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Village of Silverton joins renewable energy movement

The Village of Silverton voted Monday to join the Green Energy, Economy movement. — Screenshot photo

The Village of Silverton is teaming up with other West Kootenay communities, like Rossland, Nelson, and the Regional District of Central Kootenay, in going green — Green energy, green economy.

In a vote during Monday’s (July 9) meeting, Silverton’s Village Council has passed a resolution to transition to 100% renewable energy no later than 2050, joining New Denver and Slocan in their commitment to a cleaner, healthier, safer community and a stronger economy for the Slocan Valley.

“Moving to 100% renewable energy is the only way we as a society will be able to continue to thrive. It’s easily as important as reliable high speed internet and local sustainable agriculture,” said Mayor Jason Clarke.

The move makes the West Kootenay one of the largest geographic areas in the country to commit to the transition to clean energy with more than 9,000 people in the region having signed on for healthy communities and cleaner energy.

“I am so pleased that Silverton passed this resolution unanimously,” said Councillor Leah Main.

“The commitment toward renewable energy by 2050 is a natural complement to work we are already doing in our Climate Adaptation Initiative with Selkirk College RDI, community energy audits with the Community Energy Association, and our participation in RDCK’s Community Sustainable Living Service.

“We are thrilled to be collaborating with other West Kootenay communities in this significant work.”

The new green deal was spearheaded by West Kootenay EcoSociety, which during a presentation to Silverton’s village council in June, outlined the benefits of transitioning to 100% renewable energy and proposing the steps to support the village to develop a strategy to achieve 100% renewable energy by 2050.

“We found it easy to engage with residents and businesses in Silverton,” said Montana Burgess, West Kootenay EcoSociety executive director. "We quickly saw the support for the clean energy transition here, which is important to show Council when they’re making their decision."

“The people and local governments of the Slocan Valley recognize the need to build resilient and healthy communities. They are bringing this global movement to the local level to tackle carbon pollution and encourage good, long lasting jobs right in their own backyard. Silverton is a special place. I think residents here want to keep it safe, beautiful and liveable for a long time to come.”

EcoSociety is working with these local governments to develop a West Kootenay 100% Renewable Energy Plan to achieve the clean energy transition while building stronger communities. This plan is set to be released in 2020 with opportunities for residents to provide their input and ideas over the coming months.

The West Kootenay EcoSociety said shifting to 100% renewable energy means by 2050 Silverton will be carbon-neutral in heating and cooling, electricity, transportation, and waste management throughout the community.

More than a hundred cities in the US have committed to 100% renewable energy along with over 150 others around the world.

The West Kootenay EcoSociety will be presenting to Castlegar City Council on July 15 to show the support for the renewable energy transition and ask Castlegar to consider signing on. 

Residents and Village Council celebrate Silverton’s commitment to 100% Renewable Kootenays. — Submitted photo