2023 Award of Merit

City Hall Fleet Electric Vehicle Charging Stations and Solar Canopy

Owner: City of Burnaby  |  Burnaby, BC


About the Project

When the City of Burnaby declared a Climate Emergency in 2019, Binnie responded to the City’s Energy Strategy and Low Carbon Transition Plan by designing new electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure to power the City’s fleet vehicles.

Binnie’s scope of work included engineering services for the design and construction of 105 Level 2 EV charging stations at the City Hall Fleet Compound Lot. We designed a new solar panel canopy that generates revenue through BC Hydro’s Net Metering Program during times when the EV chargers are not in full use. This method aids in lowering peak power demand. In designing the solar panel, we observed the sun’s rotation to optimize the tilt of the solar canopy and maximize solar exposure at the charging station. The City is an active participant in the local film industry, so Binnie prioritized integrating a movie set power kiosk into our design to allow for movie equipment to be powered from the BC Hydro service instead of running on mobile diesel generators.

To further address the Climate Emergency, we upgraded the parking lot drainage system with a new storm water oil grit separator to prevent hydrocarbons and debris from entering the storm system. With the completion of this project, the City now has a fully electrified fleet that is projected to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) by 644 t of CO2. Further, this project will also help generate 53,566 kWh of electrical power back to the grid annually.

In addition, Binnie:

  • Designed electrical upgrades including undergrounding the existing 12.5 kV overhead lines on the property to a new junction box, a new 500 kVA Pad Mounted Transformer (PMT), and a power kiosk with a 208 V metered service
  • Designed and constructed a 29.25 kW solar panel canopy with connection to the BC Hydro grid
    Monitored local great blue heron bird nesting during construction
  • Protected large cedar trees and natural vegetation by keeping the footprint of the upgraded parking lot within existing limits


Binnie’s approach to this project included the following phases and tasks.


  • Reviewed fleet vehicle mileage and usage information to size the power distribution equipment, while also being careful not to oversize the equipment
  • Worked with the City to select a product that would meet their needs. The chargers include a power management system that limits peak power usage to limit BC Hydro costs and prevent overloading the power distribution equipment
  • Reviewed the sunlight levels in the parking lot to determine the best location and orientation of the solar canopy
  • Implemented improvements to the parking lot layout including adding an oil grit separator to capture hydrocarbons and debris from entering the City’s drainage system


  • Reviewed the power usage estimates to determine that a movie set power distribution kiosk could be added beside the new EV charger distribution kiosk
  • Monitored the local great blue heron population as to comply with the BC Wildlife Act and the Federal Migratory Birds Act
  • Completed the BC Hydro Complex Net Metering application and connected the solar panel to the BC Hydro grid
  • Worked with the City’s arborist to mitigate impacts to existing vegetation and trees during excavation around tree roots


This project successfully integrated technologies to reduce the carbon footprint of the City’s fleet and helped towards the City’s goal of achieving carbon neutrality by 2040. City Hall now has capacity to charge 105 EVs and will be well-prepared for a fully electrified fleet of vehicles that will further reduce the City’s reliance on fossil fuels. Binnie also provided a power distribution kiosk designed to allow for movie sets to connect to BC Hydro power instead of using diesel generators.

Service(s) Provided

Project Team (Consultants)
Cascadian Structural Engineering 
Kontur Geotechnical Consultants Envirowest Consultants

Project Team (Contractors)
Hyland Excavating 
Power Pros Electrical


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