Big solar systems not the solution for city of Winnipeg: professor

An engineer urged Winnipeg city councilors to “move ahead cautiously” on solar power investments.

Robert Parsons, who has been working with his students at the Asper School of Business on a review of the economics of solar compared to other energy sources, said it is “not economical to go down this path.”

He presented his advice on Monday to councilors on the innovation committee, which is looking at options for the use of solar energy for park and street lighting, charging stations and powering buildings.

Manitoba has statistically the lowest energy prices in North America and the province will soon be awash in more electricity, Parsons said.

“When Keeyask comes on board, we will have a lot more electricity than we’ll know what to do with,” said Parsons about the 695-megawatt generating station under construction in northern Manitoba that’s expected to be completed in 2022.

Not only does Manitoba have megawatts of hydropower to spare, but Parsons also said it is a very clean source of power that is delivered with low greenhouse gas emissions.

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