Powering the Arts with a Tech Partnership

Michelle Benjamin

Executive Director, Gabriola Arts Council

Tuesday, May 10 2016

The Gabriola Arts & Heritage Centre, the home of the Gabriola Arts Council (GAC), is undergoing a facelift, including the installation of rooftop solar, thanks to the efforts and investment of the GAC, GabEnergy Society (GES) and Bullfrog Power, Canada’s leading green energy provider. 

The 14-panel, 3.78 kW installation of state of the art modules and Enphase micro-inverters will tie in to the existing BC Hydro grid. The solar array, which will be delivered in April and installed in May, will off-set operational costs for the Arts Council, freeing up funds for other worthwhile projects.

“As the GAC heads into its 20th year of creative activity on Gabriola, it’s exciting to share with the community the positive impact of this partnership with Bullfrog Power and GES,” says Michelle Benjamin, GAC Executive Director. “We plan to leverage this innovative project in grant applications, so the benefits extend beyond off-setting our energy costs and lowering our carbon footprint. The building itself—an original one-room schoolhouse, and then headquarters of the Gabriola Women’s Institute—is a bridge that ties Gabriola’s history to the present, and this collaborative project indicates the regard for both the building and the work that the GAC does.”

GES General Manager, Dave Neads, sees the benefits for the community as well. “This intersection of the arts and renewable energy provides a unique public educational tool. It demonstrates how science and technology can work with the community to invest in people, culture and a greener future.” 

GES provides solar infrastructure and planning support for homeowners and organizations and is responsible for the installation of over 2,000 solar panels on Gabriola and across BC. 

Bullfrog Power provides financial support to advance new renewable energy projects across Canada. In BC, Bullfrog Power has supported solar projects with the Tsleil-Waututh and Kitasoo/Xai’Xais First Nations and the Gulf Island Secondary School on Salt Spring Island. For an interactive map of all of Bullfrog Power’s community projects and sources, visit bullfrogpower.com/projects.

For more information on GAC, visit www.artsgabriola.ca . To see if solar might work for you, visit www.gabenergy.com.