State-of-the-art climate research centre officially opens on P.E.I.

Prince Edward Island is home to a new one-of-a-kind facility.

The University of Prince Edward Island’s new climate research centre officially opened Thursday.

It’s quite a sight to see when you come over the hill into Saint Peters Bay.

It’s a state-of-the-art, net zero emission, teaching and research centre.

“The centre, not only being a place where we can teach and research, really puts Prince Edward Island on the map, on the international map for climate change research,” said Adam Fenech, director of the UPEI Climate Lab.

The labs at the centre are working on food security and sustainability, coastal erosion, and climate modeling.

They’re also looking at ways to support agriculture.

“We have developed that sprayer which is smart, it’s based on deep learning and artificial intelligence,” said Aitazaz Farooque, researcher and associate dean of the UPEI School of Climate Change and Adaptation. “It does make a decision on the go and applies agrochemicals based on the need.”

His ground-based prototype drone is one of the many. The centre features the biggest fleet of drones at any university in the country.

The provincial and federal governments spent a combined $10 million on the project.

“We’re trying to find a way, like every other jurisdiction, with how to marry the economy with that,” said P.E.I. Premier Dennis King. “I think there’s economic benefits in the future from this investment, but I also think it’s an investment we can’t afford not to make.

Dozens of students and academics are already at work hoping to make the grade when it comes to climate change.