Washington, Dec 30 (ANI): The Canadians have set up the first solar powered community in North America.
According to a report in ENN (Environmental News Network), the community, named the Drake Landing Solar Community (DLSC) is located in the town of Okotoks, Alberta, and consists of 52 houses all powered by solar energy.
The system that links the community together is ingenious. It stores the summer months' excess energy underground for it to be put to use in the extremely cold winter months that Alberta is notorious for.
A total of 800 solar panels located on garage roofs throughout the community generate 1.5 megawatts of thermal power during a typical summer day, according to the project's organizers.
The engineers have said that in five years' time, they'll be able to capture enough summer energy to provide more than 90 percent of the space heating needs of the homes during the winter months.
DLSC's underground energy storage system is unique in the world.
Dubbed the Borehole Thermal Energy Storage(BTES), the unit links all the newly built, single detached homes together.
The rest of the building efforts have been as green as possible and the entire community has been awarded gold-certified status under the Built Green Alberta program.
That program in turn is modeled on NRCan's EnerGuide for New Houses Program. All of them have rear garages separated from the houses via a breezeway.
The best news is of course the low carbon footprint of the people that occupy the houses.
A typical household will generate only 1 to 2 tonnes of greenhouse gas annually, compared to an average Canadian footprint of around 6 to 7 tonnes per home a year. (ANI)