Iron & Earth East accelerates the renewable transition in Newfoundland with the support of the Bullfrog community
When you choose renewable energy with Bullfrog, you support organizations that are accelerating the adoption of renewables in their own provinces and provide funding to important community-based projects. We recently had the opportunity to partner with Iron & Earth East, an inspiring St. John’s-based nonprofit taking a unique approach to advance the growth of renewables. Read on to find out how Iron & Earth East is making an impact in Atlantic Canada!
New legislation opens door for more solar in Newfoundland and Labrador
Newfoundland and Labrador recently introduced net metering legislation that allows independent power producers to supply renewable energy to the electricity grid in exchange for a reduction on their electricity bills. Iron & Earth East wants to harness this opportunity and help develop the skills required to accelerate the program and the growth of renewables in Atlantic Canada.
“Given the introduction of this new policy, we want to help build renewable energy skills amongst traditional energy workers here in Newfoundland and Labrador,” says Delia Warren, East Coast Director, Iron & Earth East. In October 2017, the organization brought together 17 electricians from across Newfoundland to participate in their Atlantic Canadian Solar Skills project, the province’s first training course on grid-tied solar installations. “The response was overwhelming—we’ve already had requests for a second course!” says Warren.
Beyond environmental benefits
Iron & Earth East is also participating in the net metering program with a solar installation of their own: the 365 Greenhouse, funded in part by Bullfrog customers across Canada. A brand-new, year-round greenhouse will be constructed in partnership with the Autism Society of Newfoundland and Labrador. Iron & Earth East will install solar panels on part of the greenhouse as well as on a neighbouring building. In addition to housing grid-connected solar panels, the greenhouse will produce fresh vegetables for the Autism Society’s on-site restaurant, The Pantry Cafe. As social enterprises, the Cafe and gardening program employ young adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder and empower them to learn new skills.
“The Autism Society property is the perfect location to showcase our first solar project,” says Warren. “Together with the Autism Society, and thanks to the support of Bullfrog Power customers, we’ll be generating clean energy and growing fresh, local produce right here in St. John’s.”
Construction of the solar installation is expected to be completed by fall of 2018.
Iron & Earth East is a local chapter of a national organization. Canadian energy workers formed Iron & Earth, which also has chapters in Calgary and Edmonton, in 2015 to help traditional energy workers build renewable energy skill sets. The bullfrogpowered community is proud to have partnered with Iron & Earth East to provide critical early stage funding for the organization. Through the support of individuals and businesses choosing Bullfrog’s green energy across Canada, Bullfrog was able to match the funds raised by the organization’s 2016 crowdfunding campaign.