Greenlit: B.C. lighthouses upgrading to wind and solar power

The Merry Island Lighthouse on the Sunshine Coast now has a battery bank, a solar array of 40 panels, and two wind turbines. (Fisheries and Oceans Canada) Some of B.C.’s iconic red and white lighthouses are going green through the use of renewable energy sources. Traditionally, the remote lighthouses have relied on diesel generators that run 24 hours a day to provide electricity for the light tower and lightkeeper houses. But now, 10 of B.C.’s 27 staffed lighthouses are scheduled to receive upgrades to solar and wind power sources in the next few years. "This station’s been here since 1874, so it’s been for many years running on a diesel generator," said Karen Zacharuk, the principal keeper at the Cape Beale Lighthouse near Bamfield on Vancouver Island’s west coast, where construction work is just starting. "It’s nice to finally get some renewable energy." The goal is to have the light stations run almost entirely off wind turbines, solar panels and battery banks, said Shaun Loader, a senior project engineer with Fisheries and Oceans Canada. Use of the diesel generators has been reduced dramatically at sites where the systems are up and running, such as the Merry Island Lighthouse on […]

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