Indigenous community in Canada going solar via Polar Racking

Canadian company, Polar Racking, has supplied PRU Ground Mount Racking for Phase 2 of the Fort Chipewyan Solar Farm, projected to be the largest off grid solar farm in Canada once completed. Polar Racking’s PRU Ground Mount Racking will be used for 5,760 solar modules in the project.  Polar Racking is experienced in supplying racking systems for challenging weather situations like those found in Fort Chipewyan, a northern Albertan First Nations community.

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Faced with population growth and an increased demand for energy, the residents of Fort Chipewyan sought a sustainable, green and self-sufficient solution that could withstand wide temperature fluctuations and high winds. The solar farm will supply 25 percent of Fort Chipewyan’s energy, replacing 800,000 litres of diesel fuel, and supported with battery storage.

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The northern Alberta community is not connected to the grid and relies on transporting diesel fuel for all energy needs. Replacing diesel with local renewable energy results in fewer tanker truckers having to drive on the winter-ice road, and a more reliable, long-term energy source for the community.

“Polar Racking is thrilled to be supplying the mounting systems for Phase 2 of the Fort Chipewyan Solar farm,” said Vishal Lala, CEO Polar Racking. “As a Canadian company, we design and manufacture our mounting systems precisely for the extreme weather conditions found in Northern Alberta. We also understand the challenges of tight construction schedules and have made our systems lighter and quicker to install than other similar mounting products. Reducing installation time will bring cleaner energy sooner to Fort Chipewyan and for longer.”

The solar farm is expected to be operational by the end of 2020 with construction on Phase 2 currently underway. Owned equally by the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation, Mikisew Cree First Nation, and the Métis Local 125, the solar farm is an example of how indigenous communities and Canadian businesses can partner to create energy security, cleaner air, and long-term revenue to reinvest in our communities.

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