Despite recent pipelines proposals, renewable energy projects are popping up with a vengeance. Renewable energy takes advantage of sources like the sun, wind, and waves, to create energy. Fossil fuels are a limited source that must be transported across the globe. It leaves us to question, how long will it last and when will the next inevitable spill take place? What happens then? By switching to renewable resources, we have an endless supply of power. It has little to no environmental impact, which is key at a time where climate change looms over us. But as with anything, change must start from the ground up. Here are some of the inspiring companies that have found ways to be more sustainable, while showing others that change is just around the corner:
W Dusk Group Inc.
Indigenous owned-company W Dusk Group Inc. helps install renewable energy sources in Canadian indigenous communities. They offer solar, wind and hydrokinetic energy as alternatives to diesel and gas. As well, W Dusk Group Inc. hosts tutorials to youth in the communities, where they learn about solar energy.
Communities standing up against nonrenewable sources
- The company recently landed in B.C.’s Haida Gwaii, where it built a 100-kilowatt solar farm. It runs the 50,000 square feet Haida Heritage Center, which eliminated its $100,000 annual hydro bill. The project is the largest community-owned installation in B.C. Haida Gwaii began its move away from diesel after a 2014 spill that leaked more than 50,000 gallons of diesel. The community was devastated, as the spill leaked over the clam beds they relied on. Since then, the community has also installed heating pumps and smaller solar projects in the school and community center.
- Imagine the most unlikely site for a renewable energy project and you may find yourself in Peace River’s oil sands. The indigenous town of Little Buffalo initiated the Lubicon Solar Project, which powers the local health center. The 80-panel solar project was inspired after 28,000 barrels of crude oil spilled in 2011. The incident marked it as the province’s second largest spill in 35 years. It contaminated beaver ponds and caused the town’s residents nausea, burning eyes and headaches. After that, the town had had enough. Resident Melina Laboucan-Massimo teamed together with W Dusk Group Inc. to create the solar project. By placing it in the oil sands, the project signifies the importance in moving away from fossil fuels.
Elemental Energy Inc.
Elemental Energy Inc. is a Vancouver-based company aiming to help others develop renewable energy. The company invests capital in projects across Canada and the U.S.
Recent projects with a ‘Go big or go home’ attitude
- The Brooks Solar Project is the first utility scale solar project in Western Canada. And it’s no surprise, given its 50,000 solar panels have the ability to power 3,000 homes. After almost five years of planning, the Alberta project launched in 2017 on a 30-hectare site. It is currently the largest project of its kind, but there are others in the works in the same region.
- The small town of Fermeuse, south of St. John’s, is one of two places in Newfoundland with wind farms. The Fermeuse Wind Project is a 27-megawatt wind farm that contains nine turbines. It began supplying energy in April 2009. Wind power is getting cheaper than fossil fuels as more time passes, states a CBC article. Energy from the wind farm costs about seven cents a kilowatt hour, whereas oil energy from the Newfoundland town of Holyrood is at least 10 cents per hour.
Amazon, Apple and Google
Technology and online companies’ impact on society is forever growing, so it’s important they put their best foot forward. Each of these companies are invested in renewable energy projects around the world.
Company ambitions with no sign of slowing down
- Google’s efforts to buy as much renewable energy as needed have already been achieved. Earlier this year, the search engine company announced it now purchases more renewable energy than it consumes. That goes across its 13 data centers and office complex. Google aims to encourage other tech companies to follow suit. It currently has 26 renewable energy projects around the world – with more in the works.
- As of this year, Apple’s global facilities are also powered by 100 per cent renewable energy. That consists of retail stores, offices, data centers, and facilities across 43 countries. It also includes the headquarters, Apple Park, which has one of the world’s largest solar panel roofs in the world.
- Amazon is working toward a goal of complete sustainability, aiming to install at least 50 rooftop solar projects by 2020. Recently, they launched a solar rooftop on its North Las Vegas fulfillment center. The project includes 3,145 solar modules, which amounts to three and half football fields. So far, Amazon has 28 wind and solar energy projects across the U.S.
Bullfrog Power is Canada’s leading energy provider and Nature’s Path’s green energy partner within Canada. The company’s vision is to be Canada’s source for greener energy and to inspire people to lead a renewable future.
Since 2005, Bullfrog Power and its customers have put more than 700,000 litres of green fuel onto the Canadian fuel system. It has also supported more than 140 community-based green energy projects across Canada. The company prides itself on having displaced more than one million tonnes of carbon dioxide from the environment.
First of its kind projects
- Quebec’s Dépôt Rive-Nord is one of the first biomethane projects in Canada. The landfill gas project accepts organic waste from 500,000 Quebec residents that is then turned into electricity.
- Up North, Lutsel K’e of the Northwest Territories made its sustainability mark in 2016. With Bullfrog Power’s support, the community of about 300 people, launched 144 solar panels. The community became the Northern territories’ first independent power producer.
- In 2009, Bear Mountain Wind Park was completed and became the first fully operational wind project in B.C. The 25-hectare site delivers enough electricity to power most of B.C.’s South Peace region. It is also used as a site for cattle grazing, hiking, snowmobiling, cross country skiing and other recreational activities.
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