International Sun Day

May 3 is International Sun Day - a chance for people to think about the paramount importance of the sun. There are around 100 billion stars in the Milky Way galaxy, but the star at the centre of our solar system is perfectly placed to give life on Earth all of the energy it needs to thrive. 

The place on Earth where the planet faces the sun receives 1,360 watts of energy per square metre. This energy, also known as the “solar constant,” is one of our most important natural resources. 

The solar constant has not changed in 400 years. The reason that rapid global warming is happening now is that more of the sun’s bountiful energy is being trapped on the planet’s surface by the record-breaking amounts of carbon dioxide we’re creating by burning fossil fuels. 

While International Sun Day has traditionally been focused on how the sun affects physical and spiritual well-being, it has also become a day where we look to the sun as a source of renewable energy.

HalifACT and other climate plans are dedicated to bringing carbon dioxide emissions down. One of the most important ways we are going to cut emissions is by switching from fossil fuels to solar energy. 

Solar on municipal buildings

The municipality is installing rooftop solar panel systems at eight municipal sites across the region, with installations expected to be completed by the end of 2025 at these locations: 

  • Keshen Goodman Library 
  • Ragged Lake Transit Centre
  • East Preston Community Centre
  • North Preston Community Centre
  • Carroll’s Corner Community Centre 
  • Sackville Sports Stadium
  • Wallace Lucas Community Centre
  • Sackville Bus Terminal

These installations add to the five that were installed between fall 2022 and summer 2023 at the Acadia Centre, Dartmouth North Community Centre, Halifax Commons Aquatics Facility, Kiwanis Grahams Grove Community Building and Mackintosh Depot.

Altogether, the rooftop solar panel installations are expected to produce an abundance of renewable energy and save hundreds of thousands of dollars in electricity costs each year.

Solar City

The Solar City program provides property owners in the Halifax region financing for installing solar energy. Over the past decade, Solar City has shown that solar isn’t just better for the environment, it also saves residents a significant amount of money. Delivering $27 million in financing and around 8.5 MW of solar power throughout its history, Solar City saves residents $1.8 million a year in energy costs.

Most important for the climate, the program prevents 7,500 tonnes of carbon dioxide from being pumped into the atmosphere every year. 

Find everything you need to get started below.