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Monthly Archives: February 2022

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16 02, 2022

Solar is booming all over. Where is BC?

By |2022-03-10T16:00:01-08:00February 16th, 2022|Categories: Solar News|

It looks like the German government is (finally) getting serious about decarbonizating their energy by massively investing equally in wind and solar energy and many other countries are doing likewise. Germany, which receives between 15 and 35% less sunshine than BC, already has 60,000 MW of solar PV. BC has a piddly 50 MW! Between now and 2030 – the period that the IPCC identified as absolutely critical (‘Code Red’ in their words) in getting a handle on climate change – Germany will install 15,500 MW of solar every year. Adjusted for population, BC would be installing 950 MW of solar annually. This may sound like a lot, and let’s face it, it is, but we missed the ferry on decarbonization a long time ago. Now have to scramble to switch to non carbon-emitting energies like solar, wind and geothermal at 5-7% a year to meet BC’s climate commitments. We are embarrassing laggards when it comes to cleaning up our energy arena, where almost 80% of the energy consumed still comes from burning fossil fuels – with about half going to transportation and another large proportion to heating water and buildings.  To stop burning stuff, we need to electrify. Installing those 950 MW solar on rooftops, box stores, parking lots, under transmission lines, on reservoirs (floatovoltacis), farms (agrivoltaics) and brown fields is highly feasible and would cost less than $2 billion a year. For every MW installed, BC would save over 1140 metric tonnes of CO2e over burning fossil fuels (methane, propane, gasoline, diesel) – that would go a rather long way to the urgently needed decarbonization of the BC energy system. It would also create about 15 local jobs for each MW.

The time to sit on the fence expired a couple of decades ago. We must act now, and it looks the little people have to lead the way while the politicians discuss transition fuels, or the rainbow colours of hydrogen and other pies in the sky. We have the tools, and the technology. Now we must find the will and money to handle the crisis. What are we waiting for?

Tom Mommsen & Risa Smith, SSREC

15 02, 2022

Canada Greener Homes Grant Assessments

By |2022-03-26T10:45:44-07:00February 15th, 2022|Categories: Grants, SSREC News|

Many of you may have applied for the Canada Greener Homes Grant, which provides up to $5,000 for energy efficient retrofits to your homes. These highly recommended grants include the ability to install solar energy systems ($1,000 per kW, to a maximum of 5 kW).  However, these applications require an assessment by a certified EnerGuide evaluator and this has been a bottleneck in people accessing these funds. 

SSREC has now arranged for a certified evaluator to come to Galiano, which is the first step in accessing these grants. If you have applied for the program and are interested in our evaluator coming to your home on Galiano please send an email to SSRECcghg@gmail.com.  Please indicate clearly if you are interested in installing solar as part or all of your retrofit. Note that the cost of evaluation is around $1,300 (ouch!), but the federal government will provide a $600 reimbursement on top of the grant (eventually). If you haven’t applied yet, there is still time to do so. It saves you money and is definitely good for the environment. Let us know and we’ll send you information on our assessor that is needed to complete the application. 

Contact: SSRECcghg@gmail.com

15 02, 2022

Solar Bulk Buy in 2022

By |2022-03-25T16:26:04-07:00February 15th, 2022|Categories: Bulk Purchases, SSREC News|

We are delighted to announce that SSREC is organizing a bulk buy of solar this year, although our approach has changed somewhat. Our volunteers were a little overwhelmed by the size and scope of our last bulk buy in 2020/2021 which was complicated by following strict Covid-19 protocols, those tedious supply chain issues and logistics challenges from having to juggle demand from half a dozen islands. Yes, it was frustrating, but in the end, solar is ‘up’ and doing its magic, supplying electricity from the sun quietly, reliably and inexpensively. This year, there will be less waiting for the installation since we plan to hit the virtual ‘order and install’ button as soon as we have commitments from 3 to 5 solar enthusiasts in one area. Regrettably, the smaller bulk means that ‘bulk’ discount will be smaller than in previous years, but still worth it.

If you are interested in going solar, please send an email to SSRECinfo@gmail.com and we’ll do an initial free assessment of solar feasibility and start a conversation on what solar can do for you and answer any questions you may have about solar. If everything checks out and solar looks promising, we usually proceed to an on-site assessment to confirm measurements & status of roof, examine compatibility with your electrical system and perform an in-depth shading analysis – for a small fee. Only when you are completely happy with the information received, do we ask our installers for a binding quote for your solar system, including installation, registration with the utility and permitting – the works.  When contacting us, please provide a street address and  if google maps can’t find you or puts the marker into the middle of the shrubbery – as it often does around the islands – we will also need Latitude-Longitude coordinates. You can find those on your cell-phone. Or ask us for instructions on how to find the coordinates.

Contact: SSRECinfo@gmail.com

14 02, 2022

Update on Solar Installations

By |2022-03-10T15:59:47-08:00February 14th, 2022|Categories: SSREC News|

We’re very happy to report that SSREC has now installed more than 100 solar systems around the Salish Sea, with over 2500 solar panels (>800 kW) generating about 800,000 kWh of electricity a year. Most importantly, the combined annual savings in carbon emissions approach 200 metric tonnes of CO2e over electricity from hydropower.

Tom Mommsen & Risa Smith, SSREC

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