Our field school blog continues... The day began with a long bus ride out to Sooke in the wonderful sunshine. Without too much harm done by the bendy road, we made our way to the T’sou-ke First Nations reserve. Upon our arrival, we were greeted by Andrew Moore who brought us into the main building. He outlined the reasons for placement of a Solar Panel system on the reserve in a short presentation, along with the benefits (and expenses) of having this renewable source of energy. But it was too beautiful outside to be stuck indoors so he quickly rushed us out into the shinning sun the see the solar panels at work.
At once we could see the two major solar panels on the ridge soaking in the sun’s rays. With a little explanation into the intricacies of their functioning, Andrew brought us up close and personal to get a full experience of how these worked. Although stressing the important sustainable energy sources that the T’sou-ke were using, Andrew didn’t forget to mention the important benefits that have accrued for the T’sou-ke band. This shift to a green energy source also brought jobs and training for some members of the band, along with building community by communally funding this project. But we continued on and Andrew showed us the solar water heating units on top of the proximal houses. He then led us to the battery units that stored some of the energy generated from the panels, as well as the link-up to the power grid which made the T’sou-ke band money by feeding power to the electric company. With the tour ending, we decided to sit on the grass as a group and enjoy the sunshine. We coupled this with a few questions before heading back home along that bendy road yet again.