How the Town of Banff is fighting climate change with solar power


Each year, millions of people travel from across Canada and around the world to visit Banff National Park—Canada’s first national park. Banff’s majestic mountains, crystal lakes and diverse wildlife are iconic parts of Canada’s natural beauty. The Town of Banff, located within the park, is doing its part to protect our cherished natural environment by installing solar power projects around town!

Banff Mayor Karen Sorensen explains, “Energy consumption is Banff’s largest source of greenhouse gas emissions. Any investment we can make to reduce that is a positive step for our community and helps us realize our goals of being environmental stewards.” Solar power is emissions-free, which means that generating energy using solar panels does not release climate change-causing greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.

In 2014, the bullfrogpowered community helped fund an expansion and upgrade of solar panels on Banff Community High School (BCHS). The 10 kW solar project, for which the BCHS green team completed three years of fundraising, is included in the school’s science curriculum to help teach students about the benefits of renewable energy.

The success of the BCHS project helped create momentum for the Town’s transition to renewables. Since 2014, Banff has commissioned two new, larger solar projects to provide clean power for its community spaces. Earlier this year, The Fenlands Banff Recreation Centre (pictured above) was outfitted with 984 solar panels that will generate renewable power for the facility, feeding surplus clean energy into the electricity grid. This solar array is expected to bring in $15,000 of savings per year for the recreation centre. Additionally, Banff Elementary School will be the home of 700 solar panels, scheduled to be installed as part of a two-phase update to the school. More than 200 panels have already been installed and are providing clean power for the school.

In addition to the projects the Town and Canadian Rockies Public Schools have commissioned, the Town has also encouraged more than 30 private residential and commercial solar installations from 2015 to 2017 with its Emerald Award-winning incentive program. Eligible participants can install a solar array on their home or business and receive a financial rebate from the Town based on the size of the system installed.

Bullfrog Power is proud to have partnered with Banff early in the Town’s solar journey—and to have helped the Town develop such an interest in renewable power. To date, Bullfrog Power has provided funding to more than 130 community-based green energy projects across Canada. Learn more about how you can support the development of green energy projects like this one here.

Photo courtesy of David Vonesch, COO, SkyFire Energy, installer and photographer of The Fenlands Banff Recreation Centre solar array. 


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