Construction starts on SunMine, Western Canada’s largest solar development

August 20, 2014

The future is bright for the City of Kimberley, located in South Eastern British Columbia. On July 7, the City announced the start of construction on the $5.3 million SunMine solar project, western Canada's largest solar powered development.

Teck is a key supporter of SunMine. In 2011, we committed to provide land and site infrastructure as well as a $2 million contribution towards the project. SunMine is located on our former Sullivan Mine site, which has been fully reclaimed.

SunMine, a 1.05 megawatt solar power plant, will have over 4,000 solar-cell modules, mounted on 96 solar trackers which follow the sun’s movement, maximizing solar exposure. It will be the first solar project in British Columbia to sell power to the BC Hydro grid.

SunMine stakeholders and partners Ron McRae, Mayor, City of Kimberley; Don Lindsay, President and CEO, Teck; Michel DeSpot, President and CEO, EcoSmart Foundation; Honourable Bill Bennett, Minister of Energy and Mines; Neil Muth, CEO, Columbia Basin Trust and Jared Donald, President, Conergy Canada were on hand to break ground at the project site.

The Province’s Innovative Clean Energy (ICE) Fund program will provide $1 million for SunMine through the EcoSmart Foundation, a Vancouver based non-profit foundation promoting economically and ecologically smart projects between public and private sectors. EcoSmart has been a driving force that helped incubate the project from concept to reality.

Community Benefits

SunMine is community owned, distinct and well suited to capitalize on Kimberley's clear and sunny conditions. The City receives 300+ days of sunshine per year.

In addition to energy generation, SunMine will position the City of Kimberley as a leader in the growing renewable energy market.

The SunMine project will be constructed over Summer-Fall 2014, targeting January 2015 operation.

Fast Facts

Upon completion, SunMine will be:

  • The largest solar facility west of Ontario.
  • The first re-development of a reclaimed mine site into a solar farm in Canada.
  • The first large solar project in Canada supported by a mining company.
  • The first utility scale solar facility developed, owned, and operated by a Canadian municipality.
  • The first 1000V DC solar installation outside of Ontario.
  • The first grid-connected solar photovoltaic installation in B.C.
  • The first large-scale project in Western Canada to use solar trackers.

First Published on August 20, 2014