Whitehorse Mayor Dan Curtis and some city staff will be travelling to Cannes, France this month to attend the MIPIM Exhibit, an international, high-level real estate conference.
The City of Whitehorse has won its trip, after MIPIM and the Economic Developers Association of Canada hosted a competition for cities to attend. They were looking for environmentally friendly subdivision projects that would need funding in the next two to 10 years. The city submitted its proposal for the Borehole Thermal Energy Storage system for phases three to eight of Whistle Bend, said city manager Stan Westby.
The system uses solar collectors to heat water, which is then pumped deep underground where it’s stored for use in the winter. This project would provide energy for over 800 homes.
The $15,000 prize includes accommodations and a booth at the conference. There will be over 7,000 participants this year. The city hopes to attract investors for the project.
“We need investors,” said Westby, who will be attending the event, along with environmental sustainability manager Shannon Clohosey. “And due to fortitude, we’ve stumbled across people that are capable and willing to invest in this type of technology. So this is something that we can bring to the rest of the world, particularly those North of 60,” he said.
The conference runs from March 12 to 15. Before heading to France, the mayor and staff will stop in Okotoks, Alta. A similar system is being used to provide energy for about 50 homes there. They want to see how the technology works before heading to France, said Westby. Coun. John Streicker will join them in Alberta, but will not travel to France.
The total budget for the trip is $15,000, said Westby. This is to cover costs of air fare. He is working to get some funding from the Yukon government to cover some of the costs. While in France, the mayor and staff will be looking at different centres to get ideas about how to increase Whitehorse’s environmental sustainability. They will also visit Whitehorse’s sister city, Lancieux, France.