Activities

EcoSmart’s main activities include:

  1. Development of large-scale solar photovoltaic systems.
  2. Assessment of solar project feasibility with advanced analytic tools.
  3. Support to communities and first nations that plan to develop their own solar projects

Development

We provide full range of services required to develop large-scale solar farms. Our services include: Preliminary design, technical and financial feasibility studies, site evaluation, final design, project management, funding applications, EPA contracting, interconnection, RFP management, construction management, commissioning, monitoring and operation support. We work with reputable engineering firms for special studies such as geotechnical, structural and electrical.

SunMine

SunMine was the first large-scale solar farm installed west of Ontario. It is located on the Teck Mine brownfield site in Kimberley, BC at 1,200 m altitude near the Rockies. The project was developed under a partnership between Teck, the City of Kimberley and EcoSmart. The electricity generated is sold to BC Hydro through an IPP contract.. 

The project demonstrates the benefits of redeveloping industrial brownfields into solar farms (from brownfield to brightfield) and reusing legacy infrastructures (road, electrical grid,….). It transformed a liability into an asset. 

SunMine’s performance is amongst the best in North America (2000 hr/yr) thanks to a combination of high altitude (1,200 m), high solar irradiance, low ambient temperatures (improving the modules thermal performance) and innovative double-axis trackers that move the arrays continuously to face the sun.

Tŝilhqot’in Solar Farm

The Tŝilhqot’in Solar Farm is the first large-scale solar plant 100% owned and operated by a First Nation in Canada. Located in the Chilcotin (BC-Canada) on the brownfield site of a former sawmill, it is the largest solar farm in operation in BC.  The electricity generated is sold to BC Hydro via an IPP contract. 

The project demonstrates the interest and capacity of indigenous communities to develop their own renewable energy facilities. It illustrates also the outstanding solar resources in the BC Interior. 

It also improved the knowledge on how to deal with the tough conditions of the BC interior: high latitude, rocky ground, harsh winter, grid interconnection and remoteness.

Support to Indigenous Projects

We support First Nations’ engagement in renewable energy. Traditional territories such as K’tunaxa, Shuswap, Okanagan, West Moberly or Tsilhqot’in are located in regions with exceptional solar resources.
We provide a full range of services to solar project to come to fruition including funding application, feasibility studies, preliminary engineering, solar resources assessment, financial analysis, project management and more.

Tools

EcoSmart has advanced computer tools and simulation programs to estimate the energy yield of solar projects. These SRI tools determine with accuracy key projects parameters such as annual energy production, payback time, LCOE, ROI, etc,…

Maps

Where are the best solar locations in Canada?

Our solar maps, based on satellite data, just show that.. Contrary to other solar maps that give only the Ground Horizontal Irradiation (GHI) – useless for assessing real energy yield- our maps calculate location by location the optimum panel tilt angle, evaluate the system performance and give a precise estimate of the expected energy output across Canada. They are based on a grid of 1000,000 satellite data points over the entire Canadian area.

Education

The “Solar Energy: from Fundamentals to Practice” seminar is a comprehensive review of the theory and practice of PV solar to help getting a deep understanding of the key principles of the technology and how implement it effectively and efficiently.
This half-day course has been attended by more than 800 engineers. It is offered periodically through the continuous education program of EGBC.