Nelson’s solar garden is now under construction at its Nelson Hydro site in Bonnington.
The contract for the installation and racking was awarded to Brian Coulter of Valhalla Timberwrights in Rossland, according to a Nelson Hydro news release. Installation is expected to be complete by the end of November.
The racking system will be built of locally sourced cedar.
The solar garden will consist of an array of solar panels owned by Nelson Hydro on which residents rent space for a 25-year period and receive credit annually on their bill. The credit will go up as the price of power increases. It will be the solar energy production from the panels that the customers purchase, not the panels themselves.
“Once the racks are built they will be fastened to concrete blocks,” the news release states. “This type of system is being used due to site conditions, which consist of some bedrock which is not easily penetrated… Once the racking is in place, the panels will be installed and then the system will be connected to the grid.”
In order for the project to proceed, Nelson Hydro required that 75 per cent of a 50 kW array be subscribed to during the pre-sale event last year. This goal was exceeded and Nelson Hydro increased the size to 60 kW.
There were 240 panels offered for sale and so far 237 have been sold.
Nelson Hydro has a grand opening planned for the spring of 2017.