Ric Richardson

Ric Richardson

Mayor, Northern Village of Green Lake
Saskatchewan

The Northern Village of Green Lake, located 300 km north of Saskatoon, hopes to become a leader in renewable energy. Thanks in part to a partnership with Bullfrog Power, the Northern Village of Green Lake now has a 96-panel solar installation on its community centre.

A successful launch

We received a lot of positive media attention from the launch of our solar project, but I found it was more important for the project to be a good news story in our community. Our citizens feel like they’re part of the project—and they are. It gives them a reason to smile more.

Overcoming challenges

Funding was one of the main challenges we encountered when developing the solar project, and Bullfrog Power helped play a part in overcoming this challenge. Another challenge was encouraging public support for the project, which involved educating the community on the benefits of renewable energy. We have learned that growing public support requires a combination of research, education and canvassing.

Connecting to the land

Aboriginal communities believe in connecting with their land and heritage. I believe that in northern Canadian regions, we notice the effects of climate change more so than in the southern regions of the country. In the Yukon, for example, we have been seeing the effects of climate change for decades. We’ve seen increased frequencies of bug infestations, milder winters and changing game patterns.

Planting the seed

This project is important because of the foundation it lays for future education and support for renewables in the community. We see it as planting the first seeds of renewable energy for the future.

We are also showing people the ability to harness nature for power as well as for improved economic and employment opportunities. In the north, Green Lake is now being regarded as a leader in renewable energy.

The impact is especially noticeable among the younger generations. Our school is educating students about the solar project and its benefits, and now students are studying the practical and theoretical elements of renewable energy. Our young ones are even looking into renewables as a career opportunity.

We’re extremely appreciative of supporters like Bullfrog. With your help, we hope to continue growing renewable energy in our community for years to come.

The Northern Village of Green Lake recently launched a new solar installation thanks in part to a partnership with Bullfrog Power. The project is the community’s first step in an effort to invest in renewable energy in what is hoped to be a larger solar initiative that aims to eventually provide much of the electrical power needs of the village.

 

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