Solar production up 150%

An update on our enhanced solar array!

This article was published on Dec 5, 2020 – we currently have solar panels on our Spes Bona building.

Now, that’s power – solar power delivered direct from the roof of our iconic administration building, Spes Bona. During Thanksgiving weekend in October, our solar electrical contractor Amber Cachelin installed an additional 32 solar panels to join the 19 installed last year. The 51-panel array fills the roof of Spes and is generating a magnificent amount of energy during the first full month of operation.

In fact, as you can see from the monthly on-line recording, our solar energy production was up a whopping one and one-half times more than the same month last year. (A note to acknowledge that comparisons over time can be tricky because some months are sunnier than others, and others are more cloudy – but the figures confirm that our numbers are way up!).

All that clean, green energy is flowing from the panels through the microinverters and wires into Spes and powering our main office, virtual community hub, staff offices and our Sorrento Retreat and Conference Centre shop. On days when the energy production from the sun exceeds the energy used in the building (which happens quite a lot – more on that in a later report), then the excess energy flows through the smart meter to the BC Hydro grid and powers our neighbours, like Sorrento Elementary, the Sorrento Memorial Hall, St Mary’s Anglican / United and others. And, of course, we get a credit on our electricity bill for the power we send to others.

We are grateful to dozens of individual donors, as well as a grant from SASCU Credit Union, to pay for our solar panels. We talking with our solar consultant, Michael Mehta, about the next stage in our clean, green energy initiative – which is to install an EV (electric vehicle) charging station for guests and visitors. We currently use electric carts for our maintenance and housekeeping staff – and we’d like to offer charging facilities for green cars.

We are inviting our friends and donors to become sustaining partners of the Sorrento Retreat and Conference Centre by joining the circle in our Sorrento60 initiative. Sorrento60 partners help us to live deeply into our vision and mission, supporting innovative programs and projects around our main campus and natural farm. 

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