Through a partnership with and funding provided by Bullfrog Power, Canada’s leading green energy provider, and its Bullfrog Builds Renewable Accelerator Program, FBC installed 12 solar photovoltaic panels on their main building that generate clean, pollution-free electricity. The system was installed by Fundy Solar located in Jolicure, NB.
Solar energy can be converted and stored in the battery system on-site and used in day-to-day operations. This gives FBC a measure of self-reliance in the event of a power outage. On bright days when the solar system is producing more power than FBC can use, it ties back into the power grid and receives bill credit from NB Power for contributing renewable energy. This will help New Brunswick meet its goal of generating 40 per cent of its electricity from renewable sources by year 2020.
Fundy Solar Ltd. (Fundy Solar) has been designing and installing renewable energy systems since 2003. They are the only CanSIA certified installer in the Province of New Brunswick and have had many successful installations across the Maritimes and are a strong proponent for renewable energy. FBC engaged Fundy Solar to help with the design and installation of the 3 kW solar PV system on FBC’s main building. Three different options were provided by Fundy Solar to be considered as options for the main building:
- Micro inverter system: 6 kW solar PV panels with enphase micro inverters on each panel to be a grid tied PV power system
- String inverter: 6 kW solar PV panels with one 6 kW Aurora inverter to be a grid tied PV power system
- Battery Back-up: 3.75 kW solar PV panels with one 3.6 kW Inverter, 9 kWh worth of battery back-up storage to be a grid tied PV power system
It was up to the team at FBC to decide on what was the most appropriate option to move forward based on its mission, vision, and priority outcomes. The important aspects to consider for this system were the education and demonstration capacity of the installation as well as the ability to continue to build capacity and contribute to the objective of becoming more energy sustainable. FBC determined that the battery back-up system best reflected its philosophy for the following reasons:
- It had the capacity to store energy and well as tie to the grid
- It offered the opportunity to be self-sufficient in the event of a power outage
- The batteries offered an accessible and scalable component for education and demonstration purposes
From this Battery Back-up system it was determined that several upgrades could be made to further the potential of the educational and demonstration capacity as well as the ability for FBC to grow into the system. The final system agreed upon had the following highlighted features:
- 3 kW of solar PV panels
- 8 kW inverter, capable of 120 or 240 V and grid interactive
- 9 kWh of battery back up
- Mate3 System monitor, controller web-enabled