City to look at installing solar on roof of TCC pool

City staff will be bringing to council this fall recommendations regarding upgrades to the Canada Games pool building and a Thompson Rivers University professor says it provides a unique opportunity to further invest in sustainable energy by adding solar panels to the facility’s flat roof.

“This is a focal point where people from all around Canada come to workout and train and compete,” TRU professor Michael Mehta told KTW.

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“We’re showing the world that Kamloops shines, literally, and that we’re actually using that sun power to power our building is symbolic. Secondly, it’s the right thing to do.”

The building was constructed in 1993 for the Canada Summer Games and roof upgrades have been on the city’s books for a couple of years.

“It’s at the end of its useful life,” city civic facilities manager Jeff Putnam said. “A building, over time, we’re going to have to invest some money in for sure.”

Putnam said the city has been working with engineers and plans to bring a package to council in October or November.

Included in that will likely be discussion about renewable energy, though Putnam would not further disclose details about what that could look like.

As the city explores the possibilities, Mehta, who is also CEO of Sweet Spot Solar Company, has drafted designs of what a solar roof above the pool might look like.

He estimated it would cost between $300,000 and $320,000 installed and could save money in the long run as BC Hydro rates rise.

“When you build a solar array like this, you’re basically pre-buying your power,” Mehta said. “The price of the electricity never goes up.”

As electricity rates climb, Mehta said taxpayers would realize savings.

“It more than pays for itself over time,” he said.

The City of Kamloops previously installed solar panels on a clubhouse in Aberdeen Highlands and on the washroom facility at Singh Bowl in Brocklehurst.

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