THUNDER BAY, ONT. — Marten Falls First Nation and Aecon Group Inc. recently announced they have signed a memorandum of understanding to explore a solar energy pilot project to reduce dependence on diesel fuel consumption in Marten Falls, located in northwestern Ontario.
The project involves installing a solar power generation system built on a self-support, surface-mount foundation including battery storage, an energy management system and an electrical interface connection to the existing Hydro One Remote Communities Inc. substation, explained a recent release. The design is meant for remote northern climates and is capable of producing significantly more energy than standard fixed-mount solar panels by maximizing solar irradiance.
As part of the planning process, and in efforts to maximize the utilization of existing machinery available in the community, the parties will explore and develop training programs for the Marten Falls members to repair and operate heavy equipment and machinery. The statement said this step could pave the way for community members to play an important role in construction of the solar energy system if the project proceeds to development.
“Aecon is pleased to partner with Marten Falls First Nation to explore this innovative renewable energy solution which supports Canada’s carbon reduction strategy through diesel abatement,” said Jean-Louis Servranckx, president and CEO of Aecon, in the statement.
Marten Falls is located 100 kilometres south of the mineral-rich Ring of Fire region. Last fall the First Nation engaged the consulting engineering firm Aecom to facilitate an environmental assessment and do preliminary design work on a proposed all-season road to the Ring of Fire.