James Bay’s Capital Park will soon be home to one of the largest solar arrays on Vancouver Island.
The 251-panel system is currently being installed atop two office buildings within Capital Park and is anticipated to generate 114,000 kilowatt hours of electricity a year, according to developer Jawl Properties.
That’s an initial annual savings of about $10,000 in electricity costs, Karen Jawl, director of Jawl Properties, tells CHEK News.
While solar power proved a non-viable alternative when developers first built the offices, Jawl always thought that things would inevitably evolve.
“It is exciting to see that only five years later, innovation and technological advances have closed the gap to make solar power not only the right environmental choice but also the right financial decision,” she said.
Capital Park was co-developed by Jawl Properties and Concert Properties, who together contracted Shift Energy Group Inc. to develop and build the array.
The complex, a mixed-use development with rental, condominium, office and retail spaces, is located on Superior Street and is home to several provincial government ministries, including the Ministry of Environment.
Benchmark BC ranks the complex fourth in the province for GHG (Greenhouse gas) Emissions Intensity performance, with power generated by the array aimed to reduce the need for electricity from the grid.
The two office buildings are also LEED premium.
Craig Watters, senior vice president of development at Concert, says Capital Park aims to transform the surrounding neighbourhood into a thriving, sustainable and master-planned community.
“We’re proud to have achieved that goal, and through the partnership with Shift, we are excited to see that vision of a sustainable community deepen through the use of solar power,” added Watters.
An arrangement will see the project’s capital cost of $200,000 paid by Jawl be offset with the money tenants save in electricity costs during the initial years of operation.
The array should be up and running by mid-late September.