Gord Fulcher with one of the 12 solar panels that will soon cover the roof of his house. Combined

Energy shift hands in Sooke

Sooke resident leaves power grid and generates his own form of electricity

“Times are a changin” is a phrase often heard with just about everything: culture, technology, society and the environment.

But there’s a bigger shift in places – one that engulfs everything else – the worldwide revolution of renewable energy.

Gord Fulcher, a Sooke resident, watched this tug-and-pull battle between the old ways of generating power – from dams, coal-fire plants, oil and gas installations – and power that comes from the sun, the sea, and earth.

He chose the sun by installing 12 solar (2X3 feet) panels on the roof of his home, each one capable of 300 kW, with a combined output of up to 3.6 kWh of electricity.

“It’s something I’ve always wanted to do, and have actually installed this for other people, just haven’t been able to afford it for myself until now,” he said.

The installation is what’s called a grid-type inverter system, meaning for every two panels there’s an inverter that changes it to AC power right at the solar panels. It all connects to the home’s power box and feeds back electricity. Any power that isn’t used spins the meter backwards.

“We get paid for that, or we get money taken off what we owe,” said Fulcher, who’s trained in alternative energy and has previous experience with installing hot water systems.

Last winter, Fulcher built a furnace out of beer cans which used a solar panel to power it; the result was free heat to warm up his crawl space.

Installing the solar panel grid is fairly easy and relatively inexpensive.

“You just hook it up to a 20 amp breaker in your power box and then when there’s sun, it creates power,” Fulcher said, adding the installation service is provided by several specialists in Sooke, though the company, Viridian Energy Co-Operative, is based out of Duncan.

The system will eventually pay for itself within a fewyears, and with a 20-year warranty and no moving parts, there’s not much that can go wrong either, noted Fulcher.

It’s not even about the money though – it’s about taking his own path to generating electricity.

“I don’t want the Site C Dam or the Keystone pipeline, and I always say that we should be investing in alternative energy,” Fulcher said. “We need oil and we need gas, but we don’t need as much.

“This is me putting my money where my mouth is.”

 

Just Posted

Trudeau announces $79M investment for 118 more public transit buses across B.C.

Contributions from municipal to federal level to fund more buses in a bid to cut commutes

Sun on its way after Greater Victoria sees wettest July in six years

Environment Canada meteorologists say the drizzle is likely to end soon

After Victoria dad’s death, Technical Safety BC wants changes to trampoline park rules

Jay Greenwood, 46, did ‘a series of acrobatic manoeuvres prior to a fall that caused serious injury and cardiac arrest’

Join Oak Bay’s heritage walk and scavenger hunt this Saturday

Hunt seeks significant examples of historical architecture in Oak Bay

VIDEO: 1,400 classic cars roll into Victoria for Deuce Days

The four-day festival highlights classic hot rods, with a special emphasis on cars built in 1932

BCHL: Alberni Valley Bulldogs have been sold

Victoria company has purchased BCHL team, but will keep it in Port Alberni

“Does Kirby care?” B.C. First Nation’s group using geo-targeted ads in Houston, Texas for justice

The Heiltsuk Tribal Council has called out Kirby Corporation for the Nathan E. Stewart oil spill

B.C. woman wins record $2.1 million on casino slot machine

‘That night was so surreal … I wasn’t able to sleep or eat for the first two days,’ she said

LETTER: Refining bitmen not a good idea

One of the arguments against increasing the capacity of the Trans Mountain… Continue reading

LETTER: Welcome to Nevergreen Mall

Re: Work starts on mall expansion (News, July 17) Welcome to Nevergreen… Continue reading

$900M settlement reached in class action on sexual misconduct in Canadian military

After facing criticism, the government moved to begin settlement proceedings in early 2018

Tax take stays ahead of increased B.C. government spending

Tax revenue $2.1 billion higher than budget in 2018-19

Most Read