Cheaper solar panels a boon to YG’s retrofitting project

The Yukon government is looking to double the amount of solar energy collected on the roof of its main administration building.

The Yukon government is looking to double the amount of solar energy collected on the roof of its main administration building.

The government put out a tender for new solar panels to go along with a set that has been on the roof since 2008.

Combined, the system will now produce approximately 8,800 kilowatt hours, according to the Department of Energy Mines and Resources.

It’s significantly cheaper to install solar panels now compared 2008, said Shane Andre, director of the department’s energy branch.

The new panels should cost between $10,000 and $15,000, he said. The earlier set, which was part of a pilot project, cost $50,000 to install plus the cost of a monitoring system.

“We really have an industry here now. When we originally did that system in 2008 we had to go Outside to find someone to design the system and then we had a local firm do the installation,” he said.

“This system that we have now, we have four local bidders that are keen to do this project.”

Andre estimates the larger system will save the government a total of $2,000 worth of electricity every year.

This year the Yukon government is spending $5.5 million to make the building itself more environmentally friendly.

That includes upgrading the building’s vapour barrier and installing new windows, skylights and doors.

The government has said it expects to save approximately $200,000 per year on heating fuel and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by approximately 425 tons per year.

The tender for the new solar panels closes in the next few weeks. The plan is to have them installed by the end of the calendar year, Andre said.

Contact Ashley Joannou at ashleyj@yukon-news

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