The Sunshine Coast Community Solar Association is finally a bona fide registered non-profit society.  This means that, among other things, we are now in a position to apply for grants and other funding.  Stay tuned!

 We are enormously indebted to Mark Giltrow, Program Head of the Sustainable Business Leadership Program at BCIT, for bringing three wonderful students onboard to work directly with the SCCSA.  Their collaborative project is focussed specifically on our solar initiative! Two of the students have already visited the Coast, and we will be meeting weekly with all 3 students throughout the year.  Details will follow as the project develops

The fabulous team at Clear Energy Solutions (CES) continues to work closely with the SCCSA, doing on-site assessments for people interested in participating in our bulk buy, as well as generously providing mentorship in basic assessment techniques.
 The CES crew recently installed a portable, temporary, semi-off-grid system at the local Green Party campaign headquarters.  Below is the write-up CES provided to describe it:
“The Sunshine Coast Community Solar Association was approached by the Green Party to provide a temporary solar power solution for their Gibsons campaign office. Clear Energy Solutions has been working closely with the SCCSA and was able to install their towable PowerCAN system, which integrates renewable inputs (like solar or wind), with batteries and inverters, typically in a hybrid configuration.

For this energy conscious site, a 2kW solar array charges a 10kWh lithium battery bank supplying a scalable inverter stack currently configured for up to 12kW of continuous output. This trailer has previously powered emergency preparedness operations, communications equipment, and construction projects. An upcoming deployment will see the PowerCAN trailer setup for 3-phase, 20kW hybrid electric operation to support ongoing construction projects.”
Please note that members of the SCCSA support various political parties.  Steering committee member extraordinaire Larry Koopman—who has spearheaded our solar community investment co-op—is the NDP MP candidate for our riding. Other steering committee members are strong Greens, while yet others plan to vote strategically this time.  Regardless of your political persuasion, the SCCSA enthusiastically encourages you to come and check out the simple yet sophisticated set up at 706 Gibsons Way.  Absolutely everyone is welcome.  For drop-in visitors, the unit—which is in the parking lots—is only viewable from the outside. If, after visiting, you would like to learn more, please contact me and we’ll try to arrange a more detailed educational session for a small group. Please don’t ask solar questions of the Green volunteers in the office:  that is not their area of expertise and they are working very hard to get their candidate elected!

And finally, several of you have contacted me requesting that the SCCSA share the magnificent Leap Manifesto with our interest list.  Many SCCSA steering committee members have already signed this powerful and inspiring document.  If you’re not yet familiar with it, please take a few minutes to read and sign it now!
It is exhilarating to know that our own local, cooperative solar energy initiative is but one small example of a nation-wide—indeed global—shift towards a vibrant, democratic renewable energy economy!