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Your City Hall

Integrated Solar Project

Breaking News! Summerland has received $100,000 in grant funding from the BC Government’s Rural Dividend Fund in support of the municipality’s Integrated Solar project. Click here to read the full news release.

The District of Summerland wishes to become a leader in the utilization of renewable energy to create economic benefits for the community and will, through the efficient generation and use of solar energy, advance this goal.

Taking the three-pronged approach described below, The District will strengthen its existing utility resource, enhance the local economy and create jobs, increase energy security and independence, support innovation, and attract new residents and visitors, particularly young people and skilled tradespersons. Further, this project will form the basis for an integrated, long-term approach to sustainable energy management within The District, which will provide ongoing opportunities for job creation, community involvement, and partnerships with local businesses, schools, and not-for-profit groups.

The District’s multi-faceted approach to maximizing the utilization of our solar resources is:

  1. Create an affordable and easy-to-navigate pathway for residents and businesses to install solar technologies on their property
  2. Build a detailed project plan for the development of District-owned solar energy generation resources in the most beneficial way(s) possible and prepare for implementation of the plan
  3. Establish an energy efficiency program that provides resources and education to residents and businesses about sustainable energy use, and incentivizes them to save energy.

Solar Energy Community Conversation

On February 16, 2017, The District of Summerland hosted its first Solar Energy Community Conversation, exploring the question “What is Summerland’s Future in Solar?”

Over 100 attendees came to listen to presentations regarding the possibilities for solar energy in our community, and to discuss what the future of solar in Summerland could be.

Copies of the presentation slides are below:

Tami Rothery, Sustainability / Alternative Energy Coordinator, District of Summerland

Tami shared information about the current grid configuration in Summerland, and the opportunities that renewables offer our community. She also shared the importance of energy conservation and reducing and reusing waste heat, as well as the need to consider all aspects of renewable technologies, including life-cycle emissions, cost, and benefits to the community.

Finally, Ms. Rothery presented some information about Kimberley’s SunMine project, as a representative from Kimberley was unable to attend this event.

Community Conversation - Feb 16 Presentation (Tami Rothery)
Community Conversation - Feb 16 Presentation (SunMine)

Carmen Proctor, Eco-save Program Coordinator, City of Nelson

Carmen presented information about The City of Nelson’s Community Solar Garden Project, and the benefits that project has offered to their community and their utility. Nelson is one of the few municipalities in BC to own their own electrical utility, so this project has great relevance for Summerland.

Community Conversation - Feb 16 Presentation (Carmen Proctor)

Rob St. Onge, Energy Manager, Okanagan College

Rob shared Okanagan College’s experiences with renewable energy technologies and energy conservation at their various campuses. With a variety of systems in place, Okanagan College offers an excellent set of case studies about how these technologies perform in the real world, and what considerations energy generators need to plan for as they implement renewable technologies. 

Community Conversation - Feb 16 Presentation (Rob St. Onge)

Ron Percival, Bench Consulting Inc.

Ron gave an overview of global solar markets and the incredible growth in solar energy production around the world. He highlighted the drivers and benefits of solar for communities and gave some practical information about the different types of mounting systems and the requirements for each. Ron’s presentation highlighted the bright future of solar energy and the possibilities for Summerland to take advantage of this energy generation technology.

Community Conversation - Feb 16 Presentation (Ron Percival)

Community Conversation

Following the presentations, participants broke out into table groups to discuss the question “What is Summerland’s future in solar?” with the following supplementary questions being offered to keep conversation flowing: “What are the community’s responsibilities when it comes to energy sourcing? What about the District’s?” and “Does a solar energy project ‘fit’ in Summerland? How/not?". A designated note-taker at each table captured the comments made in those discussions, and those notes are transcribed here.

At the end of the event, participants were asked to complete a brief survey regarding solar energy and their reactions to the information presented. The results of those surveys can be seen here.

Please contact Tami Rothery, Sustainability / Alternative Energy Coordinator at 250-404-4068 or trothery@summerland.ca for more information, or to be added to the solar energy contact list to be kept informed of other upcoming solar related events.