SES Solar Co-operative Ltd.

One of the important purposes of this SES Solar Co-op project is to demonstrate a cost-effective reduction in greenhouse gas emissions for a commercial building in Saskatoon. “We hope others will follow our lead”, said Jason Praski, volunteer chair of the SES Solar Co-op’s Installation Committee. “Scientific evidence points to an accelerating pace of climate change, beyond even many previous projections. We urgently need to reduce our province’s reliance on fossil fuel sources of power generation if we are to do our share. With the cost of solar technology steadily declining, installation of solar power on many commercial buildings in Saskatoon has become economically viable. SES Solar Co-op’s members and our community partners are pleased to continue to demonstrate that solar power can play a major role in Saskatoon’s energy future.”

SES Solar Co-op contracted with MiEnergy of Saskatoon to design, supply, and install the 80 solar panels. The Solar Co-op focuses on using local installers, ensuring revenue generated from its projects stays in the Saskatoon area. Saskatoon building owner Montgomery Agencies provided a reinforced rooftop space for the installation, and 4 private businesses at the Haskamp Street site will now receive the majority of their electricity from a near emissions-free solar energy source.

Montgomery Agencies representative Jeff Montgomery said: "It is a great opportunity that the Solar Co-op has provided. We are able, along with our 4 tenants, to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions at our 615 Haskamp building without having to front the capital for solar PV equipment. The cost we pay for electricity being used remains the same, but through our partnership with the Solar Co-op we are able to proactively take steps to reduce our operations’ carbon footprint. We believe this project serves to showcase the vast potential for renewable energy we have in Saskatoon and its application in a commercial setting like our own.”

The SES Solar Co-operative was initiated by the Saskatchewan Environmental Society. We are the first solar power co-operative in Saskatchewan, and are entirely community-owned.

SES Solar Co-op installations have been aided by generous interest-free financing support from Bullfrog Power, which has allowed for accelerated planning of installations and payment of preliminary costs. “We are pleased that Bullfrog Power has recognized the work of our Co-op in this way and are very thankful for the help it has provided us in our start-up phase” said Mr. Praski.

This project is an innovative partnership between SES Solar Co-operative, local building owner Montgomery Agencies Ltd. and 4 private businesses at the Haskamp Street site. They receive the majority of their electricity from a near emissions-free solar energy source. The rooftop system consists of 80 environmentally-friendly 280 watt solar panels for a total of 22.4 kilowatts of peak electricity production. The solar power produced will be equivalent to about 80% of the Haskamp building's total power consumption.  We estimate the greenhouse gas emissions going into the atmosphere from this building will be cut by nearly 20 tonnes per year. See video and CBC article.

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