Harrison Hot Springs Elementary is heading off-grid, at least in part.
The elementary school will be getting a new solar power system installed over this summer, with hopes that the energy storage equipment will move the school towards carbon neutrality.
BC Hydro will be partnering with the school district on the new energy project, providing $100,000 towards the cost of the project, so long as they can use energy generated by the school during peak demand. The province has also indicated it may be interested in providing up to $200,000 through the Carbon Neutral Capital Program.
The total cost for the project is expected to be between $250,000 and $300,000.
Equipment for system is expected to arrive in May 2021, with the installation completed by September 2021.
The SD78 Capital Plan also notes that the elementary school is in need of high level seismic work, and is the number one priority for replacement. The solar power system would be able to be moved to a new site if the school is replaced.
The old section of Agassiz Elementary Secondary and the gym at Kent Elementary are also in need of seismic upgrades, although the school district has noted that some of these would be better as entire replacements rather than upgrades.
Due to anticipated population growth, the district is also continuing to look for land to build an additional school.
In addition to Harrison Hot Springs Elementary’s new solar power system, the school district’s five year capital plan will see a partial roof replacement, flooring replacement and fire sprinklers installation at Kent Elementary by the 2021-2022 school year. It will also see LED lighting upgrades at three of the district’s elementary schools: Harrison, Kent and Boston Bar.