COURTENAY — Last month, 45 bifacial solar panels were switched on atop the Comox Valley Regional District’s new building in downtown Courtenay. Local clean energy contractor Hakai Energy Solutions provided the CVRD with a complete turnkey solution that will produce an average of 20,870 kw/H per year.
The CVRD building’s roof is white and the newly installed solar panels are bifacial, which means they absorb sunlight from both the sun directly and its bright reflection on the white roof. This allowed Hakai Energy Solutions to increase the system’s energy-producing capacity.
Over the past ten years, solar has moved from the highest priced energy source on the planet to the lowest. While it once seemed impossible that solar would cross the price threshold of coal, hydro or natural gas generated electricity, it became reality within just a few short years. Technological innovation will continue to push solar energy costs lower still, while with traditional energy sources their prices continue to rise.
“That’s creating a dramatic shift that will touch many aspects of our lives, and it’s hard to fully understand the full meaning and impact this shift will have,” says Jason Jackson, co-founder at Hakai Energy Solutions. “The sooner we build the skills and capacity required to match this shift, which will go right to the foundations of our economy, the greater our chances will be to develop a BC-based solution.”
Hakai Energy Solutions is a local Comox Valley employer, hiring locally trained staff that provide local clean energy services. More than just an electrical company, they call themselves “integrators” because they work with a combination of emerging or maturing technologies and standard electrical products to create energy systems that reduce dependency on either hydro or diesel generated electricity while lowering energy costs.
As more municipalities declare climate emergencies across the province (currently 30 plus and counting), they are well positioned to spearhead BC-based solutions to the climate crisis.