SSCE Partners with IWAV for Massive Solar Development

SSCE provided technical expertise for the Croftonbrook solar project. We also provided project oversight, digital recording of the installation and will assist with the installation of education monitors in the buildings. We developed a Request For Proposal (RFP) process to select the solar energy contractor and assisted with funding development.

Saltspring Exchange article

IWAV successfully completes significant Croftonbrook housing solar system installation

Islanders Working Against Violence (IWAV) is pleased to announce the completed installation of a large photo-voltaic system to the new apartment buildings at Croftonbrook. This is likely the largest solar project in the Gulf Islands, with 298 solar panels installed over 3 buildings and 134.1 kW capacity.

In May 2021, IWAV partnered with Salt Spring Community Energy (SSCE) to initiate this project with the shared goal of generating local green energy for affordable housing. Salt Spring Community Energy is a not-for-profit society of local citizens concerned with sustainability, encouraging renewable energy and clean technology on Salt Spring Island. Salt Spring Community Energy was able to provide technical expertise through the Request For Proposal (RFP) process to select the solar energy contractor. SSCE also provided project oversight, digital recording of the installation and will assist with the install of education monitors in the buildings.

In 2017-2018, IWAV designed the buildings to be solar-ready but didn’t have the funding approved for the addition of photovoltaic technology. Through 2021 and early 2022, IWAV and SSCE worked on fund development and were able to receive contributions from CRD (Grant in Aid), Salt Spring Island Foundation, VanCity’s enviroFund, Mid-Island Co-op, Mauro Family Foundation, 100 Men Who Care and private donations. IWAV raised $52,500 towards the total cost of $250,000, with the balance forming part of the mortgage.

“This unique partnership between green energy proponents and affordable housing operators has been a success – to utilize our infrastructure and provide green energy for our residents and the local grid. IWAV is so grateful to all of our funders for their support to make this possible!” ~ Kisae Petersen, IWAV Executive Director

The solar installation occurred over the past two weeks with a large crew to install the panels and balance of systems on the two apartment buildings and workshop. It was installed by Hakai Energy Solutions, a company based in Cumberland, who was the successful applicant to IWAV/SSCE’s Request for Proposal. IWAV and SSCE are pleased to have worked with Hakai Energy who provided professional service with quality equipment and performance.

IWAV provides 74 units of rental housing at Croftonbrook for low to moderate-income residents, who are individuals, seniors, people with disabilities and small families. This solar project will be used to generate energy for the common load of the buildings which will reduce IWAV’s operating expenses and support ongoing affordability for residents. In the peak season, this technology will also generate additional energy that will supply the local grid at a level equivalent to the annual use of 12.1 average single-family households.

Croftonbrook’s new buildings have other sustainability features including grey water recycling, energy-efficient design, water-saving devices and design, heat pumps and energy-efficient lighting fixtures. Electric vehicle chargers will be installed in 2023 and the energy will be offset by the solar production.

“It was a pleasure to work with the IWAV team on this substantial energy project. Their vision and commitment over many years of development ensured not only success but a path to a sustainable future.” ~ Kjell Liem, Salt Spring Community Energy

Photos courtesy of David Denning and Ron Watts