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camroseenergy.com

Small… but Strong Rosalind Goes Net Zero

Rosalind has flicked the switch on a greener, cleaner future, proving small communities can make a big impact on energy sustainability

Rosalind, population 188, is living up to its Small… but Strong motto. 

These days, when you drive through this tiny community 120 kilometres southeast of Edmonton, you’ll see solar panels shining on the roofs of municipal buildings.

Thanks to its investment in solar power, Rosalind is now a net zero electricity municipality and is the first community in Camrose County to reach this energy sustainability milestone.

All municipally-run buildings and services will now be powered year-round with renewable solar energy.

Rosalind paid for this project after learning that unspent funds had been allocated from the municipal enhancement fund.

It was either use ’em or lose ’em.

An aerial view over Rosalind showing the solar panles on various buildings | Camrose Energy
An aerial view over Rosalind showing the solar panles on various buildings | Camrose Energy

Investing in the Future 

So, the village council decided to spend the funds on something that would benefit the community financially in the long run and play a small part in the fight to slow global warming.

Rosalind installed solar panel arrays on four municipal buildings – the fire hall, community hall, public works building, village hall, and drop-in centre.

Together, these arrays generate 52 kW of electricity.

That amounts to removing roughly 30 metric tonnes of CO2 annually from the atmosphere, equivalent to driving more than 120,000 kilometres in a gas-powered car.

According to Camrose Energy, a community energy retailer, aggregation is the key to solar-powered success for small communities.

“Rosalind’s example demonstrates the power of a well-planned solar strategy. By using aggregation and integrating various facilities, the village paves the way for a sustainable future for its residents,” said Denise Hawkins, a spokesperson for Camrose Energy, in a media release

Aggregation means combining the electrical usage of multiple locations under a single account for solar power generation.

It allows for optimizing system sizing and placement and enables a community to negotiate for a larger solar system capacity. 

Rosalind is Alberta's second net zero community | Camrose Energy
Rosalind is Alberta’s second net zero community | Camrose Energy

Following Raymond’s Lead

In the fall of 2018, Raymond, a southern Alberta town with 4,000 residents, switched on the solar power switch, becoming the province’s first net-zero community

Since then, Raymond has been powering nine municipal buildings and all street lights with the sun’s energy.

As reported by the Canadian Press, Raymond leased the solar panels from Calgary power utility Enmax for $2.8 million. 

About $630,000 came from a provincial grant under the Municipal Climate Change Action Centre.

Greg Robinson, Raymond’s Director of Community of Development, said the grant “made it easy to say yes” to the solar project.

Making the transition to net zero easier will have more and more Alberta communities saying yes.

Raymond's football field and large solar park | Town of Raymond
Raymond’s football field and large solar park | Town of Raymond

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