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Pinkut Creek Spawning Channel located on Babine Lake near Burns Lake, BC is owned and operated by Fisheries and Oceans Canada. Established in the 1960's, this remote site 40 km from the nearest power lines has been 100% reliant on diesel generators for electrical power supply and propane for heating.

This site is 180 acres consisting of a main lodge and housing up to 10 staff, complete with a commercial kitchen, offices and entertainment rooms. Numerous outbuildings including machinery sheds, machine shop, woodworking shop, laboratories and manager's residence were all powered by diesel generators, running 24hrs a day, 365 days per year.

Drawing on Energy Alternative's success with a smaller fish hatchery project in 2010, Fisheries and Oceans Canada hired EA to conduct a detailed energy efficiency plan. Once funding was secured, EA was contracted to execute the energy efficiency upgrades and install a hybrid energy system.

Energy Efficiency Tasks

• Site-wide upgrade of lighting, removal of incandescent and old style magnetic ballasted T-12 florescent fixtures replaced with electronic T-8 fixtures. This task was completed by a local electrical contractor
• Appliance replacements including old fridges, freezers, coffee makers, electric clothes dryers and electric cookstoves.
• Programmable thermostats to more precisely operate furnaces. Old-style thermostats with mercury switches disposed of responsibly.
• Retrofit of block heater plugs using intelligent plugs that adjust the block heater current according to ambient temperatures.
• Selected lighting controlled by occupancy sensors that turn lights off if no one is there as well as daylight sensors to turn lights off during daytime hours.
• Removal of all resistive electric heaters (baseboard, portable heaters, clothes dryers, and cookstoves). The site already had medium efficiency forced air propane furnaces which were not fully utilized.
• Extensive behavioural modifications with facility staff to be more energy efficient in their day to day activities.
• Re-wiring light switches for more logical operation - ie not having to turn lights on for an entire floor when only one room is required.
• Repaired some faulty and dangerous wiring.

Hybrid Power System

EA's 20 kW hybrid power system was installed in a unused building on site. This required a 0.5 km overhead transmission line upgrade and new switchgear in the generator shed to allow the hybrid system to be installed in parallel with the existing infrastructure. The site can revert back to generator-only if required for any reason. Industrial wireless RS485 radios were installed to allow datalogging and system control via internet.

The hybrid system allows the generator to run only a few hrs per day at a high load to replenish the batteries. System is entirely automated.

Future plans under consideration for this site are solar photovoltaic, solar thermal or microhydro technologies.

Contact Energy Alternatives - (250) 846-9888 • Smithers, British Columbia Canada V0J 2X2
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