The new Comox Valley Regional District building has incorporated a number of sustainable features, such as 45 rooftop solar panels.
The panels cost $40,000 to purchase and to install. According to the CVRD, they are expected to produce 20,870KW per year — about equal to the power usage of two average size homes in the Comox Valley.
“The solar panels help the CVRD save money and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, both important elements for the community,” said Michael Zbarsky, the district’s manager of transit and facilities. “Any power the CVRD produced offsets our electricity usage and costs.”
At current commercial BC Hydro rates, the CVRD expects to recoup $2,552 per year. With hydro rates increasing, the district will cover the cost of the panels and installation in the 14th year.
By the end of their 40-year lifespan, the solar panels are expected to have saved the CVRD about $172,022.
The new building is located at 770 Harmston Ave. in Courtenay.
Cumberland-based Hakai Energy Solutions provided the district with the bifacial solar panels, which absorb sunlight directly from the sun and its bright reflection on the white roof.