Community Energy Case Studies

The Lasqueti Community Integrated Energy Project was recently completed in March 2016. 

This remote island community project involved installing renewable energy technologies to displace diesel use for electricity generation in a number of community buildings. The resulting high penetration solar/diesel hybrid energy systems have a total of 55 kilowatts (kW) of photovoltaic (PV) solar capacity. The project was installed in two phases, including 13 kW PV capacity at the Judith Fisher Health Centre and 42 kW PV capacity at False Bay School (FBS). Both FBS and the Health Centre systems have SMA Sunny Boy 7 kW and/or 9 kW solar inverters, SMA Sunny Island 6 kW off-grid inverters, and flooded lead-acid batteries. Both systems are expected to achieve a 60 to 75 percent reduction in CO2 emissions relative to relying solely on a diesel generator

One of the challenges of a solar/diesel hybrid electrical system (with battery storage) is ensuring that the combined system optimizes solar input and minimizes fuel consumption.  The SMA solar inverters are capable of starting and stopping the generator, but only based on a limited set of criteria.  Therefore, a simple generator scheduling computer was installed and programmed to function as a “smart control system”.  A comprehensive monitoring system was also installed to capture detailed data on fuel consumption and other costs.  These web-accessible systems can read weather forecasts from the internet, calculate expected PV output, look up and/or learn typical daily load profiles, determine optimum generator start/stop times, and alter parameters to cause the generator to start/stop. 

These systems will also provide valuable information for education and research purposes and are available for public viewing here:

Sunny Portal:  Lasqueti FBS PV System Profile

Enteliweb:  False Bay School Energy System Monitoring

This unique remote community energy project  was originally conceived by False Bay School students, teachers and parents who had the vision and determination to raise the initial seed funding  that leveraged partner funding, donations and other project support from a number of organizations including Natural Resources Canada, the Province of BC, BC Sustainable Energy Association, Vancity/Real Estate Foundation of BC, the Islands Trust, School District #69, the Fraser Basin Council, Lasqueti Last Resort Society and the Lasqueti Community Association.

Please check back here again soon as more Community Energy Case Studies will be added