Big Lakes County to participate in energy infastructure project

Big Lakes County is one of four communities that has been chosen to participate in QUEST’s ‘Planning for Resilient Energy Infrastructure in Alberta’ project.

Zach Thompson, sustainability officer for Big Lakes County, spoke to the Trending 55 Newsroom in regards to QUEST, and what it means for Big Lakes County to participate in the infrastructure project.

“Well, QUEST is all about resilient energy infrastructure in Alberta, so the project’s a one year project designed to help Albertan communities adapt their energy infrastructure to impact increasing extreme events.”

The project is advertised to help communities cope with extreme weather events, and provide research on how weather events can disrupt energy systems.

“Things like flooding, forest fires, drought, things like that, that’re definitely possible in Northern Alberta,” Thompson stated were all examples of extreme events that QUEST researches the effects of.

QUEST advertises itself as a ‘national non-government organization that works to accelerate the adoption of efficient and integrated community-scale energy systems in Canada by informing, inspiring, and connecting decision-makers’.

“The big benefit, really, is the data gathered during the workshop and the survey, as municipalities will receive a report of climate risks and vulnerabilities. So, it’ll present climate hazards for things like flooding, forest fires, and let us map our assets, and sort of let us and commit a risk assessment for our emergency processes. And it gives us recommendations for municipalities, like if we’re looking at integrating things into our asset manager plan, our emergency public response plan, or other key documents. So it just really helps inform us of what could happen and how we can be more resilient to it.”

Thompson states that participating in QUEST’s project will come at no cost to the municipality.

“Everything’s funded through a grant from the Commission of Environmental Cooperation. So there is funding from a not-for-profit, but there is no cost to the municipality.”

-Ridley Reiser, Trending 55 Newsroom

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