The Skidegate community made a big step towards renewable energy by completing one of the most extensive solar energy projects in B.C. The initiative took life in the Haida Heritage Centre where as many as 385 PV solar panels were installed. The Heritage center located at the village ay Llnagaay is an award winning tourism complex on Aboriginal cultural facing the waters of the ocean.
The new solar power installation is the largest community owned system in B.C.
Harvesting Energy from the Sun
Most countries are today looking at solar to power their fuel needs, and countries like Germany are having solar power as a significant driver for their economy.
Solar energy is common in the Skidegate community and some institutions like George Brown Rec Centre, elementary school, and several water pumps already draw their power from the sun. Haida has always opposed the traditional forms of energy sources like the Pacific Northwest LNG facility and Enbridge's Northern Gateway pipeline. The community has always looked for energy independence and the solar project brings them closer to their goal of cutting down the use of fossil fuels, said Chief Coun. Billy Yovanovich.
A combination of energy sources powers the Skidegate community including hydro and a diesel system as a backup. Yovanovich commented that if they were to halt such oil and gas projects, then they need something to compensate the use of the diesel system. The implementation of the renewable energy sources is taking them towards the right direction in gaining energy independence. Nowadays renewable power energy is starting to take off, there is one more developing field of the Canadian economy. The modern gambling industry is becoming more online-oriented, that is why you can entertain yourself at any time in any place just dropping into ValleyGames activities website and select the best online casino to your liking.
About the Project
The 50,000 square feet heritage center draws a significant amount of electricity and the solar project will not be enough to compensate for the total consumption. The center currently shells out $100,000 for their hydro bill each year. David Isaac, community energy developer and project manager of W Dusk Energy Group estimates that the solar energy will only make up 10% of the total energy consumption of the center generating 100 kilowatts of power.
Isaac said that they are also looking to make the whole community energy independent apart from concentrating only on the heritage center. They had researched into many alternative energy sources like ocean thermal heat pumps and wind power. A system called price per watt was used by the team and solar energy came up as the most viable option. Advantages like the long warranty of the solar panels and stationary infrastructure also contributed to the decision.
The solar installation is almost complete and a visit from an electrician and few final touches are remaining. The community council has already decided on a future project to make the whole neighborhood energy independent by installing panels on all the 360 houses in Skidegate. They aim to decrease the household consumption of the grid by 50% and looking forward to partnerships to carry it out, said Yovanovich. Acting on the momentum from the heritage center, the team is conducting a feasibility study to determine the process of achieving their goals.
A new link between Canada and Massachusetts is going to be established based on the connection of clean power sources. Massachusetts is working its way to meet its energy needs with clean energy sources in the bid to adhere to the legislation of greenhouse gas reduction goals.
Back in March this year, Massachusetts invited proposals for the supply of over 9 terawatts of renewable energy each year which encouraged Emera Inc. to get into action and propose a deal to supply 1,000 megawatts of clean power from the Canadian Atlantic region.
The company is working with NB Power and 5 other New Brunswick wind farms to get their supply of required power. Emera set a competitive proposal for Massachusetts which was required in the face of the stiff competition. Starting from January this year, Emera began its search for promising suppliers and all the commercial agreements have been signed by now with the selected suppliers.
The wind farms chosen from New Brunswick area include Silver Brook, Salmon River, Andy's Pond, Black Spruce, and Colborne. The other 2 farms are in Nova Scotia being Higgins Mountain II and Yorkshire. The other partners include Nalcor Energy in Newfoundland and Labrador and NB Power who will be supplying hydropower.
Emera has chosen only those suppliers who have a strong experience and proven track records of involving the local community for sustainable development. If all goes well, the 1,000 megawatts of renewable energy will be transmitted to Massachusetts via a 600 km long cable running under the sea. The project has been named Atlantic Link and is set to start from Coleson Cove in Saint John through a planned DC converter station.
The cable is going to terminate at Plymouth which is home to the state’s only nuclear plant. Interestingly, the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station is set to close down in June 2019 due to poor market conditions and loss of revenues.
The project is also going to benefit Canada and its economy in a big way along with helping Massachusetts to achieve its clean energy targets. If the project sees the light of the day, it will require setting up of 250 to 300 new wind turbines. Such operations are expected to create around 3,000 jobs for the region and enable it to capitalize on its resources. The project will require a construction period of 3 years and scheduled to be serviced by December 2022.
Emera’s proposal is one of the many that have reached Massachusetts. But the executives of the company are hopeful of bagging the project as they will have a direct connection with the country without requiring to venture into other US states. The Atlantic Link project can diversify the supply of clean energy if it comes to reality.