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AN ARRAY OF solar panels longer than
five football fields will provide a small
Bible college in northeast Saskatchewan
with all the electrical power it needs.
And pay for itself in a decade.
Wes Fehr, Nipawin Bible College’s
president before he retired this past
spring, credits Ryan Jansen with the
idea. Jansen is the alumni president
and sits on the college board as a
non-voting member. He also runs a
sustainable power company and used
that expertise for the school.
“I was looking for some way to
contribute,” says Jansen. “So I put
together a bit of a summary and
brought it to the board.”
and $18,000 a year in energy costs.
Other Bible colleges or postsecondary
schools, such as Redeemer University
College in Ancaster, Ont., have installed
solar panels. But Nipawin will be the
first to use solar power to run all its
facilities – auditorium, education
centre, student centre, food services
building, dorms, maintenance shop
Fehr says the project, after some
fundraising and a rebate from
SaskPower, cost $170,000. The money
came from a legacy fund that will be
replenished with the savings.
“It also provides tangible evidence
to the students of our sense of
stewardship of creation,” says Fehr.
“Something we’re all becoming much
more aware of.” –ROBERT WHI TE
Solar first for Nipawin
Saskatchewan Bible college first to go totally solar
It took about two years from
presentation to implementation as the
board explored the idea and lined up
partners to make the project happen.
In June 2014 about 20 volunteers took
three days to drive pilings and erect
the 664 m2 of panels, making it the
largest solar array in Saskatchewan
and one of the largest in Western
Canada. The array went online in
December 2014 and the college had a
grand opening this past April.
The school sells the electricity
generated to SaskPower, minus what it
uses. The solar array will generate about
150,000 kilowatt hours a year, equal to
the power used by 20 homes. Fehr says
The newly installed solar panels in the
fields around Nipawin Bible College.
8 WWW.FAITHTODAY.CA / JULY / AUGUST 2015