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Solar power at Surrey housing complex

July 21, 2010

Scott Simpson has an interesting article in today’s Vancouver Sun about a 127-unit social housing complex in Surrey that has become western Canada’s largest solar electricity installation. 

The province inherited this social housing complex from CMHC and it was reportedly in fairly bad shape. 

But as Housing and Social Development Minister Rich Coleman is quoted as saying in Simpson’s article, it was worth saving because there were “over 250-odd kids living there.”

Simpson reports that the solar panels that have been installed at the complex (part of a two-year, $21.8-million renovation of the complex) will generate 139 kilowatt hours of electricity yearly which is about 10 per cent of what the townhouse complex draws annually from the BC Hydro grid.

Along with some additional improvements such as heat pumps it’s expected that the residents of this social housing complex will see a drastic reduction in their electricity and heating costs.

Carmanah Technologies, based in Victoria, carried out the solar installation and it’s another example of the diversity of renewable energy resources we’re blessed with here in B.C. and the province’s developing clean energy sector.

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