Salt Spring Community Energy is a group of local citizens concerned about sustainability, encouraging renewable energy and clean technology development on Salt Spring. Our strategy includes developing partnerships with local organizations to create renewable energy projects that will inspire and educate our community to embrace renewable energy and a rapid transition to a low carbon economy. We are a registered non-profit society.
Current directors of the Community Energy Group are:
Ron Watts (President) is a professional photographer and a passionate supporter of renewable energy. He and his wife Donna Hall recently completed a net-metered, super-insulated home with solar hot water, solar PV and heat pump technology. Ron is an alternate POD representative on the Emergency Commission.
David Denning (Vice President) is a science educator, naturalist, and educational film-maker who is active with the Salt Spring Conservancy and the Climate Action Council. He is a former member of the Advisory Environment Committee to the Trust.
Simon Wheeler (Secretary) left a 30-year career in transportation to take an MSc in Renewable Energy at the University of Reading. He has since worked for Solar Century in the UK, and spent three years as technical manager in the field of solar concentration arrays. Since moving to Salt Spring in 2010 he has been active in promoting solar energy and electric vehicles.
Kjell Liem CCEM (Treasurer) Kjell was project manager for the GISS Solar Scholarship project and the coordinator off the Electric School Bus study. He has lived off-grid for over a decade and has experimented with solar thermal, electrical and thermal storage, and other alternative energy technologies. Kjell is a Certified Community Energy Manager and is the past-chair of the BC Sustainable Energy Association’s BC Utilities Commission Task Force. Kjell is the Saltspring Coordinator for Viridian Energy Coop.
Brian Smallshaw (director) is a historian and web developer with a long interest in sustainability. Brian has done considerable research on the Japanese Canadian Uprooting, and together with several other historians, he and his wife Rumiko Kanesaka recently published a book on the historical charcoal production by Japanese Canadians in the southern Gulf Islands. Brian has constructed a number of kilns for the production of biochar, charcoal for use as a soil amendment and for carbon sequestration, and has been actively promoting it as an environmentally sound method of managing wood waste.
Tom Mitchell (director) Born in Scotland in 1945, Tom was trained as a millwright and has worked as an engineer in the merchant navy, taxi driver, shipbuilder, carpenter and caregiver. Tom emigrated to Canada in 1970 and four years later to Vancouver where he worked in the shipyards and steel fabrication shops. In 1984 he continued west to Salt Spring Island where he has been a long-time member of the Salt Spring United Church’s Social Justice Committee and an activist for environmental causes, First Nations issues and the transition to renewable energy.