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Siwash Lake Guest Ranch near 70 Mile House BC, is truly one of the world's premier luxury dude ranches and guest ranches, surrounded by 80,000 acres of pristine British Columbia wilderness. This remarkable, eco-friendly setting provides a refreshing oasis of wilderness solitude, filled with enriching moments for adventurous people who seek the finer things in life.

EA has been working with Siwash Lake Ranch since 2008 on this project. Together, we applied for government funding through the Innovative Clean Energy (ICE) program. Our proposal was approved in the spring of 2009. Over the summer of 2009 phase 1 of this project was completed, including final site visits and system design, installation of solar irrigation pumping systems and below-the-ground site preps in advance of Phase 2 in December 2009.

The Ranch had an existing solar / battery / inverter / generator system, installed 12 years ago. The new power system will reduce generator run-time to near zero and expect a 50% reduction in propane consumption.

Project Highlights:

• 4.4 kW of additional PV arrays, pole mounted. One array is fixed and another array will track the sun. Data will be collected comparing the daily yields of power. This additional solar power is expected to nearly eliminate the use of diesel generator, currently using 14,000 L per year.
• Existing 1.2 kW array tested and relocated, giving a total of 5.6 kWp and an anticipated daily power delivery of 30 kWh average.
• 256 sq ft of solar thermal collectors, heating a 275 gallon thermal storage tank in a drain-back configuration. This will be used to pre-heat the domestic hot water and provide auxiliary space heating with surplus energy. We expect a 50% reduction in propane consumption, currently 7,000L per year.
• Complete overhaul of water pumping systems. Gasoline-powered irrigation pumps are replaced with solar pumps. One system is a solar-standalone system, and another is connected to the main battery bank to be powered from the site's main solar array. Replacement of the inefficient domestic water pumps with a high efficiency single pump solution.
• 150kWh sealed industrial AGM battery bank from East Penn.
• 12 kW Xantrex XW inverter system.
• 18 kW industrial diesel generator with auto-start controls.
• Extended reach of power system to auxiliary buildings that were previously generator-powered.
• Datalogging system to track system performance and provide remote diagnostics and control.
• Retrofit incandescent lighting to more energy efficient CFL.
• This system will be used as a demonstration of best-practices for remote lodges and available for tours for other lodge owners and interested parties.

December 2009: Energy Alternatives with a crew of 8 specialized tradespeople completed Phase 2 of this project. With a low temperature of -40c and most days around -20c it was a challenging environment, but we got it done on schedule.

Time-lapse video of the outdoor component of the project.

87% reduction in fossil fuel consumption Jan - June 2010!

Siwash Awards and Affiliations

4½ Stars — Canada Select

5 Green Keys — Eco-rating with the Hotel Association of Canada

Rated One of Top Ten Luxury Dude Ranches in North America (the only Canadian ranch to make the list) — Forbes Traveler

Nominated for Tourism British Columbia's 2009 Environmentally Responsible Tourism Award

Tourism British Columbia Approved Accommodation

Proud member of the BC Guest Ranchers’ Association, BC Wilderness Tourism Association, and the Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Tourism Association

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