This is a story about rural communities finding creative climate solutions. Watch this video and read below to hear how three solar pv projects came together and how they are part of a broader and more ambitious plan.
Fundamental Inc. and the Transition 2050 Project
Fundamental Inc. is proud to have been a part of the Transition 2050 project, an initiative of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities. In partnership with the Newfoundland and Labrador Environmental Industry Association (NEIA – recently rebranded to Econext) , the Fundamental Inc. team led a cohort of six Newfoundland and Labrador (NL) municipalities, many small and rural, through a climate action planning process. This process resulted in three municipal solar installations – to our understanding, these are the first municipal solar projects in the province.
For many small municipalities in NL, operating costs are a large portion of their expenses. With small budgets to start, identifying inefficiencies and opportunities for cost savings is highly valuable. Through the Transition 2050 project, Fundamental Inc. was able to analyze the energy usage and spending information for each Town’s facilities, conduct a risk and opportunities assessment, and identify how investing in a solar array offered immediate savings on monthly costs as well as long term electricity rate stability. When provided with a budget to complete one climate action project as part of the initiative, three of the towns chose to install rooftop solar panels on a municipal facility.
These towns chose solar for three main reasons:
- To begin seeing electricity cost savings right away to put toward other initiatives
- To create a highly visible symbol of their commitment to sustainability and to demonstrate the technology to residents and visitors
- To begin building resiliency into their facility energy systems.
The installations ranged from 12.3 kW to 15.4 kW, and were sized to maximize the funding available. Three municipalities choosing to invest in solar energy demonstrates the high value of on-site renewable energy installations, and provides an opportunity to further public discourse around solar in NL. Fundamental Inc. is proud to have facilitated these projects and hopes that they will inspire more municipalities, businesses, and individuals in NL to invest in their long-term energy, sustainability, and financial goals.
More About Fundamental Inc. and Where They’re Headed
Fundamental Inc. is a socially-focused firm providing consulting for climate-based action. Services include greenhouse gas quantification, climate vulnerability and resiliency assessments, energy efficiency consulting, renewable energy system design, and climate action planning. Fundamental Inc. is a team of three based in the eastern-most Canadian province of Newfoundland and Labrador (NL).
The overall company vision is to create a province/nation/planet with circular and ecosystem-based infrastructure for water, waste, and natural resources, and net zero/positive developments for homes and commerce. Over the next 1-3 years, Fundamental Inc. hopes to continue to increase the local understanding and prevalence of: small- and medium-scale solar and wind installations; net-zero or net-positive new buildings and retrofits; sustainable waste management and resource recovery practices; and low-impact development techniques.
Fundamental Inc. works primarily with local governments and businesses and aims to grow their client base to assist as many organizations as possible. The underlying goals are to: reduce emissions in-line with science-based targets, protect people and infrastructure from the projected impacts of climate change, and facilitate smart financial investments.
All three members of the Fundamental Inc. team aim to achieve NABCEP solar PV board certification via HeatSpring training over the next 1 to 3 years – to the best of our knowledge, they will be the first NABCEP-certified solar professionals in NL.
Big thank you to Emma Power from Fundamental Inc. for sharing this story with me!