Third Transition Research Can Design Sustainable Power for Any Community

We have already modeled clean energy for Haida Gwaii, British Columbia. Our model was presented in a 2018 academic report:

Application and Viability of a Solar Photovoltaic System for an Off-Grid Community Power Supply in Haida Gwaii, Canada


Solar photovoltaic (PV) technology is a viable source of sustainable energy. This report explores the feasibility of a commercial PV power plant which would provide electricity for a rural island community where there is no connection to the mainland utility grid. We have chosen such a community on the archipelago of Haida Gwaii, British Columbia, because we feel it could potentially benefit from the inclusion of solar power into its microgrid. We researched the design, scale, and economic feasibility of such a power plant, and this is our report.

We would like to completely replace the existing diesel power plant which serves the Skidegate, Queen Charlotte City, Tlell and Sandspit region of Haida Gwaii. However, we discovered that the geographic location and climate of Haida Gwaii make this goal virtually impossible—for a single PV plant. The amount of suitable real estate, as well as the relatively low solar insolation in winter months, impede achieve such a goal. Further, the cost of equipment is substantial. Despite all of this, we were able to design a system which can fully meet the community’s demand during part of the year (but not the winter months—at which time the community would still be reliant on the diesel plant or other sources which might be currently available or developed in the future). Further, aware of the intermittency of solar insolation, we seek to store power generated during the day to meet evening and nighttime demand. We discovered that this is possible, albeit expensive. The bottom line is that, because of the high cost of diesel fuel in Haida Gwaii, our project is economically viable despite its magnitude and high cost.

If this project were to come to fruition, it would be the largest Canadian solar farm east of Ontario. We encourage others to pursue additional renewable energy projects, such that other sources, e.g., wind and tidal, could provide energy during the winter—ultimately rendering the current fossil fuel plant unnecessary.

If one speaks of a "holistic approach to fossil fuel usage," is she speaking internally-inconsistent, incoherent gibberish?

In response to a request for sustainable energy feasibility study proposals, The Village of Queen Charlotte rejected our model in favour of one it described as  " . . . a holistic approach to fossil fuel usage in our community."  No elaboration was given. However, it might be asked if "holistic" and "fossil fuel usage" are mutually contradictory terms, in that burning of fossil fuels is inherently non-holistic. Greenhouse gasses are spewed into the atmosphere, ignoring the health of the earth as a whole ecosystem. We believe that the only holistic approach to energy is to eliminate the extraction and burning of fossil fuels completely.

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