The City of Regina is looking to save operating costs by using solar energy to keep the lights on in city-owned buildings.
The motion came from Councillor Mike O`Donnell and passed unanimously, with discussion also touching on the possibility of using the solar energy to charge city buses, police vehicles, or even recreational facilities into the future.
However, Mayor Michael Fougere says while it`s good to look to the future, there`s still lots of work to be done.
“I’m certainly not in the position to look into the future that far, (but) I would say it’s a possibility,” Fougere says. “Electric cars, generally speaking, are moving forward, but how you would connect that to solar power would be a challenge to define what that is and maybe there are other cities that are doing that, and I want to find out what that means.”
Fougere says while the city would not be allowed to generate revenue from the solar energy, there are still benefits for the city.
“We would have less demand from the grid, and our expenses would be less to buy electricity because we’d have solar power, so we’d be saving money in that regard,” Fougere says. “Because we can’t generate revenue from this, it would simply be a savings of not buying as much electricity because we have our own source.”
City council identified that SaskPower would be the biggest hurdle for the city as they own a monopoly on the power generated in the province, meaning the city can`t make revenue on the solar power generated.