There is a lot of solar energy potential in New Brunswick and a lot of support for it in the Tantramar area. This is evident in, among other things, emissions reduction action plans for Port Elgin, Dorchester and Sackville (as part of the Partners for Climate Protection Program). However many people need more education about the technology as well as assistance with the up front costs before they can “go solar”.
In order to increase public understanding of solar energy, EOS organized educational events such as information booths at community events; energy saving tips in local newspapers; a series of workshops, smart energy community planning, and solar co-operatives. EOS also gave two webinars on local emissions reduction plans and solar energy projects. EOS produced solar potential maps for Port Elgin, Sackville, Dorchester and Memramcook and showcased these at the solar energy workshop.
In order to help people and organizations with the upfront cost of solar energy, EOS offered a solar panel bulk purchase and installation program. EOS also offered two solar energy grants (with support from the Mount Allison Students Union’s Green Investment Fund) to local schools, municipal governments and nonprofits. EOS also explored starting a solar co-operative.
The goals of the project were to: (1) Complete Sackville’s emissions reduction plan; (2) Raise awareness of solar energy; (3) Help local residents & organizations afford solar energy; and (4) Save energy and reduce GHG emissions. The project aimed save about 8000kwh of energy and 2,016kg of greenhouse gasses per year. The project was successful and highly effective at reducing emissions and raising public awareness and understanding about solar energy.
The project produced the following key results: emissions reduction action plan for Sackville, four solar potential maps, increased knowledge among the public about solar energy, productive discussions toward starting a solar co-operative in Tantramar, the purchase and installation of 61 photovoltaic solar panels through the bulk purchase, and grants were awarded to Salem Elementary School and Johnson’s Mills Shorebird Interpretation Centre who installed 6 panels and 4 panels respectively.
The total energy savings from the 71 solar panels equals roughly 14,026kwh/year and the emission reduction is 3,534kg/year. We surpassed the project’s original goal of 8000kwh/year and 2,016kg of CO2. In addition, the Sackville PCP plan aims to reduce 217 tonnes of CO2 equivalent from municipal operations and another 7,482 tonnes from the community by 2021.
Read the full final report: Solar Potential Final Report 2016