In 2013, T’Sou-ke Nation became the first Aboriginal community in the world to be designated a solar community. They have installed three solar demonstration projects. One demonstrates how remote ‘off grid’ communities can economically switch from diesel to solar.
Another demonstrates how to be ‘Net Zero’ — which means no more electricity bills. Solar panels on their reservation are used to power all the administrative buildings, while sending their excess solar power back to the grid to contribute to British Columbia’s clean energy profile. On sunny days, that excess can be up to 90 per cent of the power produced.
The profits of selling this power back to BC Hydro offsets their power bills during darker months. The project received $400,000 in funding from the Province’s Innovative Clean Energy Fund. Solar programs in Colwood, the Capital Regional District and several First Nations throughout BC have been modelled after T’Sou-ke’s leadership.
T’Sou-ke is now working on harnessing the energy of the wind and waves to create more clean energy for their community and the province. T’Sou-ke Eco Tourism has been boosted by this project, with over 2,000 people from all over the world visiting each year for solar tours and workshops.