Integrated Solar Project
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:
- Create an affordable and easy-to-navigate pathway for residents and businesses to install solar technologies on their property
- Establish an energy efficiency program that provides resources and education to residents and businesses about sustainable energy use, and incentivizes them to save energy
- 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
Distributed Generation (Net Metering) Program
Through our Distributed Generation Program, the District of Summerland allows customers with small (30kW or less), inverter–based, distributed generation systems that utilize a low carbon or renewable energy source such as solar or wind, to be connected to the Summerland Distribution System (Summerland’s electric grid).
Click Here for more information on Summerland's Distributed Generation Program.
Being more efficient with energy in the first place is the best way to maximize investments in renewables. This concept of saving energy rather than making it is sometimes called generating "Negawatts". The improvements made also often lead to lower bills as well as healthier and more comfortable buildings.
The District of Summerland is committed to reducing our own energy use, and helping our residents and businesses to do the same. Visit our Climate Action webpage for more information on available resources and tips to help you be more energy efficient.
District-Owned Solar Facilities
In 2018, The District of Summerland partnered with the Solar Now organization to install solar arrays on the Arts & Cultural Centre and Municipal Hall. Thanks to generous matching funding from the North Growth Foundation, these buildings will have a combined total of over 22 kW of solar panels, producing almost 30,000 kWh of power each year.
To see how much energy is being produced by the panels in real time, click the links below:
Arts & Cultural Centre: Click Here
Municipal Hall: Click Here
The District also has a solar hot water installation on the Aquatic Centre that has been reducing natural gas use in that facility since 2010.
Summerland’s Solar+Storage Project
Click Here for a list of Questions & Answers about the project
updated July 2020
In 2016, the District was successful in obtaining grant funding from the Province of British Columbia’s Rural Dividend Program ($100,000) which allowed the District to hire industry experts to provide analysis of the technical and financial feasibility of a local solar energy generation project and to assist with a review of possible locations.
In March 2018, Summerland conditionally received $6,000,000 in grant funding from the Federal Gas Tax Fund in support of Summerland's Solar+Storage Project. Click here to read the full news release. The award conditions were confirmed as being met in 2019, and a contribution agreement for the funding was signed, securing the grant.
Click Here to view a copy of the Pre-Feasibility Study completed for the project.
Click Here to view a copy of the System Impact & Interconnection Study completed for the project.
Click Here to view a copy of the updated Financial Analysis completed for the project and released by Council in July 2020 (partially redacted).
Click Here to view the cash flow summaries from the Financial Analysis completed for the project and released by Council in July 2020.
Following a thorough review of all District-owned property over 0.5 acres in size in consideration of the project site, the District’s former Public Works yard & storage area located at 13500 Prairie Valley Road/12591 Morrow Avenue/Denike Street was approved by Council as the prime potential location for the project.
Click Here to view documents presented to council regarding the site selection process.
At the direction of Council, a series of detailed site analyses were completed in order to confirm the suitability of the prime potential location, including: an environmental inventory and environmental site assessment mapping; a geotechnical assessment; a contaminated soils assessment; a preliminary financial analysis; a review for known on-site first nations values; and installation of a solar monitoring station.
These analyses determined that no significant technical barriers to proceeding with the prime potential site exist that would deem the site infeasible for the purposes of the Solar+Storage Project. Some remediation work required to safely dispose of hazardous materials present on site in a way that minimizes risk to workers and the public was identified, which will be completed as part of the site preparation (construction).
Copies of the staff report to Council outlining these analyses, as well as the corresponding technical reports are linked below:
Council Report - Solar+Storage Project - Detailed Site Analyses Results
Summerland Solar & Storage Project Environmental Inventory Phase
Summerland Solar Array Geotechnical Engineering Assessment Report
Summerland Solar Array Stage 1 Preliminary Site Investigation
Summerland Solar Array Stage 2 Preliminary Site Investigation
On July 13, 2020, Council held a public meeting to share information about the project with the community and receive their feedback about the project and the prime potential site. They also received new information regarding land use and a presentation of the detailed analyses outlined above. At this meeting, the site selection process was finalized with Council selecting 13500 Prairie Valley Road/12591 Morrow Avenue/Denike Street as the project site. Staff were directed to proceed with the Engineering, Procurement, and Construction phases of the project, and will begin that work in summer/fall 2020.
Click Here to watch the video recording of the July 13, 2020 Committee of the Whole meeting
Click Here for the agenda and attachments from the July 13, 2020 Committee of the Whole meeting
Conceptual drawings of the site are provided below for illustration purposes only:
A large portion of the site has been previously disturbed, including a large paved section with removed trees and foliage. Additionally, leftover materials from previous industrial uses are scattered throughout the site. The project provides an opportunity to remediate these impacts.
Due to its raised elevation above the surrounding topography, the site is generally not visible from the lower elevation residential and rural areas which surround the site and the visual impacts are considered minor.
One of the potential co-benefits of the project is the addition of amenities for recreational users, such as maps, trail signage, picnic benches, charging stations for e-bikes, informational kiosks, and garbage and recycling bins.
Solar+Storage Project Update
On May 6, 2019, The District of Summerland hosted a Solar+Storage Project Update to inform the community about the project progress to date, introduce the preferred site, answer questions, and receive feedback about the project overall.
Click here to see the slides presented at the event.
Following the event, a survey about the project was offered to attendees and was also posted online and at Municipal Hall. The results of the surveys can be found by clicking here.
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.
Click here to view the presentation slides, conversation notes and results of the post-event survey.
Please contact Tami Rothery, Sustainability / Alternative Energy Coordinator at 250-404-4068 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information, to provide your feedback, or to be added to the solar energy contact list to be kept informed of other upcoming solar related events.