City of Kimberley, Teck Resources and EcoSmart Foundation: SunMine – Converting a Minesite to a Solar Field
A true collaboration, Michel DeSpot of the EcoSmart Foundation first approached the City of Kimberley and Teck Resources in 2008 about a partnership to build Western Canada’s first large-scale solar facility on a reclaimed mine site. In the heart of BC and with over 300 days of annual sunshine, Kimberley was a natural – and in 2011 76% of voters supported the City borrowing $2M towards the construction.
Teck provided a reclaimed mining site, an existing substation, and $2M in support to the project, and with help from other funders, including $1M from EcoSmart, the project commenced commercial operations in June 2015, becoming the first large-scale grid-connected solar facility in Western Canada, the first in Canada to utilize solar tracking technology and the first solar facility built by a municipality, or on a reclaimed mine site. The 997 MWh of electricity generated by the SunMine in the first 12 months resulted in the avoidance of 604 tonnes of CO2, generated $195,730 in revenue for the City.