Peace Energy hosts off-grid workshop

DAWSON CREEK: Ever looked at your hydro bill and thought: ?Boy, that just seems to go up and up??

Indeed, BC Hydro has an application in for a nine-per-cent rate hike over two years. On Jan. 23, the BC Utilities Commission already approved a first-year rate increase of 7.23 per cent on an interim basis, effective April 1, 2004.

Skyrocketing electricity rates across North America are enough reason for many to want to cut the umbilical cord ?to say it in metaphors? and become an independent power producer.

Peace Energy, Renewable Energy Cooperative, is hosting an off-grid or independent power production workshop with Eric Smiley of the BC Institute of Technology. The three-day workshop starts Friday evening March 12 and runs till Sunday March 14, focusing on Photovoltaics/Wind/genset hybrid systems.

Smiley is well known in renewable energy circles and has conducted workshops for Solar Energy International, based in Colorado. He is a part-time instructor in the Electrical and Electronics department of BCIT where he teaches Introduction to Photovoltaics, and is project leader in Photovoltaic Energy Applied Research. He is on the board of the Canadian Solar Industries Association and the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP).

?We are very fortunate to have found a person of the caliber of Mr. Smiley to lead this intensive workshop,? says David Kidd, Peace Energy?s interim manager. ?This is a unique opportunity for people to explore their options to fix electricity prices for themselves for the next 15 years or so.?

The workshop will include: definition of participants ?objectives and an overview of state of the art;? estimating power use/requirements and options for conservation; exploring technical options; sizing, generation, control, storage, integration with generators and/or grid, sources, prices and budgets; installation and/or field visit; and plans for follow-up.

Says Kidd: ?Handouts and work sheets will be available. We┬╣re inviting suppliers to drop in and we are interested to hear from people who have, or plan to do installations, so we can plan a field visit.?

The energy independence workshop takes place at the Kiwanis Enterprise Centre in Dawson Creek. The cost is $75 to Peace Energy members ($120 for two joint members) and $100 for non-members.

Call Peace Energy at 250-782-5745 or 250-784-3880 for more information.

Peace Energy

10805 – 14th St.

Dawson Creek, BC V1G 4V6

ph: 250-782-5745 cell: 250-784-3880