In one of Canada’s sunniest provinces, you can soak in plenty of daylight goodness year-round. In Banff, Alberta, the longest day of the year lasts over 16.5 hours. North of the border in Alaska, the town of Seward sees up to 19 hours on the longest day of the year.
These extra-long sunlight hours provide ample time to take in some of Pursuit’s most highly-coveted attractions—from wildlife and glacier cruises in Alaska to gondola rides up to the top of a Canadian Rockies' summit. Not only do the rays allow you to enjoy these adventures to their fullest extent, they help power them, too.
Stuart Back, Vice President of Operations at Pursuit’s Banff Jasper Collection, says that the use of solar energy aligns well with the company’s values, and that locations employing solar panels were strategically chosen to maximize positive impact to the environment.
With support from the Town of Banff and the Province of Alberta, solar panels were installed at several Pursuit Banff locations, directly aiding in reduced carbon emissions through lowered electricity consumption.
At five (soon to be six!) locations across Pursuit in Alberta and Alaska, solar panels are being used to aid as a supplemental power source. Here’s where you can find them:
Since first being installed in 2017, 153 modules of solar panels have aided in powering operations on property, which is home to 164 rooms and suites on Banff Avenue. This location was chosen because of its ability to accommodate the size of the arrays, allowing each installation to vastly contribute to the amount of total renewable energy used. Although just recently running live in April 2018, May alone generated over 7.5 megawatt hours of energy.
Nearly 20,000 kg of CO2 saved at Transportation Maintenance Facility.
The second location featuring the largest commercial solar arrays in Banff are found at Pursuit’s Transportation Maintenance Facility. First installed in 2015 and running live in May of 2016, over 51 megawatt hours of solar energy have been produced over the span of three years, directly lowering carbon emissions by reducing electricity consumption. Nearly 20,000 kilograms of CO2 emissions have been saved as a result.
While not employing arrays of solar panels in the traditional sense, the Banff Gondola uses the sun’s energy as a resource to warm up their water. From the roof of the Upper Terminal, cold water is fed into a grid of solar tubes and is heated up by sun exposure. Afterwards, it’s sent back to the facility for use. This reduces the amount of traditional energy needed in heating water. Learn more about the process at the Banff Gondola Interpretive Floor.
In the heart of Alaska’s Kenai Fjords National Park, you’ll find an experience to truly connect to the wilderness—enjoy a day of sea-kayaking on Resurrection Bay, then let its waters lull you to sleep while nestled in a private waterfront cabin. While there are no outlets in the cabin, the lights are powered by batteries charged by solar panels installed in 2012.
The larger nearby Day Lodge is where 40,000 guests per season enjoy a buffet restaurant, featuring three prime rib and salmon buffets. The power system here is operated by a propane generator, as well as two solar arrays that charge the lodge’s battery bank. From here, this DC power is run through inverters and converted to usable AC power. The first array was installed on the nearby beach in 2016, while the second was installed at the back of the building at the end of the same year.
Stay tuned for more news on solar energy used at the newly renovated Mount Royal Hotel, scheduled to reopen in July 2018, with plans of solar panel installation to come in the following year.
We are building a team of passionate people determined to make a difference in the places we love. Every effort counts. Meet more of them here and discover how Promise to Place is the real deal.
153 solar panels at Elk + Avenue Hotel generate over 7.5 megawatt hours of energy