Tsleil-Waututh Nation Solar Array

When finished in 2020, the solar array near Tsleil-Waututh Nation's administration office and health centre, was the largest ground-mount solar project in Metro Vancouver, offsetting about 120 tonnes of carbon dioxide.

Energy management forms a critical component of the Tsleil-Waututh First Nation’s strategy to reduce their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. In 2018, the Nation identified a solar array as a priority initiative as part of their Climate Change Resilience Plan.

Naikoon added a large solar-electricity installation near the parking lot of the Nation’s administration office, which is nestled above the Dollarton Highway on Indian Arm. The south-facing slope was utilized for the solar array, matching the path of the sun to optimize energy capture. In order to support the ground-mounted arrays, geotechnical team members developed a deep foundation design requiring the installation of 63 mini pipe piles, measuring 7 to 12 metres in length. 

Fallen log lies on a rocky beach with a forest in the background

"This project was really important to our Nation because we, as Indigenous Peoples, have always been stewards of our land and water. This uses modern technology to sustain our buildings, both economically and environmentally." - Dennis Thomas-Whonoak, Senior Business Development Manager, Tsleil-Waututh Nation

341 solar panels are clustered in five south-facing arrays, generating 134 kilowatts of electricity. 

The capacity of the project was deliberately designed to be larger than the 100kW maximum set under BC Hydro’s program to accommodate for the Pacific Northwest’s modest sunshine. By building the capacity larger, it will likely generate the maximum power under net-metering; allowing customers to flow excess power back into the grid, earning credits from BC Hydro. Over 30 years, TWN is expected to see energy cost savings of about $894,000