LOWER NICOLA — When it comes to cheap, renewable energy, solar is becoming more and more viable. Today, one indian band in the region unveiled their newest investment: a 330 panel solar power installation.
The Lower Nicola Indian Band made took a huge step towards sustainability on Friday, unveiling a 330 panel solar installation on top of their school gymnasium. According to LNIB Chief Aaron Sam, the project is the culmination of years of work by the community.
“The inspiration for this project has been the community members asking for us [Chief and Council] to look at renewable energy,” Sam told CFJC Today. “We decided the gymnasium here at our band school was the perfect place to install [the solar panels].”
The band partnered with WDusk Energy on the project .WDusk President David Isaacs is a Micmac First Nations from Quebec, but now lives and works in Vancouver. He says this project went up quickly considering its’ size.
“It’s the largest community solar project in BC,” Isaacs explained. “From the design, to the actual commissioning and install, to today, it was remarkable how fast it went up.”
The 330 solar panels will generate enough electricity to cut the yearly energy costs of the school in half .
“Over the course of a year we expect to generate well over 100 megawatt hours,” Isaacs said.
According to Chief Sam, the project has been a long time coming, and is a result of the vision of the entire LNIB.
“It really supports and reflects our values as indigenous people, in terms of taking care of the land, taking care of the water, taking care of our children and future generations, and that’s why so many people out here are really, really excited about this project.”
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