LETTER: Give yourself a big green hug

What makes the Nelson solar garden green? Did those buying solar panels expect this power would be greener than our own dam’s waterpower?

What makes the Nelson solar garden green? Did those buying solar panels expect this power would be greener than our own dam’s waterpower? Would we just let our water spill over the dam to be replaced by this “green” solar power?

Solar panels aren’t green until they return all the non-renewable energy required to make them. That can take years, especially in Nelson. This isn’t Arizona. If solar power can avoid some non-renewable power being spent in a power plant somewhere, that could make solar power “green,” otherwise it’s just an undependable expensive feel good waste.

The only coal power in BC comes at night from Alberta. Those plants take days to shut down. BC buys that power at night, saving our water. Alberta has announced all coal power will be gone by 2030. Our solar garden can’t help there. So just where is this Nelson solar power becoming “green”?

The solar garden is supposed to save us on purchasing extra power from Fortis. The engineer’s report shows the solar garden for December could make 868 kWh. We pay Fortis four cents per kilowatt hour, so the solar garden would save us $34. Save? We resell that power for 10 cents per kWh, bringing $86, helping reduce our taxes. During high water from spring freshet through high summer lake levels our dam makes power to sell, up to 28GWh, equivalent to 700 solar gardens.

The engineer’s report shows the solar garden might make 7,500 kWh in July when BC Hydro buys 90 per cent of our extra power for 0.007 cents per kWh, if they buy any at all. July solar garden power could be worth $52. Unless all our extra water power were sold first, one could not attribute any solar power to getting to the grid to become “green” by saving some non-renewable fuel in some unknown power plant somewhere. That makes summer solar power, when almost all of it is made, worthless.

Is this clear, the solar garden saves? $34 that otherwise would bring the city $86 and if sold we might get $52 in July for a $300,000 project and no greenhouse gas is saved.

When you drive by the first solar garden about to be constructed give yourself a big green hug. That will be the only thing green about it. They are now selling solar panels for the second solar garden. Your power bill is going up 3.8 per cent this year. My pension went up 1.2 per cent.

I don’t know how many more of these solar gardens I can afford to have me save (?) money and make the planet “greener.” If you are a Nelson Hydro customer not in the city, you too are saving and making the planet “green.”

Norm Yanke, Nelson

Just Posted

Teck will continue to fight U.S. judgement

U.S. Supreme Court denied hearing Teck’s appeal last week

Car rolls into Cottonwood Creek

No one was injured in the Tuesday evening incident

Greens choose Rosslander to represent them in next federal election

Tara Howse is the former chair of Rossland’s Sustainability Commission

Commercial truck caught dumping waste into river near Trail

Greater Trail RCMP report the company owner has been identified

New residential building under construction at Kerr site

Ground has broken on a four-storey, 44-unit mixed use building

VIDEO: ‘Avengers: Endgame’ to be re-released with new footage

‘Avatar’ holds global box office record at $2.788 billion, while ‘Endgame’ stands at $2.743 billion…

Elias Pettersson wins Calder Trophy as NHL’s top rookie

Vancouver forward first Canuck to win award since Pavel Bure in 1992

FVRD chair calls B.C. incineration plan for Philippines waste ‘disturbing’

Metro Vancouver ‘uniquely capable’ of safely disposing of waste coming back to Canada, say officials

VIDEO: Acknowledging skeptics, finance minister vows to build Trans Mountain project

Bill Morneau said he recognizes ‘huge amount of anxiety’ in Calgary over future of oil and gas sector

Shovels could be in the ground on Trans Mountain by September, CEO says

Ian Anderson points to weeks likely required for NEB to reinstate 2016 regulatory record

Scorpion gives birth after hitching ride in B.C. woman’s luggage

A Vancouver woman inadvertently brought the animal home from a trip to Cuba

RCMP allows officers to grow beards

Members can now wear beards and goatees, as long as they’re neatly groomed

Girl, 10, poisoned by carbon monoxide at B.C. campsite could soon return home

Lucille Beaurain died and daughter Micaela Walton, 10, was rushed to B.C. Children’s Hospital on May 18

30 years later: B.C. woman uses sidewalk chalk to reclaim site of her sexual assault

Vancouver woman didn’t think her powerful story, written in chalk, would ignite such support

Most Read