Energy House for Northern Lights College

DAWSON CREEK ? Energy House, which will be built on the Dawson Creek campus of Northern Lights College, received two significant contributions this week.

Western Economic Diversification committed $150,000 to the project, while BP Canada Energy Company announced a donation valued at more than $100,000.

The announcements were made during a special ceremony on Nov. 6 at the Dawson Creek campus. An audience of about 50 people attended.

Prince George-Peace River MP Jay Hill made the federal government announcement on behalf of Rona Ambrose, President of the Queen?s Privy Council, Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, and Minister of Western Economic Diversification.

?The opportunities that Energy House will bring to the region are exciting, both for the educational community and for business and energy,? Hill said. ?Best of all, it shows how B.C.?s Peace region can lead the way to a sustainable future for Canadians.?

Stephen Willis, senior vice-president of major projects and B.C. operations for BP, announced that his company would contribute to Energy House in four ways: donating and installing 20 solar electric panels, helping with landscaping, providing funding to help develop a public education video about Energy House, and providing funding to help develop curricula for the Solar Thermal, Solar Electric and Geo-thermal Installer programs.

?The idea of coordinating education and enterprise development and the environment seemed to be just the perfect fit for us,? said Willis. ?The business of alternative energy is very much part of our business.?

College president Jean Valgardson congratulated Bob Haugen, NLC?s Continuing Education coordinator in Dawson Creek, and Emanuel Machado, the City of Dawson Creek?s deputy director of development, two of the people who had the original vision for the project.

Valgardson thanked the organizations and companies that have since become involved as partners, including: the City of Dawson Creek, Bear Mountain Wind LP, Taylor/Munro Energy Systems, GreenSmart Homes, Peace Energy Cooperative, Dokie Wind project, Peace Chapter of the BC Sustainable Energy Assoc., Lucienne Contracting, Peace Photographics, Western Diversification and BP.

And Howard Mayer, the College?s dean of business, industry and contract training, told the audience that he was looking forward to helping develop the curricula for the new programs that will be based in Energy House.

?It?s been my pleasure to become part of Energy House on the educational side, thinking about the programming that will happen there, and thinking about the vision that Bob and Emanuel had,? Mayer said.

Mayer said that the key would be capitalizing on the vision and initiative of young people, some of who may only be in middle school now.

Energy House has a projected cost of approximately $500,000, and construction is slated for next year.

Alternative energy technology systems that are planned for Energy House are: small residential wind and commercial wind, photovoltaic and solar thermal arrays, geo exchange, and biomass systems.

Energy House is intended to be a training centre for students in Trades and University Transfer science courses, as well as a place for the general public to learn about these technologies.