September 20, 2019

Let the sun shine down: Six things to know about solar at the Edmonton Convention Centre

With a rainy start to the summer, you might not believe Edmonton is Canada’s second sunniest city. Our city receives an average of 2,345 hours of bright sunshine a year and as many as 325 days per year with sun.

With its flat, sloped roof built into the banks of Edmonton’s river valley, the Edmonton Convention Centre is the ideal structure in the perfect location for harnessing the strong sun’s energy. That’s why the City of Edmonton recently announced a $10.8 million atrium modernization project which includes the replacement of the venue’s 35-year-old skylight units with photovoltaic (solar) glass units.

Here’s six things to know about solar at the Edmonton Convention Centre:

  1. Our solar installation will be the largest of its kind in Canada. All 696 glass panels on the Edmonton Convention Centre atrium will be replaced, with photovoltaic panels replacing approximately 50 per cent of the existing glass.
  2. Once complete, we will be producing nearly 300,000 kwh of renewable energy every year. That’s about enough electricity to power 32 Albertan homes for one year.
  3. We’re getting a special kind of solar panel that is built into the glass of our building. Different from the traditional solar panel we are used to seeing, our photovoltaic cells will be laminated into the glass of our building. That means we’ll still get a lot of natural light beaming into our famous atrium.
  4. Construction is set to be completed by mid-2020, with scaffolding moving in phases throughout the building. We’re still open for business! We’re working closely with the construction manager to minimize the impact on the client and guest experience.
  5. The new glass will be more air-tight. With these improvements, we expect the atrium to be 10% more efficient at managing temperature than before.
  6. The installation is tested and built to withstand extreme temperatures. Designed by Dialog and built by Bird Construction, the product has undergone extensive testing to withstand the extreme cold, windy, rainy and snowy conditions we enjoy in the winter months.

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