The southern Alberta city of Medicine Hat is pulling the plug on a $13-million concentrated solar power facility after operating it for about five years.
The project’s goal was to test whether the technology was a feasible way to employ the sun’s heat to replace some of the natural gas used to make steam at the city-owned power plant, said Coun. Phil Turnbull, chairman of the city’s utility committee.
The answer, unfortunately, was no, as the project’s small and unreliable contribution to the community’s power needs didn’t justify the cost of maintaining its rows of mirrors and pipes through snowy winters and dusty summer days, he said.
“I think people sometimes look at what we did and say, ’What a waste of money.’ But it wouldn’t have been a waste if it had been successful in taking it to the next step,” Turnbull said Thursday.
It was a waste of money, Phil.