Gold Bridge Solar PV Renewable Energy Initiative

Electoral Area A

The Gold Bridge Solar Photovoltaic (PV) Renewable Energy Initiative is an innovative project constructed in late 2015 in the small community of Gold Bridge in Electoral Area A, also known as the Bridge River Valley. The project saw the installation of three small-scale, grid-tied PV arrays that enable the SLRD to harness the clean, renewable energy of the sun to supply electricity to three of its service areas.

Combined, the three PV systems will deliver between 17,300 – 20,200 kilowatt hours of electricity per year, reducing grid electricity consumption, offering modest cost savings, and providing a hedge against rising electricity prices.  At today’s rates, the combined project is expected to generate an estimated $2,050 in energy savings and / or exported energy in the first year of operation alone. Developing these small-scale arrays will also raise awareness of sustainable energy practices and promote the viability of distributed solar energy systems as a means of enhancing the sustainability and resilience of rural and remote communities.

Gold Bridge Transfer Station Array:

  • 6 kilowatt (kW) ground-mounted solar PV array
  • Expected solar harvest: 6,600 - 6,900 kilowatt hours (kWh) / year
  • Goal: Exceed annual electrical consumption by 10% with excess electricity being exported back to the grid via BC Hydro's Net Metering Program

Gold Bridge Community Complex Array:

  • 6 kw roof-mounted solar PV array
  • Expected solar harvest: 6,300 - 6,700 kWh / year
  • Goal: Reduce the building's annual grid electricity dependence by 23%

View the Community Complex monitoring dashboard in real-time

Haylmore Heritage Site Array:

  • 4 kW ground-mounted solar PV array
  • Expected solar harvest: 4,400 - 6,600 kWh / year
  • Goal: To exceed annual site electrical consumption by 33% with excess electricity being exported back to the grid via BC Hydro's Net Metering Program

View the Haylmore site monitoring dashboard in real-time

Additional Project Details:

We gratefully acknowledge the support of the Province of British Columbia and the Government of Canada. This project would not have been possible without funding provided through B.C.'s Community Energy Leadership Program as well as Electoral Area A's allocation of federal Gas Tax Funding. 

Project Update in Photos:

4 November 2015

Update: 19 November 2015

Novo backfilled the trench at the Haylmore site, prepared the site (tree/brush clearing and site levelling), and installed the ground mount racking hardware. At the transfer station they finished levelling the site and installed the ground mount racking hardware. They have not yet installed the panels on the roof of the community complex. It is anticipated that, with sunny weather forecast for the weekend, the installation will be able to be completed over by next week.

Update: November 25 2015

After working through the weekend, to take advantage of the clearer weather, the three installations are almost complete. The transfer station is now up and running and electricans are scheduled to complete the tie-in to connect theHaylmore site and the Community Complex on Friday, 27 November.

Below, in order: the solar array at the Gold Bridge Community Complex, the array at the Gold Bridge Transfer Station, and the array at the Haylmore Heritage site.

Update: December 1, 2015

The array at the Gold Bridge Community Complex is up and running. The only work outstanding is to connect the system to the internet so that it can be monitored remotely. The array at the Haylmore Heritage Site is complete. The system will be initialized with BC Hydro in the coming days.

Update: Monday, December 7 2015, saw all three arrays powered up and harvesting energy from the sun. Above, from left to right, Michelle Nortje, Bridge River Valley Community Association (BRVCA) Treasurer and Minto Communications Manager; Jane Roberts, BRVCA staff & Rock Wall Gallery Artisan; Debbie Demare, Area A SLRD Director & Heritage Commitee member; Roger Geeves, BRVCA Board Member & Heritage Commitee Chair; Brad Dickson, Heritage Committee & Sal Demare, early project champion and researcher, celebrate the official flicking of the switch.

UPDATE 15 March 2016: Director Debbie Demare, and representatives from the Bridge River Valley Community Association (BRVCA) and the SLRD, toured the solar arrays, to learn directly from the project installer from Novo Solar Systems, how it operates, what benefits it generates, and what kind of educational sharing opportunities this can provide for summer tourism in Area A.