About Us

Salt Spring Community Energy is a group of local citizens concerned about sustainability, encouraging renewable energy and clean technology on Salt Spring. Our strategy includes developing partnerships with local organizations to create renewable energy projects that will inspire and educate our community. 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 Nature Salt Spring 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)  was project manager for the GISS Solar Scholarship project and the coordinator of the Electric School Bus study. He is the founder of Saltspring Solar and he lived off-grid for over a decade.  He is a Certified Community Energy Manager and past-chair of the BC Sustainable Energy Association’s BC Utilities Commission Task Force.

Brian Smallshaw  is a historian and web developer with a long interest in sustainability. He 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.

Tom Mitchell  Born in Scotland Tom was trained as a millwright.  He emigrated to Canada in 1970 and  worked in the shipyards and steel fabrication shops. He has worked as an engineer in the merchant navy, taxi driver, shipbuilder, carpenter and caregiver. In 1984 he moved to Salt Spring Island where he has been a long-time member of the Salt Spring United Church’s Social Justice Committee.

Wade Cherrington  Wade is interested in contributing to community projects that materially help people in the face of climate crises. A specific interest is community-scale renewable energy as well as resilient food, energy and water systems more generally. Wade has a background in physics, software development and telecommunications.

Kevin Chipperfield  Kevin is a retired Professional Agrologist with a keen interest in agriculture production and stewardship. His career has spanned issues of soil conservation, environmental management, and agricultural research. With retirement on Salt Spring, Kevin has been involved with positions on non-profit Boards dealing with community environmental and agricultural issues.

renewable energy for saltspring