Letter to the Editor: Solar projects help community

Developing more solar electric projects in the Grand Forks area helps out community.

A 9.1kW roof-mounted Solar Photovoltaic (PV) Electric system, generating approximately 10,400 kWh/yr which is 75 per cent of the annual usage in my home, awaits City of Grand Forks approvals.

Once installed, hopefully within the next few weeks, this will be the first grid-connected solar electric system in Grand Forks.

A net metering application for this project was filed July 7, and included provisions for interconnection permission (which has been conditionally approved in principle by the city’s electrical engineer), bylaw consents, and net metering terms of agreement as the city does not yet have a net metering program or bylaw in place.

I also submitted a letter to the city in April recommending that the city establish a net metering program. The city is presently considering a bylaw that will cover net metering, which is scheduled for first reading in August. My project will act as a pilot project and may help to form the net metering bylaw.

FortisBC, which services the surrounding area, and BCHydro have had net metering programs since 2009. These programs allow customers to generate their own electricity, supply excess to the utility at the same rate they are charged, and hedge against rising electricity costs.

So our new bylaw will bring our community up to date and open the door for grid-connected renewable energy systems in Grand Forks as well.

In addition to developing my own project, I will continue to promote the harvesting of our abundant solar energy in our community and, teaming up with Boundary Electric and Howell Mayhew Engineering, help our community by developing more solar electric projects in the Grand Forks area.

Roxanna Bolton,

Grand Forks