September 18, 2006

New Surrey border crossing building to incorporate solar power technology

VICTORIA, BC-Carmanah Technologies' Solar Power Systems Group has received a contract from Glastech Contracting for a 36-kilowatt (kW) amorphous silicon (a-Si) building-integrated photovoltaic (BIPV) grid-tie package. This system will be installed as part of a new border crossing building in Surrey, near the Peace Arch. Carmanah says this system will be the largest BIPV installation in Canada, comprising more than 1100 32-watt a-Si BIPV laminates. These will be provided by Carmanah through Glastech Contracting (BC), which will be installing the product as part of its overall glazing contract with the primary construction contractor, the Graham Group's commercial division. The building project, being carried out under a contract from awarded the federal Public Works and Government Services department, will replace the existing border crossing structure with a brand new, LEED-certified building into which the BIPV system will be seamlessly integrated. Carmanah's BIPV solar power systems typically fulfill two functions, acting as an integral building component while providing cost-saving renewable energy. The size and type of solar arrays in a BIPV installation will vary by project, but typically come in the form of an architecturally-glazed curtain wall or roofing material. An inverter is then usually installed to convert the DC output from the solar array to usable AC current. Natural Resources Canada is a contributing partner toward the cost of the new BIPV grid-tie system. The border crossing facility is owned and operated by the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA), which has committed to greening its operations and using a sustainable approach to construction and operation of its facilities to conserve natural resources, prevent pollution and reduce greenhouse gas emissions and health risks.

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