Kimberley’s SunMine solar farm shines in first full year of operation

The $5.3-million project began commercial operation in mid-2015.

KIMBERLEY, B.C. — A former lead and zinc mine in southeastern British Columbia has generated a small profit in its first full year of operation as a solar farm.

A report by city staff in Kimberley shows the community-owned SunMine project returned just over $12,600 in net profit on total annual revenues of just under $180,000 in 2016.

The $5.3-million project began commercial operation in mid-2015.

The city says SunMine is the first to gather and sell solar power to the BC Hydro grid.

Mayor Don McCormick says Kimberley is looking for a purchaser who will expand what the city says is B.C.’s largest solar project and Canada’s largest solar tracking facility.

He says smoky conditions and other problems cut into electricity production late last summer but that has not dampened interest from potential buyers who have offered unique ideas about the expansion of SunMine.

“This past year really wasn’t a great sunshine year,” he said. “We had smoke in August. There have been a whole number of issues with the amount of sunshine that we have been getting, and despite that we came in at just under 95 per cent of what our projections are going to be.”


The Canadian Press