Energy Award

Sunny Neighbourhood
The StarPhoenix (Saskatoon) – April 1, 2005

What's believed to be North America's first solar-powered subdivision is set to be built in southern Alberta. Government and private industry have teamed up to erect Drake Landing in Okotoks, just south of Calgary, where 52 homes will be almost totally heated by the sun's rays. Inspired by similar efforts in Europe, supporters of the solar-powered suburb hope neighbourhoods everywhere will emulate the project, said Alberta Senator Tommy Banks, chair of the upper chamber's natural resources committee. "This is an enormous achievement for Okotoks. It'll set an example, we hope, across the country for many years to come," said Banks. Ninety per cent of heating and hot-water needs in Drake Landing will be met by solar power, which will be generated by numerous panels and stored underground for winter use.