Building Magazine


Drake Landing Solar Community receives global recognition

The Drake Landing Solar Community project in Okotoks, Alberta has won the Energy Globe World Award in the FIRE category and the overall Golden Energy Globe World Award at the Energy Globe Foundation Annual Awards. The awards are open to projects from around the world, and more than 40 nations celebrated the awards ceremony in Austria in November.

John Kokko, the system designer and commissioning agent from Enermodal Engineering who oversaw the construction and commissioning for this project, says “This is truly a world first and we are extremely proud to have been part of such an illustrious and visionary team who have not only made this project a reality but one that has actually met its performance goals.”

The audience of over 1,000 invited guests had the final word and chose the award recipient from five individual categories. The golden Energy Globe Statue was presented by Austrian economics minister Reinhold Mitterlehner and Energy Globe founder Wolfgang Neumann to Doug McClenahan of Natural Resources Canada, who initiated and led the development of this innovative project. “It is nice to receive this international recognition and we look forward to working with many of the same team members on a much larger project,” he said as he accepted the award on behalf of the Drake Landing Solar Community team.

The Drake Landing Solar Community is a unique community development: 90% of space heating needs and 60% of hot water heating for 52 single-detached homes are met by solar energy, a feat unprecedented anywhere else in the world. The DLSC is the first major North American implementation of seasonal solar thermal energy storage, in which solar energy is collected in the summer, stored underground, and then returned to the homes as heat during the winter. The Okotoks solar community achieved 86% solar fraction (a world record) for its rooftop solar thermal systems in 2011. The ultimate goal is over 90% in 2012.

The project has won various other awards including

  • 2007 Solar Thermal Project of the Year, Canadian Solar Industries Association
  • 2006 Climate Change Award, Alberta Emerald Foundation
  • 2005 Gold Award in the Environmentally Sustainable Project section of the International Awards for Liveable Communities


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