We've got the power... clean, green, abundant solar power! The 51 panels on the roof of our iconic administration building, Spes Bona, are really doing their job! So, here's a skill-testing question: How much was our electricity bill for Spes Bona last month? Before you answer, consider this: the main floor of Spes includes our virtual community hub stuffed with smart technology, our front office and reception staff, our shop and the servers that power our IT systems; and on the second floor, finance, admin, program and farm staff, plus our library and kitchen. In other words, lots of energy-consuming devices, lights and other necessary electrical devices.
The answer to the skill-testing question: Zero, as in 0 kWh in energy charges from BC Hydro last month. And it gets better. Not only did we pay nothing for electricity, we actually exported 1,232 kWh of energy generated by our panels to the BC Hydro grid (which went to power our neighbours, like Sorrento Elementary) and gave us a great big energy credit.
Our panels were very productive in the past month - generating a total of 2,000 kWh. That's almost three times more than the 721 kWh generated in May of 2020. One big reason for the jump in solar production is that in the fall of 2020, we added 32 panels to the previous array of 19. A big boost in terms of production. Another reason - we have had a very sunny spring in Sorrento in 2021.
Our solar panels show our commitment to clean and renewable energy and our love for Mother Earth. They are also good for our bank account - reducing our electricity bills and off-setting electricity bills in other parts of the campus.
We are grateful to numerous donors who stepped up to fund the first and second phase of our solar panels. We are grateful to SASCU Credit Union for providing a grant to help fund the project. We are grateful to Michael Mehta and Sweet Spot Solar for designing our system, and to Amber Cachelin and Greensleeves Electrical for installing the first and second round of panels, along with the microinverters and all the rest of the system.
The Sorrento Centre is working with the Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association through the Biosphere program to complete a full energy audit (as well as auditing our waste system) so that we can continue to power towards a clean and green future.
Human-induced climate change is having a severe impact on our world. Our small steps are a big contribution that we are making towards challenging the anthropocene.