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Drake Landing Solar Community wins international award


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March 5, 2012

The Drake Landing Solar Community project in Okotoks, Alberta, has won the 2011 Energy Globe World Award. The annual award recognizes innovative renewable energy and energy efficiency projects around the world. Project leader Doug McClenahan accepted the prize on behalf of Natural Resources Canada’s (NRCan’s) CanmetENERGY research centre in Ottawa.

As mentioned in the August 2011 issue of Heads Up Energy Efficiency, the Drake Landing Solar Community project incorporates renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies.

A solar-powered central district heating system provides 100 percent of the community’s space-heating requirements. By relying on solar power instead of fossil fuels, each home reduces greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by five tonnes per year.

The community’s energy centre is linked to an underground thermal energy storage system. Solar-heated water is pumped into an underground network of 144 boreholes. The storage system retains enough energy to provide most of the heat for the community’s homes during the coldest winter months.

During the winter, low sun angles and cloudy skies reduce the availability of energy from the sun. By storing solar energy, the Drake Landing project has demonstrated that these barriers can be overcome.

Energy efficiency measures also play an important role in the project’s success. The community’s 52 houses are 30 percent more efficient that conventionally built houses. The community is the largest subdivision of R-2000* single family homes in Canada.

For more information, read the detailed case study. From Heads Up Energy Efficiency – February 2012


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