URBAN SOLAR GARDEN

The Urban Solar Garden is a community-owned, rooftop solar photovoltaic array that provides local residents, businesses and non-profit organizations access to renewable energy “Made in New West for New West”.

Background & Benefits

The Urban Solar Garden consists of one or more community-owned solar photovoltaic arrays that generate local renewable energy for the benefit of subscribers within New Westminster

This City-led renewable energy project provides an opportunity for interested local residents, businesses and non-profit organizations to voluntarily subscribe to a portion of the total electricity generated by the array.  The solar power generated is credited back to each subscriber’s electrical utility bill twice per year, in proportion to the number of panels they have reserved, for up to 25 years.

For those interested in local renewable energy, the Urban Solar Garden provides the following benefits:

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Accessible Solar Energy

Participants do not need to install their own solar PV system to access solar energy.

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Long Term Savings

As grid electricity rates rise over time, so does the value of energy savings for subscribers year after year.

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No Maintenance Fees

Operation, maintenance and monitoring of the solar array will be handled by the City Electrical Utility, and subscribers do not need to pay for maintenance or repairs.

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Transferable

Subscriptions can be easily transferred to a new electrical account if you move within the Electrical Utility service area.

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Local Leadership

Participants are involved in a signature community project that demonstrates leadership in energy and environment.

NOTE That CO² emissions saved in the Solar Edge display reflect a North American average operational carbon footprint for electricity.  GHG savings in BC would be substantially less due to our low-carbon provincial grid.

First Solar Array at

Queensborough Community Centre

The City’s first Urban Solar Garden array was fully installed and commissioned by the end of June 2018.  Located on the rooftop of Queensborough Community Centre, this 50 kW array consists of 156 solar panels.  Power generated by the array is metered directly onsite, and feeds directly into the New Westminster Electrical Utility grid.  Estimated annual energy production for this installation is just over 56,000 kWhs/year.

A ribbon-cutting celebration was held at Queensborough Community Centre on July 26, 2018 for the 50+ subscribers to this array and see project timeline below for details.

Second Solar Array at

City Public Works Yard

On Monday, October 1, 2018, City Council directed City staff to proceed with the public subscription period for an Urban Solar Garden photovoltaic array, consisting of 156 panels located on the rooftop of the Civic Works Yard, Engineering Operations Building.

Building upon the success of the first array, the City of New Westminster is launching a pre-sale subscription period beginning on Monday, October 15, 2018.  Eligibility requirements have not changed and reserving your panels is easy.  Interested subscribers just need to complete a subscription agreement and submit a $500 per-panel deposit to reserve up to ten solar panels. It is anticipated that the final per-panel cost will range between $810 to $860.

Clean Energy

Made in New West,

For New West

Project Timeline

What the Community is Saying

"I think this is an amazing and innovative idea. Proud to be in a City that is forward thinking in generating solar energy."

“I support this initiative and think that the City's efforts to move towards renewable power are commendable and should be supported.”

“Great Idea! Keeping sustainability accessible is really important - engage/work with/low income people.”

“What a super project. Yet another progressive move (OCP, Fibre-optic) that makes me proud of the 'New' New West. Sign me up.”

Resources

The following documents including literature, presentations and reports on the Urban Solar Garden is provided for those interested in learning more about this exciting initiative.

Information Sheet

This flat sheet outlines the project summary

FAQ Sheet

A document outlining the Frequently Asked Questions

Subscription Agreement

PDF copy of the subscription agreement

Presentation

PDF presentation from Public Information Session 1

Presentation

PDF presentation from Public Information Session 2

Council Report

Access Council agenda package
with Staff Report