Western Canada's Largest Solar Powered Development Begins

July 7, 2014

The City of Kimberley's future is bright. Kimberley — a resort municipality and former mining community in south-eastern BC, is pleased to announce the beginning of SunMine construction. SunMine will be western Canada’s largest solar project. Sunmine is situated on reclaimed land on the former Teck Sullivan Mine site, within city limits. The energy-generating project is community owned, distinct and well suited to capitalize on Kimberley's clear and sunny conditions. 

“Kimberley citizens directly endorsed this project and we're proud to deliver on a bold and innovative initiative,” says Kimberley's Mayor, Ron McRae. “This project aligns with the community's values associated with environment, community and a history of innovation and resilience. We're creating the future, not awaiting it, and this project shows we mean business."

A 2011 referendum saw an overwhelming majority of Kimberley voters support SunMine construction. As a result, the City and its partners allocated three years to securing funding, negotiating ownership, undertaking due diligence and prefeasibility studies, and completing 17 agreements with eight different organizations.

SunMine will have over 4000 solar-cell modules, mounted on 96 solar trackers which follow the suns movement, maximizing solar exposure.

In addition to energy generation SunMine will benefit the regional economy through increased visibility and awareness; and the engineering and project experience will garner the region a competitive edge for future initiatives in the growing renewable energy market.

The project is being supported by Teck, whose involvement, first announced in 2011, includes providing use of land and site infrastructure as well as a $2 million contribution towards the project. SunMine is located on Teck’s former Sullivan Mine site, which has been fully reclaimed.

“SunMine is an innovative use of a former mine site and is an excellent example of a collaborative partnership supporting sustainable, vibrant communities,” said Mark Edwards, Vice President, Community and Government Relations, Teck. “Our interest in SunMine also reflects Teck’s commitment to alternative sources of energy.”

The project also sees assistance from EcoSmart, a Vancouver based non-profit foundation promoting economically and ecologically smart projects between public and private sectors. The SunMine project also acknowledges the support of Columbia Basin Trust, which supports efforts to deliver social, economic and environmental benefits to the residents in the Columbia Basin. Additional funding has been provided by the Southern Interior Development Initiative Trust.

Following a competitive process Conergy Canada was selected as the prime contractor to provide SunMine’s engineering, procurement, and construction management.

The $5.3 million dollar project will be constructed over Summer-Fall 2014, targeting January 2015 operation.

For more information visit: www.sunmine.ca