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
- 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
- Establish an energy efficiency program that provides resources and education to residents and businesses about sustainable energy use, and incentivizes them to save energy.
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.
Summerland’s Solar+Storage Project
Click Here for a list of Frequently Asked Questions about the project.
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.
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.
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 Street/Denike Street was found to offer the best balance of appropriate zoning and long-term land use, environmental protection, fit with the project objectives, and available co-benefits.
Click Here to view documents presented to council regarding the site selection process.
A detailed review of the site conditions and confirmation of the site-specific costs and considerations is currently underway and will provide the information needed to finalize the site planning and design.
Conceptual drawings of the site are provided below for illustration purposes only:
A large portion of the preferred 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 proposed 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, or to be added to the solar energy contact list to be kept informed of other upcoming solar related events.