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

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

The Pool at the Esquimalt Rec Centre. (Courtesy of theTownship of Esquimalt/ Facebook)
Esquimalt Rec Centre restarting everyone welcome swim times later this month

The 90-minute sessions will be on select evenings and weekends

Steve Mann and Tim Hackett consider Marigold Lands their finest development. (Rendering courtesy Marigold Lands)
Marigold residences grow more townhouses and condos in Central Saanich

50 condos, 14 townhouses up next for project adjacent to Pat Bay Highway

Norman Mogensen sets up strings for his beans in his plot in the Oak Bay community gardens. (Christine van Reeuwyk/News Staff)
Oak Bay gardener spends decades cultivating, improving daddy’s beans

85-year-old vegan part of the community gardens scene

Theatre SKAM is offering mobile, pop-up performances to Greater Victoria residents once again this summer. They’ll feature emerging artists Yasmin D’Oshun, Courtney Crawford, Kaelan Bain and Kendra Bidwell (left to right). (Courtesy of Theatre SKAM)
Theatre performances can be ordered to Greater Victoria front yards this summer

Theatre SKAM offering mobile, pop-up performances once again

Diana Durrand and Arlene Nesbitt celebrate the new artist space in 2014. Gage Gallery moves this summer from Oak Bay to Bastion Square in Victoria. (Black Press Media file photo)
Gage Gallery moving to Bastion Square

Vivid Connections, a showcase by Laura Feeleus and Elizabeth Carefoot, opens new venue June 29

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

Emily Steele holds up a collage of her son, 16-year-old Elijah-Iain Beauregard who was stabbed and killed in June 2019, outside of Kelowna Law Courts on June 18. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
Kelowna woman who fatally stabbed teen facing up to 1.5 years of jail time

Her jail sentence would be followed by an additional one to 1.5 years of supervision

Cpl. Scott MacLeod and Police Service Dog Jago. Jago was killed in the line of duty on Thursday, June 17. (RCMP)
Abbotsford police, RCMP grieve 4-year-old service dog killed in line of duty

Jago killed by armed suspect during ‘high-risk’ incident in Alberta

The George Road wildfire near Lytton, B.C., has grown to 250 hectares. (BC Wildfire Service)
B.C. drone sighting halts helicopters fighting 250 hectares of wildfire

‘If a drone collides with firefighting aircraft the consequences could be deadly,’ says BC Wildfire Service

A dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is pictured at a vaccination site in Vancouver Thursday, March 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
NACI advice to mix vaccines gets varied reaction from AstraZeneca double-dosers

NACI recommends an mRNA vaccine for all Canadians receiving a second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine

A aerial view shows the debris going into Quesnel Lake caused by a tailings pond breach near the town of Likely, B.C., Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Updated tailings code after Mount Polley an improvement: B.C. mines auditor

British Columbia’s chief auditor of mines has found changes to the province’s requirements for tailings storage facilities

A North Vancouver man was arrested Friday and three police officers were injured after a 10-person broke out at English Bay on June 19, 2021. (Youtube/Screen grab)
Man arrested, 3 police injured during 10-person brawl at Vancouver beach

The arrest was captured on video by bystanders, many of whom heckled the officers as they struggled with the handcuffed man

Patrick O’Brien, a 75-year-old fisherman, went missing near Port Angeles Thursday evening. (Courtesy of U.S. Coast Guard)
Search for lost fisherman near Victoria suspended, U.S. Coast Guard says

The 75-year-old man was reported missing Thursday evening

Most Read