EcoSmart was the initial driving force behind SunMine, a one Megawatt photovoltaic plant on a reclaimed industrial site in Kimberley, BC.
For a century, the Sullivan mine was the largest lead mine in Canada and the main economic engine for Kimberley, BC. It ceased operation in 2001, leaving behind a huge industrial brownfield site and an industrial town with a need to reinvent itself.
Fortunately, the region has another underdeveloped resource: one of the highest solar energy intensities in Canada with cold, clear, sunny winter conditions propitious to high efficiency of photovoltaic systems. The “SunMine ™” – or “Mining the Sun ™” project was born out of the realization that the Sullivan brownfield with its heritage infrastructure, including roads, high-voltage transmission lines and sub-stations, could be re-developed to take advantage of Kimberley’s solar energy potential. The sheer size of the land available (3,000 Ha) coupled with exceptional solar conditions (2,200 hrs per year) gives “SunMine” the potential to be the largest solar farm in Canada.