Calgary’s Temple B’nai Tikvah is Going Solar

by David Kelly

David Kelly is founder and CEO of SkyFire Energy. 

(Calgary) – Calgary’s Temple B’nai Tikvah is going solar with the first solar power system on a Synagogue in Western Canada.  Just in time for Hanukkah, the festival of lights, Temple B’nai Tikvah is taking advantage of Alberta’s abundant sunshine to produce electricity for the building.

SkyFire Energy Inc is excited to be installing this system.  Temple B’nai Tikvah will be the proud host of a 25.935 kW array.  The solar system consists of 57 – 455 W solar modules on the roof of the sanctuary coupled to 2 SolarEdge 11.4 kW inverters.  The solar array will supply the synagogue with a portion of their electricity and export to the Alberta grid when all the energy generated is not being used by the building.  SolarEdge is an Israeli company with headquarters in Herzliya, just North of Tel Aviv.  SkyFire Energy is an employee owned solar company with offices in Calgary, Edmonton and the Okanagan.

The system is being funded by the Bow Valley Green Energy Cooperative, Alberta Ecotrust and a grant received from Adamah: Jewish Climate Leadership Coalition.  The array will be the first community owned solar project funded by BVGEC in Calgary.  BVGEC, based in Canmore, will own the solar system and will sell the energy it produces to Temple B’nai TIkvah under a PPA or Power Purchase Agreement.  The PPA has a 25 year contract but the solar system should have a 30-40 year life and Temple B’nai Tikvah will continue to benefit from the energy produces.   This is the 4th project financed by BVGEC.  Alberta has a great solar resource and solar power can provide low cost reliable electricity to buildings, homes and businesses.

“Temple B’nai Tikvah is thrilled to be one of Calgary’s first religious institutions to install solar panels,” said TBT Rabbi Mark Glickman. “Ever since God told Adam and Eve to till and tend the Garden of Eden, we Jews have embraced the importance of taking good care of our natural world. Being good stewards of the environment is hugely important to us, and at this time of growing threats to our climate and to the natural world, it is more important than ever that we take concrete steps to preserve the world that God gave us. Of course, this is only one small step. We hope that it will help inspire owners of homes and public buildings throughout our community and beyond to take similar steps, and we look forward to taking further steps in the future to help protect and care for the earth.”

Stay tuned for a Switching on the Solar System event at Temple B’nai TIkvah. Installation of the system started last month.

“Bow Valley Green Energy Cooperative is excited to be working with SkyFire Energy and Temple B’nai Tikvah on our first Calgary installation,” added Jeff Roberts. “BVGEC believes in community leadership through installation of community based renewable energy developments.  These small solar installations, while seemingly insignificant, contribute to the social and cultural changes which are required to enable and support the “energy transition.”

SkyFire would like to thank both Temple B’nai Tikvah and Bow Valley Green Energy Cooperative for the opportunity to provide our solar expertise for this project and we hope we can expand the system in the future.  Solar is part of Alberta’s energy and SkyFire works to bring the magic of solar to the world for a stronger, healthier and more sustainable global community.

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David Kelly is founder and CEO of SkyFire Energy and a member of the congregation at Temple B’nai Tikvah.  He has been installing solar in Western Canada since 2001.

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