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Promoting solar-powered cabins

It used to be that plugging in at the cabin either wasn't an option or a generator was needed. A newer alternative – solar power – was recently advocated in Gjoa Haven.

Martha Lenio, of World Wildlife Fund Canada, demonstrates how a 100-watt solar panel works while giving a presentation in Gjoa Haven on May 8. Watching, from left, are Mark Ullikataq, Jacqueline Chapman Peter Akkikungnaq and Stephan Schott. Panels can range from 25 watts to 400 watts. The cost to outfit a cabin, including batteries an inverter and other electrical equipment, would probably cost close to $5,000 while a house would be $15,000-$20,000 is roughly what it would cost to offset the cost of a home electricity bill through solar, Lenio says. Micheal Dawodu photo

Martha Lenio, who oversees renewable energy in the Arctic for World Wildlife Fund Canada, gave a community presentation that attracted close to 50 people to the community hall on May 8.

"She brought it down to layperson's terms as far as the science of how the panels work, the circuitry and everything," said Connie Baines, acting economic development officer for the Hamlet of Gjoa Haven. "People were pretty fascinated with it."

The hamlet is going to get more familiar with solar panels as federal funding has been approved to install some panels on the arena roof. The solar technology should be delivered by sealift in September, according to Baines. That will allow the municipality to participate in Qulliq Energy Corporation's net metering program, which permits generation of up to 10 kilowatts by renewable sources.