Climate change is a race against time. We need to speed up the transition to renewable energy.
It can be hard to know what to do about it as an individual but if we work together and support each other we can make change a reality.
Addressing the destabilization of our climate is a big task. No one renewable energy project is the solution all by itself. But if we all do our part in our own communities we create the momentum needed to get where we need to go faster.
The Great Climate Race helps to facilitate community engagement and public education focused around renewable energy demonstration projects.
There are a few projects we are working on raising money for this year with the Great Climate Race in 2017:
1. Help Empower OrcaLab to Run on Clean Energy!
OrcaLab is an a world renowned, whale research centre situated on a remote island near Alert Bay, off the BC coast of British Columbia, near Alert Bay,. The centre’s researching with dolphins and whales has been a ongoing for more than four decades. In 2013, they installed a solar system to reduce their dependence on their gas generators. Today, they are taking the project further to the next level in order to meet almost all of their energy needs using renewable energy only.
Since 2013, the their solar system installed installation has already reduced carbon emissions from the gas generator by between 1.5 to 2 tonnes each and every year. This translates to a fuel cost savings of up to $2,000 annually which can then be used for vital research rather than paying for a particularly heavily concentrated GHG fuel source.OrcaLab is funded by individuals and organizations who value their effort and is are looking forward to a future without oil.
Upgrades at the OrcaLab involve doubling of the battery capacity, near doubling of the PV capacity and the an addition of a wind turbine, for a total projected cost at $23,000.
We are now only 3,000 away from our goal after funds raised from last years event and thanks to generous support from Bullfrog Power.
2. Help The Tsleil Waututh Nation Build a Large Solar Power Demonstration Project!
The Tsleil-Waututh Nation is building a new administrative building and health centre in North Vancouver which will be completed in early 2018. The project will include a grid-tied solar project that will reduce the energy demands of the buildings and put power onto the grid. It will be the second bigest solar installation in the Vancouver Lower Mainland Area once installed.
This project will serve as a powerful symbol of the decision between more fossil fuels or more renewable energy. The Tsleil-Waututuh Nation leads a fight aginst a proposed pipeline project that would bring oil tankers to Burrard Inlet directly across from where the Tsleil-Waututh Nation solar project will demonstrate the potential of better alternatives.
The plans include an approximately 47,000 kwh a year solar installation. More than $10,000 worth of solar panels have already been donated by the environmental groups and an additional $10,000 was raised by Great Climate Race participants that is being dedicated to this project.
3. Help Put Solar Power on Vancouver Public Library!?!
Vancouver’s Central Library is undertaking a significant expansion that will include a new 8,000-square-foot public garden on the rooftop level. In partnership with Solar Now and the City of Vancouver, a 15- to 20-kilowatt solar array will be integrated into the design of the library’s garden area. The goal for completion of this project is the spring of 2018.
We are partners in Solar Now which has implemented a number of great projects
By putting solar energy systems in high-profile public spaces, Solar Now aims to spark a conversation about how British Columbians can benefit from switching from fossil fuels to solar-powered electricity.
Solar power could become the world’s top electricity source by the middle of this century, analysis from the International Energy Agency shows. By putting solar energy systems in high-profile public spaces, Solar Now aims to spark a conversation about how British Columbians can benefit from switching from fossil fuels to solar-powered electricity.
The picture in Canada is different: we get exponentially more clean electricity from large-scale hydro and wind than we currently get from solar. Yet as the costs of generating solar power fall and as the technology becomes more common, more individuals and businesses across North America are switching from using fossil fuels for electricity to generating clean electricity from the sun.
By installing solar electricity systems on public buildings and in high-traffic areas, Solar Now aims to help British Columbians get a better sense of how the technology works–and how it could help meet the energy needs of British Columbia’s homes and businesses.
Bowen Island Community School *completed*
A 30-panel, 7.95 kw solar installation has been completed on this elementary school in the West Vancouver School District, providing the school with clean, renewable electricity and offering students an opportunity to learn about solar power technology and reducing carbon pollution.
Solar panels installed on the Bowen Island Community School, completed September 2016.
False Creek Paddling Centre *completed*
In partnership with the City of Vancouver, an approximately 15-kilowatt array of solar panels have been installed on six boat sheds alongside Vancouver’s False Creek, across from the Creekside Community Recreation Centre. This high-traffic pedestrian area across from Science World offers excellent visibility and allows visitors the opportunity to get an up-close look at a typical residential-sized solar installation.
The False Creek Paddling Centre in Vancouver now features a Solar Now installation, completed June 2017.
Solar panels are a new look for Sparwood, B.C., the Rocky Mountain community perhaps best known for the 350-tonne 1974 Titan truck that represents the region’s mining past. But in spring, 2017, the District of Sparwood tapped into the region’s excellent solar resources to generate clean, renewable electricity. The community installed solar PV arrays on the Town Hall (26 panels) and Leisure Centre (18 panels) for a combined system size of just under 12 kilowatts. Over the next 25 years the systems will produce over 300,000 kilowatt-hours of renewable electricity—worth an estimated $36,000 at current rates.
Ktunaxa Nation Government Building *completed*
The Ktunaxa Nation Council has installed a 40-kilowatt solar array featuring 119 solar panels on the rooftop of its government building in Cranbrook, B.C. The system will generate 45,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity each year—equivalent to the power used by four typical homes—and over 1 million kilowatt-hours throughout its 25 year lifespan. The system will also supply power to an electric vehicle charging station installed on-site. This project was completed in partnership with the Ktunaxa Nation, the Columbia Basin Trust, Accelerate Kootenays and Solar Now.
The following organizations have contributed financial and/or in-kind support to help make Solar Now possible:
Note: Individual installations may be supported by additional local partners.
To learn more about Solar Now or to get involved, please contact Project Director Bill Swan.
Is there a renewable energy project you would like to see funded in your community? Let us know!
Feel free to contact us directly with any questions, ideas, suggestions or observations. Ben West, Co-Founder - [email protected]