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Summerland's First Solar+Storage Facility Opens to Power the Future

Summerland, BC, Nov. 16, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Wildstone Construction Group (Wildstone) and SkyFire Energy are proud to announce the opening of Summerland's first utility-scale solar facility, enabling the municipality to generate and store its electricity.

The opening of the new facility marks a significant step toward a more sustainable and eco-friendly future for the District of Summerland, which is one of five municipalities in BC to own its electrical utility. By generating power locally, the community can keep money in the local economy, reduce the direct energy and peak demand fees, and increase the resiliency of their power grid. 

The multi-phased project was a joint venture between Wildstone Construction Group and Skyfire Energy. Battery components came from EVLO Energy Storage Inc. (EVLO), a subsidiary of Hydro Quebec. Civil construction was completed by Chute Creek, an Okanagan-based contractor, and electrical interconnection and controls were completed by Penticton-based company, Struthers Technical Solutions Ltd.

Due to the collaborative partner expertise and a commitment to sustainability and environmental responsibility, the project has successfully integrated solar power capacity and battery energy storage system technology to extend the system's output into the hours when energy demand is highest.

Reduced Project Scope, Enhanced Sustainability: The project utilized 80% local construction labour and Canadian-based manufacturing for the solar PV racking (Polar Racking) and the battery energy storage system (provided by EVLO). The facility was secured using a geo-ballast system that anchors the array to the ground utilizing local boulders and rocks, which helped minimize the carbon intensity of the project.

Powering the Future: The Summerland Solar+Storage Facility features a Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) capable of grid forming, peak shaving, and ancillary services, which will eliminate short-term demand spikes and lower peak loads, reducing overall demand costs. The project's control strategy was tailored to ensure a seamless integration into the microgrid control system.

"On behalf of the Wildstone/Skyfire Joint Venture team, it has been an honour to work with the District of Summerland and ATCO in the development, design, and construction of the Summerland Solar+Storage Project," said Matt Simard, Director of Corporate Development
For Wildstone. "This is a historic project - the first of its kind in the Province. We commend the District for its forward approach to sustainability. Our team appreciates being selected and trusted to implement this project and we look forward to working with the District of Summerland again." 

"It has been an exciting journey to be a part of this project," said Landon Aldridge, Vice President of Operations for SkyFire Energy Inc. "I first sat in on the funding announcement presentation back in 2018. So, to have the opportunity to actually build this exciting project is pretty special. Kudos to the District of Summerland for having the vision to incorporate such a unique project into their Utility. This is a great example for other Municipal-owned utilities to follow. Congratulations to the Wildstone, EVLO, Westpark, and Chute Creek teams, as well as the other consultants and partners on a successful project."

Learn more at wildstone.com/summerland-solar-and-storage

About Wildstone Construction Group 
Wildstone Construction Group is a leading construction company focusing on sustainability, innovation, and community development. The company specializes in delivering high-impact projects that make a positive difference in its communities.

About Skyfire Energy
SkyFire Energy is Western Canada's leading solar panel installation contractor. We design and install grid-connected solar power systems from our offices in Calgary, Edmonton, Regina and Penticton/Kelowna. Our experience includes the design and installation of thousands of residential solar power systems and many of the largest and most complex commercial photovoltaic systems in Western Canada.


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