Essential Things To Consider When Installing Solar Panels

Installing rooftop solar panels can be more complicated than you think. There are many factors to consider that go beyond mere functionality. Some of the vital things include the solar power system’s looks, durability, maintenance, external environment, and compliance concerns.

We will now discuss essential solar panel installation considerations for solar system installation teams in detail:

Install For Enhanced Looks

An attractive solar installation will always take looks into account. An unsightly solar installation can lower the overall home value. A sound solar system should ensure the following things:

  • Keeping each solar panel of the same color
  • Maintaining the edges of arrays parallel to the roof edges
  • Aligning each solar panel to the same height (usually 4 to 7 inches off the rooftop)
  • Hiding or minimizing exterior conduits and cables when possible

Install For Increased Durability

When selecting components, it’s essential to make sure that they are appropriate for the installation, and that they complement each other. If a critical solar system part has half the expected life as the other parts, the system might fail to operate in the long run.

A solar expert must take the following things into account during the solar energy system installation process for increased durability:

  • Ensuring appropriate component warranties for solar installation
  • Understanding potential points of malfunction and eliminating them as much as possible
  • Following local safety codes to assure that the system gets built suitably in the eyes of the “authority having jurisdiction” for each geographic location

Install For Trouble-Free Maintenance

The solar system must be designed to ensure enough room for performing the installation work safely. There might be a need to remove a panel, access conduits, or work with other parts from time to time. Maintaining smart designs will ensure the solar installation team can perform their work securely.

A professional solar panel installer must always refer to the solar installation standards that provide practical guidelines for installing solar systems safely and efficiently, including designing for maintenance.

Install For Greater Environmental Friendliness

An efficient solar installer tries to address different environmental factors when installing solar panels. These environmental factors may include wind, roof elements, seismic action, and more.

Wind

All solar installations must stand up to environmental elements, including wind. Understanding seasonal wind peaks are vital to ensure robust solar installations. The roof’s shape and other architectural features, like parapets, can also influence the wind’s force.

Therefore, it’s essential to know how the wind will behave and how to mount the panels best to decrease the chance of wind damage.

Roof Elements

Most building structures such as chimneys, parapets, air conditioning units, and others can block sunlight. Before finalizing the solar system configuration, it’s best to map out the roof and ensure panels will receive maximum sunlight.

Another factor you must consider is the roof’s structural integrity. Installing an array adds further weight to the rooftop, so it’s crucial to ensure that it can support the array. It would help if you considered additional factors, including snow, water, and debris, for the final design.

Seismic Action

Depending on the solar panels installation location, building requirements and seismic zones can differ significantly. When it comes to high seismic zones, solar installations must have enough guarding around the array to stop it from falling during an earthquake.

Dandelion Renewables provides high-quality, comprehensive, and environment-friendly solar power solutions to its residential and commercial customers across Alberta, Saskatchewan, and BC. Check out our solar power services in detail or contact us for personalized service.

Dandelion Renewables Helps Alberta Commercial Beekeeping Industry Explore Energy Efficiency Opportunities

Alberta boasts itself as the largest honey producer among all Canadian provinces, with commercial bee farms ranging in size from 100 to greater than 10,000 colonies. Alberta’s commercial beekeepers are continuously trying to decrease their costs and greenhouse gas emissions through alternate energy options to become increasingly energy-efficient, says Connie Phillips, the executive director of the Alberta Beekeepers Commission ABC.

Dandelion Renewables was pleased to work on a project with the Alberta Beekeepers Commission, improving the energy efficiency of Alberta’s commercial beekeeping industry. A report, ‘Current Technology and Energy Efficiency Opportunities for Alberta Commercial Beekeeping Industry’ by Alberta Beekeepers Commission, was featured on the official Government of Alberta’s website on September 28, 2020.

This report sheds light on how Dandelion Renewables helped Alberta beekeepers explore new energy efficiency opportunities to enhance their sustainability and decrease their carbon footprint. We will now discuss some of the vital details that were shared to let you know how we made it possible for Alberta beekeepers to achieve their alternate energy goals.

Important Details From The Report

The report’s primary purpose is to describe the Alberta commercial beekeeping industry’s current technologies and energy consumption. It also helps identify opportunities for energy efficiency improvements to boost sustainability and lessen the carbon footprint of commercial beekeeper farm operations in Alberta.

9 beekeeper facilities were selected as a sample set of farms to represent the industry in Alberta.

The sample farms were visited to achieve the following results:

  • Measure the energy consumption patterns of different equipment
  • Identify the most energy-efficient devices and methods among those producers
  • Make farm-specific recommendations for making energy efficiency enhancements

Dandelion Renewables visited the nine sample farms during the first half of 2019. The farm sizes ranged from 2500 hives to 10,000 hives, with an average quantity of the sample farms at 5365 hives.

Each farm was provided with a farm-specific report with key recommendations for the most cost-effective opportunities for the farm to increase energy efficiency, decrease energy costs, and lessen greenhouse gas emissions related to the farming operations energy consumption.

These site visits showed that it’s economical to implement energy-efficient enhancements to decrease energy consumption at the sample farms ($/hive) by an average of 5.1% for gasoline and diesel, 29.5% for electricity, 2.7% for propane, and 1.4% for natural gas.

The suggested energy enhancements at the nine sample farms should decrease the average annual farm energy expenses from $11.566/hive to $10.839/hive, equivalent to an energy-cost savings of 6.3% or $0.727/hive.

The average size of the sample farm was 5365 hives/farm with an average energy-cost savings potential of $3,900/year. The average energy savings by energy source would be $1029/year (0.192/hive), natural gas $11/year ($0.002/hive), propane $35/year ($0.007/hive), and gasoline and diesel $2825/year ($0.527/hive).

The energy efficiency enhancements suggested were provided to the farms visited, with a positive rate of return on investment ranging from 2 years to 9 years payback, and internal rate of return on investment (IRR) in the range of 7% to 182% over the economic life of the implemented improvement.

Based on an assumption of 256 commercial beekeepers in Alberta with 285,300 hives and an average farm size of 1114 hives/farm, with a similar energy-efficiency cost savings potential as the sample farms average, the energy-cost savings would translate to an industry total of $207,413 per year.

The estimated GHG emissions reduction related to the potential energy efficiency enhancements across all commercial beekeeping farms in Alberta could be 8.1% or 709 tCO2e/year.

Dandelion Renewables offers efficient alternate energy solutions to its municipal, residential, and commercial customers across Alberta, Saskatchewan, and British Columbia. Visit our website to learn more about our renewable energy services or contact us for personalized service.

Qualities Of The Best Solar Energy Contractors

Are you considering installing a solar power system at your home or office? Going green in this day and age is significant for several reasons; it’s an economical, sustainable, and responsible way of ensuring you receive an uninterrupted supply of electricity for more extended time periods.

After deciding to go solar, the first thing you should do is find a solar panel installer who can help you achieve your solar goals. Selecting the right solar panel installation company can seem like a daunting task at times. You need to find a solar power contractor that can help you understand how various solar systems operate and their installation process, and guide you to make an informed decision.

If you have little to no knowledge about solar panels or if you aren’t sure how to best select a solar contractor,here you can read some of the best solar energy contractors’ top qualities.

Enhanced Expertise And Experience

It’s easy for any solar dealer to call themselves experts in solar installations, but this doesn’t necessarily mean that they possess a deep understanding of different solar systems. Look for a solar contractor with enough knowledge and experience in installing and maintaining a solar setup, whether it is roof-mounted or ground-mounted. Also, ask questions to ensure they are familiar with the general solar market.

Your solar energy expert should also provide you with quality assurance (e.g. workmanship warranty) for each solar system installed and have the required expertise to answer any questions. Irrespective of your knowledge about various solar systems, you would need someone who can teach you about your desired solar system, take you through your options, and guide you to the right suitable solar solution to meet your solar energy requirements.

Impeccable Track Record

Reliable work speaks for itself, and one of the ways of evaluating reliability is to look at your potential solar contractor’s track record. You can ask them if they can show you some of the systems they’ve already installed for some of their other clients and how you could benefit from installing them at your property.

Besides having a conversation with your solar expert, make sure to look up their online ratings, reviews, and customer testimonials on their website to see what others have said about their services. Evaluate their services based on their strengths and weaknesses, and get a sense of industrial reputation through client reviews and previous work.

Using Top Solar Panels And Products

When evaluating various solar installers, determine the type of solar panels and products each service provider uses. The quality of solar products being installed is equally as important as the labor quality being provided to you. Also, check if your prospective solar professionals will provide you with a free evaluation as well.

Providing free quotes on solar services is a sign of a solar installation company that not only provides the installation services but also offers their expertise on your solar needs. Your solar experts should also provide you with the right options for the solar panel types that are the best fit for your house or office.

Excellent Customer Support And Care

Some solar companies can’t keep up with their clients’ needs, including meeting deadlines, fulfilling customer queries about service or warranty, because they aren’t organized enough to handle the full scope of professional level solar contractor service. This is mostly the case with solar firms trying to capture a broader market presence, resulting in logistical difficulties.

Look for a fully licensed and certified solar system installer that has a decent, well-coordinated team that installs not only high-quality solar products with increased expertise but also provides excellent after-sales services.

Dandelion Renewables provides increasingly efficient and environment-friendly solar energy installation services to its residential and commercial clients across British Columbia, Saskatchewan, and Alberta. You can check out our expert solar power services in detail here or contact us for customized care.

Solar Panels Help Improve Your Homes Value

More and more households have been installing solar power systems due to their increased efficiency in cost and performance. Installing a solar photovoltaic PV system at your home means you’re ready to make a long-term investment toward independence in terms of your energy needs.

Your solar panel pays for itself in the long run, depending on certain factors, including the PV systems age, size and array tilt orientation, your location, availability of solar performance-based incentives, and electricity costs in your area.

Rooftop solar panels capture direct sunlight, minimize heat transfer in your attic, and utilize solar energy to produce electricity for the entire home. Harnessing solar power for electricity generation and use can also be the best way to enhance your residential property’s value and decrease your utility bills.

For most homeowners, their house is their biggest asset, and maintaining and upgrading it is vital to ensuring their home holds its value. Installing a residential solar panel system can significantly help you decrease your electricity bills and improve your home market value.

Will Solar Panels Add Value To My Home?

The total amount of value a solar panel installation will add to your home will largely depend on various factors. An experienced local solar energy contractor can help you determine if your residential property is the right choice for solar installation, your roof orientation, roof shingle material, and shape.

Now, we will discuss some significant factors that will increase your homes value significantly:

Your Home Location

Installing a solar panel system in active solar markets will yield higher yields than in developed markets. An active solar market is that part of a country that receives ample sunlight, has an increased solar installation rate, and possesses local government solar incentives such as energy rebates and property tax exemptions.

The most active Canadian solar markets include Ontario, Nova Scotia, British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and more. With constant improvements in solar technologies, more and more Canadian homes are having solar panels installed. Some solar systems can also operate efficiently during cloudy weather.

Your Solar Panel Size

Your home value increase is directly related to the quantity and capacity of the solar panels installed at your home. If you want your solar installation to improve your home value, your solar panel size must be proportional to your overall home size. This means that the larger your home size is, the greater the solar panels you will need to install.

Owning Or Leasing Your Solar Panel

Deciding between owning and leasing the solar panel installed on your home is also an important consideration that can help you increase your home’s value. Modern solar power systems are increasingly efficient and deliver long-term performance without requiring much maintenance.

Owning these solar panels can significantly enhance your home’s value as they will be vital in decreasing your energy bills for a long time in the future and reduce your carbon footprint. If you lease your solar panels, you can still show potential home buyers the amount of money they can save using these solar systems and possibly negotiate to add your leased solar panels to the overall home’s cost.

Dandelion Renewables provides highly efficient and environment-friendly solar power solutions to its residential clients across British Columbia, Alberta, and Saskatchewan. Check out some of our expert solar power services in detail or contact us for customized care.

What Makes Canada A Paradise For Renewable Energy Sources?

Canada is one of the most feasible countries in the world that has a bright future for renewable energy production. The main reason for this feasibility is the presence of natural resources in Canada that are essential for the production of renewable energy like wind and solar power. Canada has a vast scope of wind power and solar energy production.

Canada is suitable for solar energy

The southern areas of Canada, including Saskatchewan and Alberta, have plentiful solar energy resources. These are the regions in which the potential rewards for solar energy clients is very high. Canada is the land of opportunity for solar energy consumption. People of Canada have realized the importance of making the future of the country brighter and safer by switching to renewable sources and preserving the environment.

Other provinces are also moving away from old energy sources and switching to renewable energy sources like solar and wind power. More and more houses, offices, and small industries will be running on solar power and other renewable energy sources in the future.

Wind power is another big renewable energy source in Canada

Along with solar power systems, wind power is another very conducive renewable energy source in Canada. Canada has plenty of wind generation that is enough to make it one of the leading countries to switch to wind power energy sources. Wind can be used to produce electrical energy, and it is one of the cleanest and most environmentally-friendly. All it takes is some planning and support to ensure the maximum use of wind to convert into electrical energy.

You will not be alone

If you are thinking about switching to renewable energy sources, trust me, you will have some company in the coming years. In fact, in the near future, everyone will be running their homes on solar energy. If there is any country that doesn’t have a doubt to be the leader in renewable energy, it’s Canada.

If you are living in Canada you must be relieved from the fears and concerns about switching to these new renewable energy sources. The country has natural resources for switching to renewable energy sources, and there is complete support from the government and provincial authorities for people who are changing to solar and wind power with more ease and freedom.

What about the rest of the world?

Still, there are so many countries in the world where proper rules and regulations for appreciating and promoting renewable energy sources are not in play. This is the reason why people in some parts of the world are still not motivated or ready to switch to a cleaner, cost-effective, and friendlier energy source.

The rest of the world can learn from Canada where the renewable energy sources’ future seems so bright that it is currently placed second just behind China, in the list of leading countries switching towards renewable energy sources.

Why is government support important?

Even if the citizens of a country realize the importance of utilizing renewable energy sources, there is a need for government support. If there is no support from the government, the clients don’t feel secure in investing in solar or wind power energy as they don’t know what will be the return or future of their investment.

There must be firm policies that promote the use of these renewable energy sources in the country. This is how people will be more at ease while deciding on their renewable energy sources.

Dandelion Renewables is the name to trust if you want to switch to solar energy or wind power. To get a free estimate for your project, click here.

What Type Of Battery Is Best For An Off-Grid Solar System?

All solar systems operate on the same basic principles. First they convert sunlight into DC power through the photovoltaic PV effect. This DC power can either be converted by a solar inverter into AC power or stored in a battery and run home appliances. Depending on the solar system type, any excess solar energy can then be fed into the electricity grid for credits (on-grid solar) or stored in various battery storage systems (off-grid solar).

When it comes to using off-grid solar power systems, you should evaluate your solar battery options. Battery systems utilized for solar energy storage are available in two main types, lithium-ion and lead-acid (AGM and Gel).

The Best Battery Storage For Off-Grid Solar Systems

Majority of advanced solar energy storage systems use rechargeable lithium-ion batteries and are available in several shapes and sizes. Today, lithium-ion batteries are widely considered the best battery type for general energy storage applications due to their increased energy density and efficiency. Most lithium batteries utilized for home energy storage incorporate lithium iron phosphate LiFePO4 cells due to their enhanced useful life, lowered cost and safety.

Battery Capacity And Depth Of Discharge DoD

Battery capacity is usually measured in either Amp Hours Ah or kilowatt-hours kWh. The amount of energy utilized, referred to as the depth-of-discharge or DoD, is taken as a percentage of the total batteries capacity. Generally, lithium LFP batteries discharge up to 90% total capacity of 10% State of Charge (SOC). The conventional lead-acid gel & AGM batteries are usually not discharged more than 30-40% daily except in emergency backup situations.

The maximum ‘daily depth of discharge’ DoD allowed for each type is:

  • Lithium-ion = 80 to 90%
  • Lead-acid AGM = 15 to 30%
  • Lead-acid Gel = 20 to 40%
  • Lead-Carbon = 20 to 50%

It’s best to always refer to your manufacturers specifications. Your solar battery’s warranty may be void if the deep discharge occurs lower than what is defined under the warranties conditions.

Battery Efficiency

Battery efficiency, also called round trip efficiency, refers to the charging or discharging efficiency or losses during use. Usually, losses from lead-acid batteries are much higher at 15-20%, while most lithium-ion batteries are significantly lower at 2-8%.

Another issue with lead-carbon or acid battery systems is the much longer charge time than lithium systems. A lead-acid charge cycle can take up to 2 to 4 hours, as per the discharge depth. During intermittent weather conditions, the charge efficiency can be relatively low, and you may not achieve a full charge, which can decrease battery life. In contrast, lithium batteries can charge quickly, usually in 1 – 2 hours, and efficiently absorb energy at much higher rates.

Also, unlike lead-acid or carbon batteries, lithium-ion batteries can tolerate a partial state of charge POS for extended time periods without degradation. Inadequate charging of lead-acid batteries regularly, mainly occurring during the winter, can significantly reduce most lead-acid AGM and Gel batteries’ lives.

Battery Management System BMS

Many lithium batteries come with an internal battery management system BMS, monitoring cell temperature, and voltages. This can shut down the battery if the temperature surpasses an upper or lower limit, typically above 45°C and below 5°C.

Advantages Of Lithium Solar Batteries

Lithium batteries have a compact size and weight due to their high energy density. Generally, a lithium LFP battery is about 25% of an equivalent lead-acid battery’s size and weight, which is helped by an increasingly higher depth of discharge DoD available in a lithium battery.

Lithium battery systems are usually made up of smaller, easy-to-handle sizes, providing increased flexibility when sizing a system. This also enables extra capacity to be added if required at a later stage.

  • Extraordinary efficiency – up to 98%
  • Increased energy density – compact and lightweight
  • The usable capacity of up to 100%
  • Partial state of charge PSOC, not an issue

When under a load, a lithium’s voltage drop is relatively low and won’t usually fluctuate more than 1-2 volts from nominal even under an increased load. This is because of its increasingly lower internal resistance compared to lead-acid batteries. This results in low losses during charging and discharging processes, ultimately resulting in increasingly higher round-trip efficiency.

Dandelion Renewables can help if you’re considering an off-grid solar power system or if you need help regarding different battery storage options. We provide residential and commercial energy storage services across Alberta, Saskatchewan, and BC. Check out our expert solar power services in detail or contact us for personalized service.

Debunking Common Solar Energy Myths

Solar power is one of the most widely used forms of clean energy today. Compared to hydropower, solar energy is still a relatively newer form of renewable energy; although it has gained increased popularity in a very short period of time. There are some misunderstandings about solar energy’s efficiency because it’s still somewhat new to its users.

Due to these misconceptions, some households and businesses are still reluctant to incorporate solar power into their daily lives, despite its many benefits. We will now discuss some common myths about solar energy and debunk them with logical reasoning.

Solar Power Systems Are Too Costly

This is probably the most common myth about solar energy in both households and enterprises. Some people avoid utilizing solar technology due to cost-concerns. The initial photovoltaic panel installation process does require an up-front investment, however in the longer term the solar power installation is expected to cost less due to the energy savings on other sources of energy (e.g. the power grid).

Grid-tied solar panels enable you to save a considerable amount of money on your monthly utility bills. It often provides you with positive cash flow as you can redistribute your surplus solar power back into the primary grid, increasing your electricity credits that you can use in later months.

Technology involved in solar panel production has vastly evolved over recent years, leading to significant reductions in solar array installation and maintenance costs.

Solar Panels Have A Short Lifespan

Like any other product, solar photovoltaic cells do have a specific lifespan in which they remain effective. However, some people have a common misconception that solar panels are only useful for a few months or years, and break easily, which is not true. The majority of the modern solar modules produced today can easily last for 2 to 3 decades or more, requiring little maintenance from time to time. Manufacturers of solar panels provide performance warranties for their solar panels promising at least 80% of initial generating capacity still useful after 25-30 years.

Solar collectors are also recyclable at the end of their useful lifespan. When appropriately recycled, solar array materials can be made into new products, to continue providing sustainable solar energy for another PV system life cycle (e.g. another 3 decades).

Installing Solar Panels Means Going Off The Grid

Although you can get an off-grid solar system for your home or office, which comes with solar power batteries, the majority of solar array installations are grid-tied. Installing a grid-tied solar module allows you to utilize solar power produced during the day and draw electricity from the primary grid after the sun goes down.

This doesn’t mean that you cannot fulfill all of your power needs with your photovoltaic panel installation. With a net-metering billing system, you’ll receive credits on electricity bills from your utility for excess solar energy produced during the day. So, if you generate more solar-based electricity than you use during a specific month, you can utilize your net-metering credits on your future utility bills. This allows solar PV systems to provide an electrically net-zero status, on an annual basis.

Solar Modules Will Damage My Roof

Apart from providing you with solar energy, rooftop solar panels can also protect and preserve the portion of your roof that they cover. Even if your roof’s surface needs repairing, you can remove your solar panels from the roof without removing the attachment hardware from the roof.

Reliable solar experts always use roof flashings wherever possible to provide a primary weather seal, and also use specialized sealant as a secondary layer of weather seal.

Solar Panels Don’t Function During Winter

Solar arrays do need sunlight to produce electricity. Suppose you live in an unusually cold area with many snowstorms. In that case, your solar panels will generate less solar energy during winter than in the summer. However, solar panels actually work more efficiently during the winter due to colder air temperatures. The sun is less intense in the winter months, which reduces solar panel productivity but solar arrays are capable of generating electricity year-round.

Though solar panels covered with snow won’t generate solar energy, if winter power production is a priority for the PV system design, the array can be tilted at an angle so that the snow will slide off automatically when the sun comes out.

Dandelion Renewables offers environment-friendly solar energy solutions to its residential and commercial clients across Saskatchewan, BC, and Alberta. To know more about our expert solar services, click here or contact us for personalized service.

Things You Should Know About Net-Metering In Canada

The solar industry has expanded exponentially in Canada, and so have related policies, solar power systems, and incentives to make it increasingly accessible to its potential users. One of the vital solar incentives for grid-tied solar power generators is called “net energy metering” (NEM) or “net metering”. Net metering, as of Sep 2020, is offered in some Canadian provinces including British Columbia, but is not available in Alberta or Saskatchewan.

What Is Net Metering?

Net metering refers to the way that excess power generation (kWh) is translated into dollar value for system owners. Net metering allows solar power generators to offset their monthly grid power consumption using excess power generation fed back into the grid. As a result, on a power bill, if the solar generator feeds more energy into the grid than what was consumed from the grid in that period, the bill charges are calculated based on zero power consumption for that month. This effectively applies the same dollar value (energy + delivery charges) for every kilowatt-hour kWh consumed and exported through the power grid meter. For solar power sites where net metering is not available, the solar energy exported to the grid is typically valued at a lower dollar value (energy + delivery charges) than the energy consumed from the grid.

Net metering programs by utilities also typically allow solar clients to carry-over surplus kWh credits from previous months, to be utilized on future bills. In other words, net metering allows commercial and residential clients that generate electricity from solar energy to send the surplus electricity back into the grid. Those clients can then use that energy from the grid at a later date, and still only get billed as though the energy was all consumed at the time it was generated during sunny hours.

What Are The General Requirements For Net-Metering?

To use the net metering billing mechanism, the solar power system must be grid-tied to transfer any excess solar energy generation into the utility grid. Off-grid solar power systems would not be eligible for a net metering incentive.

Additional eligibility requirements vary between provinces, territories and regions across Canada. Each has its own set of policies, compensation regulations, and capacity limits for solar energy credits.

What Are The Advantages Of Net-Metering?

Net metering programs typically result in higher dollar savings for solar power generators than non-net-metering grid-tied systems. This is because “net billing” or “buy-back” programs (e.g. in Alberta and Saskatchewan) result in a lower dollar value (energy + delivery charges) for the excess solar energy fed into the grid, than the energy consumed from the grid.

Typically solar power is generated and excess power is fed into the grid only at sunny times of the day (assuming no battery storage at the site). The net metering system provides you with increased peace of mind if you reside in an area with cloudy or harsh weather conditions. This is because solar energy produced during sunny days that gets fed back into the utility grid has a savings effect on bills regardless of whether the energy was consumed onsite at the time it was generated, or if it is used later from the grid.

Net metering allows the power grid to serve as a back-up power source, without a need to add the cost of onsite battery storage to reduce the amount of solar energy exported into the grid or used at night from the grid.

Grid-tied solar power systems and net metering programs are able to help grid power systems by smoothing the grid demand profiles. They can also help reduce the costs of energy-losses in power distribution systems over long-distance power transmission and distribution wires.

Dandelion Renewables provides its residential and commercial customers with highly efficient and environmentally-friendly solar energy solutions across Saskatchewan, BC, and Alberta. Check out our expert solar power services or contact us for customized care.

Dandelion Renewables Builds Sturgeon’s Largest Solar Photovoltaic Array

Dandelion Renewables is delighted to announce that we have successfully installed one of our increasingly significant solar projects, the Bon Accord Solar Project. The solar farm installation is located in Sturgeon County, Alberta, on the south side of Bon Accord. On September 18, 2020, Bon Accord Mayor David Hutton unveiled the new 648kW solar farm at the ribbon cutting ceremony held at the project site.

Cost Of Bon Accord Solar Array

With a total cost of $1.1 million, the Bon Accord solar power system is the most extensive solar panel array located in Sturgeon County to date. The system size and power generation capacity is large enough to provide solar power for all the buildings present in Bon Accord, and save a significant amount of money for the town, said Mayor David Hutton.

Approximately 47 percent of this solar project’s total cost was funded through a grant directly from the Municipal Climate Change Action Centre, a partnership of the Alberta Urban Municipalities Association and Alberta Rural Municipalities. The solar project, constructed by Dandelion Renewables has been generating solar power for the town since mid-August, and supplying it with pollution-free electricity.

What You Can Expect From The Bon Accord Solar Array

It was announced that the Bon Accord solar array had made the municipality one of the few Albertan communities to have achieved net-zero carbon emissions when it comes to electricity. Mayor David Hutton said, “This provides enough energy to power all the town’s facilities, including the arena, and would save the town money on electricity. We don’t have to pay taxes to pay the utility bills.”

Samantha Peck, the Alberta Energy spokesperson, confirmed via email that the Bon Accord Array was the most extensive solar panel system in St. Albert and Sturgeon County. Mike Deising, the Alberta Electric System Operator spokesperson, reported that Sturgeon County already has 418kW of solar and wind energy systems installed at 42 different locations, excluding Bon Accord.

Mayor David Hutton termed the Bon Accord solar array as something that came right out of the blue. He also added that he never imagined anything like this solar panel system would turn up in Bon Accord.

With Larger Size, Comes Greater Power Production

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The Bon Accord Solar array covers 1.6 hectares of scrubland and consists of 1,728 solar modules (enough to cover more than eight basketball courts). These modules are mounted in six 144-meter by 4-meter south-facing rows. According to Mikhail Ivanchikov, the President of Dandelion Renewables, the Bon Accord array utilizes bifacial solar panels to capture light that bounces off the snow during winter.

After it was first turned on in mid-August, the solar array had already produced about 90 MWh of electrical energy, which is about a 7th of the total annual energy anticipated. Even on a mostly cloudy day, the system has still been observed cranking out about 130kW power. Mayor David Hutton also said that the useful long lifespan of the solar array and the energy cost savings convinced the council to go ahead.

Dandelion Renewables offers efficient solar power solutions to its municipal, residential and commercial clients across Alberta, British Columbia, and Saskatchewan. Visit our website to learn more about our expert solar energy services or contact us for customized care.

How Businesses Can Introduce Sustainable Practices Into their Companies

An increasing number of Canadian leaders, belonging to both private and public sectors, are pledging to support the government’s climate change actions as the link between climate change and human activities becomes clearer. Furthermore, as information on sustainable practices and business performance develops, business leaders are finding it challenging to ignore their benefits. This is because sustainable practices have been shown to have a good impact on businesses.

For example, according to a study conducted at the University of California, Los Angeles found that the workforce in companies that have adopted sustainable practices are 16% more productive. Part of this could be attributed to the forward-thinking culture of those companies. In general, green practices have a positive impact on employees, supporting their health and happiness, compared to their traditional office environments.

Most companies now understand that having green practices implemented in the workspace is essential, but only 25% have developed a clear strategy. This is due to the lack of information and awareness across the business world – and not knowing where to start. For this reason, below, we mention three sustainable practices that you should start right away, and that will pay off well in the coming years.

Incorporate Sustainability In Everyday Operations

Many of the world’s largest and most successful businesses invest and take part in sustainable initiatives. They are keen on finding environmentally-friendly alternatives to their unsustainable business practices. For example, organizations like Apple and IKEA have already started to invest billions of dollars in building a green and sustainable infrastructure. Apple has pledged to use green energy to power its production plants, while IKEA is using plastic recovered from the ocean to make its goods and products.

To incorporate sustainability into your organization’s everyday operations, you can evaluate your supply chain and determine where the firm may be able to shift to a green alternative. Also, consider how your company can take advantage of your city’s sustainability initiatives.

Make Your Office Energy-Efficient

For some businesses, immediate benefits can be realized by finding green alternatives for supply chains, decreasing raw material consumption, and reducing waste polluting the environment. However, some of these strategies require extensive planning and a lot of time to be executed on a large scale. Luckily, there are some other ways a business can adopt sustainable practices without investing a lot of time and effort into them. Some of these practices include;

  1. Encouraging, educating and promoting a green environment around the office and developing sustainability policies and procedures to strengthen the efforts.
  2. Encouraging employees to reduce, reuse, and recycle waste materials in the office, and providing them with more convenient accessible ways to do so.
  3. Changing the light bulbs in the office building to LED lights that use much less energy and last longer than incandescent light bulbs.
  4. Lastly, make sure all your electrical loads, such as computers, lighting, HVAC systems, fans, and appliances are not consuming significantly more power than modern energy-efficient equipment alternatives. Dandelion Renewables installs energy meters that can measure and log real-time energy consumption of targeted equipment. The visibility and quantification that energy metering offers, often identifies actionable energy-conservation opportunities. Opportunities can be related to equipment repair or replacement, building automation, and behavioural low-hanging fruit.

Embrace Sustainable Energy Resources

Many businesses have an expired perspective that shifting to a renewable form of energy could cost the company more than it pays back. However, the reality is that the technology for harnessing renewable energy resources to produce energy has been around for many years, which means it is now more affordable than ever. This makes solar panels and other such green solutions even more cost effective and financially beneficial.

With solar panels, you can reduce the risk of volatile conventional commodity energy prices without having to sacrifice your energy needs. However, the answer to getting the right renewable energy technology and system design for your home or commercial building is to work with an experienced and qualified supplier and installer.

At Dandelion Renewables, we provide full-service turn-key solar power systems, and other renewable energy systems. This approach includes the entire project from conceptual system ideas through engineering, permitting, supply, installation, commissioning, operation, maintenance, and training for system owners. We install high-quality solar power systems at competitive prices. Our team of experts can help you choose the right solution, considering all the essential aspects. For more information on sustainable energy resources, visit our website at dandelionrenewables.com, or contact us today for a free estimate.