Solar and Storage Facility
On July 25th 2022 in an afternoon Council meeting the Director of Utilities formally announced the awarded vendor for the Solar + Storage Project in the District of Summerland to Wildstone & Skyfire as a joint venture.
The initial project scope was 1MW of solar power capacity, 2.0MW of battery storage, and 4.5MWh power supply. The final award has a reduced scope of 0.412MW solar power capacity, 1MW of battery storage, and 3.56 MWh power supply.
Engineering, procurement and construction has a start date of August 1 2022, with the following key milestones:
- Kickoff and Design: August 2022 - October 2022 (COMPLETED)
- BESS Delivery: December 2022 (COMPLETED)
- Solar Delivery: January 2023 (UPDATE: Mid-June)
- Other long-lead item delivery: March 2023
- Civil works on site: March - May 2023 (IN PROGRESS)
- BESS and Solar installation: April - August 2023 (UPDATE: starting in June for 10 weeks)
- Commissioning: September 2023
The project is funded through the Canada Building Fund (formally known as the Gas Tax Fund), with $6 million of approved grant funding, with the awarded proposal coming in at just over $5.2 million.
Click Here for a list of Questions & Answers about the project
updated July 2020
Please contact the Sustainability Coordinator at 250-404-4068 or email@example.com 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.
(Updated May 2023)
The District of Summerland Solar project has started the civil/earth moving portion of the project. This work will clean up some of the old asphalt road and contour the previously disturbed area to allow for good drainage. This is also the start of creating improved access and a new parking location for access to Cartwright Mt. and Test of Humanity trails. Once complete users will not longer need to park on Morrow Ave.
The development of Ottley Ave is now part of the project scope, providing a more efficient route to the solar site, and to also serve as access to the future Eco-Village residential development planned further up the hillside. Grubbing and clearing been started at the end of March, and road development will continue into the summer.
Moving into the summer season, construction for the solar panels and battery storage equipment is expected to start in June for approximately 10 weeks.
(Updated January 16th 2023)
Following the completion of two important site reports that will help the awarded contractors Wildstone/Skyfire complete the final design for the site, snow removal, silt fencing, tree protection and tree removal will be completed for the month of January. In February excavation and grading of the site will begin to prepare the site for future placement of the battery and panels.
Recently Mayor Holmes talked with EVLO energy storage by Hydro-Québec about the partnership for this project. EVLO is providing the batter energy storage system (BESS) for the solar project. The press release from EVLO can be found here
Picture 1: Site entrance from Prairie Valley Road
Picture 2: Tree protected during construction
Picture 3: Aerial view of site with fence outline of project site
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
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.
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.