As it is with all gardens, this one is growing with the benefit of plenty of manure. The 61,440 kWh per year is based on theoretical projections. No actual data was collected at the chosen installation site. There are existing solar installations inNelson that provide many years of actual, hard data and it flies in the face of the projections being used.
More importantly, every Nelson Hydro customer is going to pay for this project. The 25-year project lifespan will undoubtedly see many panels and probably all inverters replaced due to non-warranty failure. If the people buying into the project were paying for the actual cost I’d have less of a problem with this. The original proposal stated that the participants would pay forthe entire project excepting the initial study. That has clearly changed.
I’d still have a problem with the fact that this is a meaningless PR stunt, one that will do nothing to actually benefit theenvironment and may do more harm than good. I see it as a distraction from real, measurable, positive projects that make perfect sense for this part of the world such as micro-hydro generation on the main village water intake as was completed in Nakusp recently. The Nakusp plant will make power 24/7 all year for 30 to 40 homes including the dead of winter. The Nelson solar garden will make power for three to four homes in the summer and not enough for one through our winters. What a waste of resources on a feel-good sham. Aren’t we special.
Kevin LePape, Rural Nelson