PowerTech Solar Nunavut on Nov. 30 announced it had recently installed its first solar system in Iqaluit, at the home of Paul Crowley and Lynn Peplinski.

The company stated in the announcement that the couple will experience reduced energy bills and a surplus on sunny days.

Paul Crowley estimates it’ll be around 10 to 12 years until the solar system pays itself off.
photo courtesy of PowerTech Solar

The surplus will take the form of credit in future Qulliq Energy Corp. bills.

“This is something I wanted to do 20 years ago,” Crowley said, “and I had taken steps to research about doing it at that point, but the legislation in Iqaluit didn’t allow for that.”

Legislation was changed in 2018 to allow for net metering, allowing for excess power from solar panels to feed back into the public grid, removing the need for batteries on the property, saving on costs and space. Surplus power is transferred onto the power system, which is where reduced energy bills come into play.

The couple’s solar panel system is the first of its kind in Iqaluit, and it took a little while to get through the red tape.

While the system is early in its installation, with PowerTech expecting it to produce electricity for the next 25 plus years, it’s already making a noticeable difference during some of the darkest times of the year.

“I’m just one month in, we got connected during the first week of November,” said Crowley.

“I can see on sunny days, even during the darkest days of the year, I get about 25 percent of our house energy from the panels and on cloudy days it’s closer to around four or five percent.”

Overall, Crowley says it averages around 15 percent of their current energy usage.

“At this point we’re projecting 10 to 12 years before it pays for itself, then after that it’s all free energy. If I had done this 20 years ago, I would have already been into lots of free energy,”

He encourages homeowners and business owners, as well as the Government of Nunavut and the federal government, to also utilize solar power on their properties.

Currently there are no financial incentive programs to support the adoption of solar energy.

“Certainly, (financial incentives) would make it easier, but I would encourage people to not wait forever and if they want to do it, do it now.”

Join the Conversation

3 Comments

  1. Congratulations? No $ incentive, no technical support and a lot of risk for the home owner to take this on without any guarantee that QEC will even allow you to feed your solar panel back into the so called grid or won’t cut you off after you do invest. Who is going to provide technical support if your panel stops working 1 month or 3 years down the road? QEC will cut you off and you can fly someone in with their own equipment? It is nice that Paul and his family are educated with the financial ability to join this program. But for the average person this is still a far off dream. I for one do not trust any program that QEC runs. Is it even a program or a piece of paper rubber stamped in the legislature? Is it something someone added just to pump up their resume? Educate yourself before applauding this initiative and ask lots of questions. I don’t trust the QEC Board members. In my view, the reputation of that corporation is tainted along with the Board. There has been no transparency on the financial impact to QEC or it’s rate payers. I would not invest in any initiative that meant I had to depend on QEC. Buy your own battery support system if you want to try solar power, and stay clear of QEC for the time being. It’s just not worth the risk.

  2. Gadgets for the rich. All the money these people saved is money the Territorial Power Corp will have to make up somewhere else – likely making Canada’s most expensive power rates even more expensive.
    What happened to the plans for a hydro plant in Iqaluit?
    Our neighbours in Greenland is on their sixth hydro plant and produce some of the cleanest energy in the world.
    Sorry, not impressed. The Qulliq board have screwed electricity consumers and our economic development for decades to come.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *