REGINA -- Regina’s newest swimming pool is more than just a place to cool off. Solar panels on the roof are feeding energy to a mini-power plant beneath the facility.

Following renovations, Maple Leaf pool is partially powered by solar panels.

Southern Saskatchewan has proven a strong location for solar energy production, and the City of Regina is working to capitalize on the opportunity.

“Right now we have a consultant onboard. We’re working on an energy sustainability framework and they’re compiling all the data now for the community as a whole,” Greg Kuntz, manager of energy and sustainability for the City of Regina, said.

As energy prices climb, the City of Regina believes there will soon be a tipping point where renewable energy will be both environmentally friendly and equally cost effective.

A Regina fire hall was first to get solar panels. The next city owned facility to feature solar power will be the new Wascana Pool. Construction is now underway.

SaskPower feeds 2.4 MW of solar energy into the grid through various partnerships with 45 additional projects in the works.

The latest completion is at Ocean Man First Nation with solar power for 200 homes.

“It’s great what they were able to get accomplished. During COVID times it’s never easy to undertake new projects but they managed to get this up and running,” Scott McGregor, spokesperson for SaskPower said.