By Nikki Jamieson
Westwind Weekly News
The Town of Raymond has been named a winner of a national sustainable community award.
The town is a winner of the 2020 Sustainable Communities Award for exceptional work in Energy, which aims to honour innovative environmental initiatives in communities across the county. They are among a group of 11 municipalities chosen by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) for their efforts in one of nine categories for asset management, brownfields, climate change, energy, neighbourhoods, transportation, waste, water and a new category in honour of GMF’s 20th anniversary.
“The Town of Raymond has a proud 20th-century pioneer history and we are pleased to be able to carry that tradition into the 21st century. By securing a carbon-free power source to offset our entire municipal operations, we have improved fiscal certainty in our budgeting processes as well as helping us become more environmentally sustainable in our operations. Raymond is incredibly proud to be Canada’s first Municipality to become net-zero electrically. Looking beyond election cycles, securing our future, and positioning Raymond for continued success long after our time on Council has passed,” said Jim Depew, Mayor, Town of Raymond The town won the energy award for their Raymond Electrical Net Zero project, which saw the town install a series of solar PV systems to reduce their GHG emissions and save on costs. Nearly 3,000 solar modules were installed on nine municipal buildings and land, including the town hall, aquatic centre, fire hall and arena. The solar arrays will save nearly 700 tonnes of CO2 per year and generate over 1,300 MWh of renewable electricity annually, meeting 100 per cent of the electricity needs of the town’s operations. Raymond is also the first municipality in Alberta to be netzero electrically.
“Local solutions—scaled up— deliver major national impact, like economic growth and the emission reductions Canada needs to meet its climate change goals.
“Whether it is through improved energy efficiency, fewer greenhouse gas emissions or stronger local infrastructure, local governments get the job done efficiently and cost-effectively because they connect solutions to local needs and local realities. This year’s FCM Sustainable Communities Award winners embody those principles of sustainability and collaboration. Moreover, they exemplify how municipal innovation can have concrete impacts and deliver for Canadians,” said Bill Karsten, president of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities.
The Sustainable Communities Awards is an initiative of FCM’s Green Municipal Fund GMF, a $1 billion program delivered through the Federation of Canadian Municipalities and funded by the Government of Canada.
Winners will be honoured at FCM’s virtual Sustainable Communities Conference, which goes Oct. 20-22, where they will each deliver a live, TED-talk-style presentation on their projects. Recipients in each category are also eligible for the Inspire Award, given to the most creative and innovative project following the conference.