by SmartFlower Solar
Last month, NB Power, the primary electrical utility for the Canadian province of New Brunswick, went solar with SmartFlower Solar and one of its authorized Canadian dealers — NU-NRG Group. NB Power proudly welcomed the first smartflower in New Brunswick by showcasing the unit on the headquarter’s front lawn. Now employees, clients and guests are all greeted upon arrival by the larger than life solar flower, a visible testament to NB Power’s commitment to a greener future.
SmartFlower Solar had the opportunity to speak with the delightful Jemma Johnson of NB Power’s Systems Operations Engineering Department. Read the exclusive interview below!
SF: How and when did you first learn about the smartflower?
JJ: “I saw a video of the smartflower on social media one evening in March, and it intrigued me to look more into it.”
SF: What were your initial thoughts and questions about the product?
JJ: “I was initially very intrigued by the smartflower and interested to learn more about its maintenance requirements and how much power it consumed for the opening, closing and cleaning functions.”
SF: What key factors led you to opt for the smartflower versus a traditional rooftop system or ground mount?
JJ: “Our primary focus for this project was to learn more about the smartflower technology and testing. The smartflower makes some large claims about efficiency, its ability to handle harsh weather and lifespan. We wanted to be able to see for ourselves how well the smartflower would perform in the New Brunswick climate particularly harsh winters, and how this compares to the typical rooftop system. Aside from the attractive design, one of the key features for me personally was the claim to be 40% more efficient than a typical rooftop system. I have a personal interest in renewable energy and reducing waste. A product that claims to be more efficient, therefor using less material interests me.”
SF: How are you utilizing the smartflower for your energy needs?
JJ: “We are using the smartflower to supplement our office energy needs at the Energy Control Centre.”
SF: What was your customer experience like with your installer, Nu-NRG Group? Were your support needs met?
JJ: “Our situation was a bit unique as installing the smartflower at an electrical utility was a bit different than a typical residential install. There was a bit of a learning curve on both sides, but it has been a pleasant experience working with Nu-NRG Group. They are typically very quick to respond to questions.”
SF: What changes do you envision for the renewable energy industry in New Brunswick?
JJ: “As the future of the energy sector is changing, we expect to see more renewable generation at both the transmission and distribution level, and eventually energy storage. It is a very interesting time to be a power system engineer, as we know there will be a lot of changes coming, but it is still unclear what or when exactly these changes will be or what they will look like.”