Canadian Solar revealed the completion of the first diesel hybrid PV system in the remote microgrids in northern Ontario, Canada. The 152kW rooftop solar array on the Deer Lake First Nation Elementary School, completed by Canadian Solar with its supplier partners, is the first project under the strategic partnership with NCC Development, LP, a First Nation renewable energy management company, in a commitment to use renewable energy microgrid solutions to assist the energy needs of off-grid First Nations and remote communities.
Serving the First Nations of Deer Lake, Fort Severn, Keewaywin, North Spirit Lake, Poplar Hill and McDowell Lake located in northern Ontario, NCC has identified more than 80 First Nations and remote communities for potential renewable energy microgrid solution deployment, in an effort to promote PV services and projects to areas heavily reliant on diesel and challenged by limited access to electricity.
"NCC is optimistic in moving forward with our partner Canadian Solar, as we continue to build strategic collaborative efforts with leaders in the solar and renewable energy industry to foster sustainable development of Canada's indigenous communities," said Geordi Kakepetum, Chief Executive Officer of NCC Development LP.
"Our partnership with NCC started 3 years ago. It underscores our strong commitment to Canada, helping to bring solar power to areas previously unable to get connected to the grid. Solar is a green, flexible, low-cost, and sustainable energy solution for these underserved First Nations and other rural areas," commented Dr. Shawn Qu, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Canadian Solar Inc.
"To reduce peak load and connect five more homes, we developed a three-part plan, including conservation, load shifting, and installing a PV solar system. This is important not only for the families who are waiting to move into these new houses, but for all of Deer Lake," said Chief Royale Meekis, the leader of Deer Lake First Nation during a ribbon cutting ceremony. Deer Lake First Nation aims to eventually replace 50% of their diesel consumption with the RE microgrid retrofit solution. The focus of the partners in developing RE microgrid solutions is also to help to build much needed additional clean energy capacity, and to support future economic development in the communities.