Success Story: Kimberley’s former mine site becomes home to the largest solar project in BC


BC Climate Action Toolkit

Wed, 05/23/2018
In 2015, the City of Kimberley BC began commercial operation of SunMine, the province’s first municipally owned utility-scale solar facility. SunMine is the first solar project in the province to sell power directly to the grid through BC Hydro’s Net Metering program. The project has allowed the community to utilize the Sullivan mine’s now fully reclaimed brownfields and make use of existing transmission infrastructure that once served the mine. 

Success Story Snapshot

  • Energy Savings / GHG Reductions: Over the first 2.5 years of production (up to end of December 2017), the SunMine generated 4419 MWh, or 89.6% of anticipated energy production. Over the same period, the project was able to avoid 2.5 tonnes of NOx, 1770.8 tonnes of CO2, and 6.4 tonnes of SO2, (as estimated using US national energy generation and emissions factors).
  • Business Case: At peak production SunMine provides 1 Megawatt or enough to power about 250 homes in BC. For the first 2.5 years, the project generated $473,165 or 88.7% of the anticipated revenue.
  • Co-benefits: The mine has provided a productive use of land that would otherwise be unused and created green jobs in the community. The project is attracting tourists to the area and is being used to educate the public about green energy.
  • Total project cost: SunMine solar project cost $5.35 million
    • Teck, a diversified resource company provided land, site infrastructure and $2M towards the project
    • The Province’s Innovative Clean Energy (ICE) Fund contributed $1M contribution
    • The Columbia Basin Trust contributed $300, 000
    • The Southern Interior Development Initiative Trust some funding contributed $50,000 to the project
    • $2M  was borrowed