COMMITMENT TO RENEWABLE ENERGY IN THE KOOTENAYS
The Kootenay region of British Columbia, renowned for the many beautiful mountains and lakes, has long been environmentally conscious. This came to the forefront in 2016 when SunMine – Canada’s largest solar project and largest solar tracking system – opened on an old mining site near Kimberley earning nationwide attention.
Since then the area has seen Canada’s first community solar garden in Nelson; the launch of accelerate Kootenays - Canada's first community-driven, collaborative strategy to build a clean transportation network; and a Strategic Community Energy and Emissions Plan (SCEEP). This plan describes the existing energy use and greenhouse gas emissions with a view to improving efficiency, cutting emissions, enhancing community resilience, managing future risks and driving economic development.
The West Kootenay EcoSociety has been spearheading a renewable energy project that, once finalized, can be the model for rural sustainable living in the transition to 100% renewable energy. Over 10,500 people and 108 businesses have pledged support for this clean energy transition.
Earlier, the organization conducted an energy modeling study to show what a transition to a 100% renewable energy mix could look like. Entering 2020 nine (9) local governments have signed-on to transition to 100% renewable energy by 2050 for all energy-use sectors community-wide. EcoSociety Executive Director Montana Burgess explains, “The non-profit organization is proud to be supporting the volunteers and all of the 9 committed West Kootenay local governments in developing a West Kootenay 100% Renewable Energy transition plan.” They are developing a playbook for other communities to learn from our Renewable Kootenays campaign and join the transition.
For more details on the 100% renewable campaign, you can follow their initiative at RenewableKootenays.ca
Jim Jacobsen - BCSEA Board Member