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Going Solar - New CARP project at Annapolis Royal Academy supports transition to renewable energy

Clean Annapolis River Project will put a 10-kilowatt solar array on the roof of the former Annapolis Royal Regional Academy. The panels will go on the left side of the building above the gym, library, innovation centre, and climbing wall.
Clean Annapolis River Project will put a 10-kilowatt solar array on the roof of the former Annapolis Royal Regional Academy. The panels will go on the left side of the building above the gym, library, innovation centre, and climbing wall. - Lawrence Powell
ANNAPOLIS ROYAL, N.S. —

Annapolis Royal is going solar, thanks to a project by Clean Annapolis River Project that will put a 10-kilowatt solar array on the roof of the former Annapolis Royal Regional Academy.

After months of planning and working to secure funds, the ‘Powering Innovation’ project is now well underway and aims to support rural Nova Scotians in the transition to renewable energy technology and promote the uptake of more sustainable energy practices.

CARP hopes to keep the project on track to see the system installed in Fall 2019. The system will be connected to the grid, tying into Nova Scotia Power’s Enhanced Net Metering program. Ultimately the Town of Annapolis Royal will be the owners of the system.

Through this project, CARP has been able to hire a local graduate of the NSCC’s Energy Sustainability Engineering Technology (ESET) program. “Making the shift to more sustainable energy systems is a shared responsibility and I am excited to be able to share my passion while supporting rural Nova Scotians in this journey,” said project leader Jakemen Mercer.

SOLAR ARRAY

One of the major components of the project involves the installation of a 10-kilowatt solar photovoltaic array on The Academy gymnasium roof. The Academy is a multipurpose building in Annapolis Royal that is home to the Annapolis Royal Library and Innovation Lab, a community gymnasium, and the Annapolis Valley Climbing Club and condominium development.

In the fall 2018 semester students in the ESET program began initial assessment and design for the project, which was integrated into their final year student projects. Project leader Jakemen Mercer has the advantage of being one of the students who was involved in this project.

The system will serve as an educational demonstration for local homeowners and businesses, providing the ability to access live generation information from the array and information regarding the system specifications, costs, and other supporting information that can be used to help individuals make decisions in their own transition to renewable energy technology.

CARP will work with partners such as the Annapolis Royal Library and Innovation Lab to deliver public workshops and seminars to provide additional educational opportunities.

CONFABULATION

One of the major events planned through the project is a Renewable Energy Confabulation, a free public event that will allow community members of all ages to learn more about renewable energy technology and energy suitability.

The event will be Saturday, Nov. 2 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and makes use of the Academy gymnasium and Annapolis Royal Library spaces. The day will include free talks such as Solar Nova Scotia’s ‘Solar 101,’ educational displays, vendor booths, and EV test drives.

hope is to make the event as accessible to families as possible, so the day will also include free drop-in youth programming and free child-minding for younger kids. Details and a full schedule will be posted on CARP’s website.

The project also has a strong focus on filling in educational gaps for youth. CARP has been able to purchase classroom sets of renewable energy technology kits and is working with local teachers to develop and pilot curriculum linked renewable energy modules, which will then be delivered to schools across the Valley. The project will allow CARP to offer teacher training and even when the project wraps up, the kits will be available for loan as a free resource through the Annapolis Valley Regional Library.

SUPPORT

This project is being supported by funding from Nova Scotia Department of Energy and Mines Low Carbon Communities Program, Farm Credit Canada’s Agri Spirit Fund, and the Parker Mountain Wind Turbine Society community fund.

ABOUT CARP

Clean Annapolis River Project is an environmental NGO that operates throughout the Annapolis River Watershed, with an office in Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia. Their mission is to enhance the ecological health of the Annapolis River watershed through science, leadership and community engagement. For more information visit www.annapolisriver.ca

Information supplied by Katie McLean

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