon economy.”

Read more: Edmonton signs 20-year wind and solar contracts as part of net-zero goal

The solar system is expected to have a lifespan of at least 25 years. The city forecasts it will pay for itself within 10 to 17 years, taking into account fluctuations in energy prices and energy consumption. Phase 1 is expected to be complete in November.

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Phase 2 will add a production of approximately 1.9 gigawatts to the system and the estimated cost is roughly $3.4 million. Phase 2 would add an additional saving of about $185,000 to $300,000 per year, the city said.

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There are 10 other solar projects in Edmonton and there are currently six city solar arrays operating.

Solar panels on the roof of the Edmonton Expo Centre on Thursday, Aug. 18, 2022. Global News

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