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A Big Step in the Right Direction – The 365 Greenhouse from Iron & Earth East

April 13, 2018 | Written By: Matt Rumboldt

Newfoundland and Labrador, as a lot of you know, introduced a net metering legislation last year that allows independent power producers to supply their own renewable energy surpluses back into the grid, in exchange for an overall reduction in the electricity bills.

NEIA member and good friends, Iron & Earth East wishes to take full advantage of this opportunity and help the trades workers of our province develop skills to accelerate the growth of renewables in NL. Iron & Earth East works to build renewable energy skills in our already strong traditional energy workforce. Last year the organization, led by their East Coast Director, Delia Warren brought together 17 electricians across our province to participate in their CSA approved Atlantic Canadian Solar Skills Project, which is Newfoundland and Labrador’s only training course on grid-tied solar installation. The response from the course was so well received, they already have had requests for the courses second offering.

The Big Project!

Again, taking advantage on the net metering legislation, Iron & Earth East are building their own solar installation called: The 365 Greenhouse. This project is in part funded by Bullfrog customers across Canada. The 365 Greenhouse is a brand new installation, that operates as a year-round greenhouse – to be constructed in partnership with Newfoundland and Labrador’s Autism Society. The greenhouse will be constructed with solar panels installed as well as on a neighboring building. In addition to grid-connecting solar panels, the 365 greenhouse project will produce fresh produce for the Autism Society’s on-site restaurant, The Pantry Café. This will assist the social enterprise in creating greater opportunities for those young adults employed, who have Autism Spectrum Disorder – empowering them with new skills and confidence. the 365 Greenhouse will also be used in ASNL’s second social enterprise, Good Roots Gardening – a work skills program for people with Autism Spectrum Disorder

Trades NL, The Newfoundland Labrador Building and Construction Trades Council of is an organization that represents 16 craft unions in the construction sector, totaling 20,000 workers throughout the province, has made a significant donation to the 365 Greenhouse project – so we wanted to give them a shout-out here!

What’s next?

At this time, Iron & Earth East has recently released requests for Expressions of Interest from community-minded, qualified Contractors to manage and execute the construction of the 365 Greenhouse project, and to work closely with our project partners, their employees, and volunteers.

The ideal Contractor will be skilled at construction, and a responsible corporate citizen who is passionate about community engagement and renewable energy. We are hoping to engage with a Contractor by using a design-build model to develop a construction approach tailored to the non-profit sector. Creativity and generosity is essential to maximize limited resources.
To express your interest in lending your expertise to this project please contact Delia here: delia@ironandearth.org

Delia Warren, Iron & Earth East’s Director spoke recently to VOCM news about what the solar-powered year-round greenhouse will means for our community and you can listen to that interview here:

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