Yellowknife Solar Fair

Posted 2014-06-26
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The Arctic Energy Alliance (AEA) hosted a Solar Energy Fair in Yellowknife on June 10th at the Greenstone Building. The Solar Energy Fair showcased solar energy and its application for the creation of electricity, hot water and heating. Representatives from Northland Utilities, the Northwest Territories Power Corporation, and the Government of the Northwest Territories provided visitors with a wealth of information. The good news is that the Arctic Energy Alliance has received many inquiries from people interested in generating their own electricity using solar panels and the press coverage has encouraged people to talk about solar energy.

A special thank you goes out to the businesses that participated in the Solar Energy Fair. They are risk takers and visionaries that are working hard to make solar energy succeed in the NWT. So, on behalf of the Arctic Energy Alliance, a big thank you to Yellowknife’s Polar Tech and Fort Smith’s Stand Alone Energy Systems for taking the time and effort to inform the public about their products and services. We also had several school groups come to the fair to learn about solar and two groups of the general public that participated in a solar walking tour led by AEA staff.

The beauty of solar energy is that you can use it wherever you are; and, for those living in the NWT’s many communities, installing solar power is becoming an increasingly attractive option, especially with the great rebates offered through the Arctic Energy Alliance. If you don’t live in a community tied to the electricity grid, own a cabin, or operate an outpost camp, solar can be a great way of creating electricity without the hassle of hauling in fuel or the noise of generators. Mr. Steve Robertson a local “off-grider” in Yellowknife proved the point by showing how his entire family’s electricity needs are met using just solar energy. In fact, Steve does not turn on his generator from mid-February until mid-October. In fact, to quote Steve, “If you live in the Yellowknife area and have a location with no significant shading issues,… you can run with little to no generator for 7-8 months of the year, roughly from mid-February until mid-October. Generator use will increase from there, peaking in December and then tapering off. Every location is different and shading issues must be taken into consideration to properly size your system.” Pretty impressive!

We live in an impressive expansive territory with great solar energy potential. If you want to know more about solar energy, or are considering installing a solar energy system, call the Arctic Energy Alliance and speak with NWT renewable energy businesses. Together, we can take action on energy use.

The picture shows Ken Baigent, from AEA giving a presentation a grade 1 class that came to the Solar Energy Fair.