The local rink in Kensington, P.E.I. — the Credit Union Centre — will soon be getting a new solar panel system. The town will also be getting an upgraded water system.
The projects will be funded by all three levels of government. Ottawa is investing more than $1.7 million combined for both projects. The P.E.I. government is providing more than $1.4 million, and the Town of Kensington is investing more than $1.1 million.
The rink upgrade project includes the installation of a 100-kilowatt solar panel system, new ice-making technology, LED lights and a resurfaced parking lot.
"Doing everything we can for reducing carbon footprint, that's important. It's important for the province and important for all of us," said Kensington Mayor Rowan Caseley.
Caseley says the solar panels on the arena will benefit the entire community by reducing operating costs, which in turn will lower expenses for the town and people who use the rink.
The panels will also supply a significant part of the electricity the rink needs to run, Caseley explained.
"We know that it would take about a 250-kilowatt solar panel to actually supply all of our electricity. So if we can get 100 kilowatt in, that's getting close to a third of our usage here," he said, adding it's all the more important given recent high energy costs.
The city is hoping to have all of the updates to the rink done by sometime in 2023, he said. Some upgrades like installing the LED lighting will need to wait until the summer, once the ice from the rink is removed.
"We've got an old rink here but if we continue to invest in the rink, continue [to put] money into it and keep the infrastructure solid and sound, I think it'll last," Caseley said.
Water system also getting an update
Also part of the funding is a $2.1-million water and sewer project along Kensington's Broadway Street. The extended water system will serve residents and commercial buildings in hopes of reducing the number of wells within the town.
"This investment will improve the quality of life for residents and the growth and development of the community," said P.E.I. Premier Dennis King in a news release.