SaskTel announced plans to construct a solar array at the SaskTel Wire Centre located in southwest Saskatoon as part of a pilot project to determine the long-term feasibility of solar energy as a means to offset electrical costs while also reducing the Crown corporation’s environmental footprint.
“As Saskatchewan’s largest communications provider, we require significant amounts of electricity to power our cell sites, pedestals, and other facilities that bring connectivity to our customers across the province,” said Charlene Gavel, SaskTel President and CEO. “This pilot project is a measured step that will allow us to evaluate the feasibility of solar as a supplementary power source.”
The ground mounted 100 kilowatt (Kw) solar array will consist of 222 solar panels situated into three rows on SaskTel’s property next to the Wire Centre. The array will generate approximately 128,000 kW hours of electricity per year.
Saskatoon-based miEnergy North America, a majority Indigenous-owned utility-scale solar provider, will install the solar array. Work will begin in October with the array expected to be in-service by the end of the year.
Added Charlene, “While potential cost-savings and reduction of our environmental footprint are some of the drivers behind this pilot project, we are also interested to learn if solar power generation may help improve the resiliency of our network in rural and remote areas.”