Lumsden wants to set an example for sustainable development in Saskatchewan

It’s all about money. We felt that renewable energy is a good way to use what we find at home (the sun) while reducing costs to residentsMr. Matheson said.

According to the mayor, change is not always well perceived. When it comes to solar energy, the enthusiasm isn’t there when it comes to bidding, says Brian Matheson, who has noted the spirit of collaboration with a certain segment of the population.

People have been receptive, not everyone, but most of them, especially young peoplesays Matheson.

long transition period

Step by step, the town of 1,800 residents began transitioning to solar power in 2017, after trialling wind power in 2016.

Solar panels in a community building river garden It produces just over half of the annual electricity consumption. Bills and reliance on SaskPower have fallen.

The estimated life of the solar panels is more than 20 years, according to the municipality.

After the community building successes, the city council adopted a larger solar energy project, the sewage pumping station. This station would not have met environmental standards and without major renovations, the county would not have approved the development project.

Inspired population

Environmental changes to municipal facilities have prompted some owners to add solar panels to their homes.

A local company offers a free charging station for electric cars. Grocery stores stop using plastic bags without government intervention. Even the biathlon training center has invested in an environmentally safe ice maker, the only one of its kind in the county.

The mayor of Lumsden has called on the county’s major cities to do their part to improve the county’s environmental situation.

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Other cities and towns have already contacted the municipality to seek advice on their own facilities, according to Matheson.

First Nations in Cowessess and Muskoday also made changes from an environmental perspective.

With information from Fiona Odlum

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