Whale research center fueled by solar energy

Canadian Solar Inc. donated solar energy modules, which are now powering the OrcaLab Whale Research Centre on a remote island off the British Columbia coast near Alert Bay.

OrcaLab has been recording the Johnson Strait whales for more than four decades.  Founder Paul Spong and his wife Helena Symonds have spearheaded global research which confirms orca “clans” have distinct, highly sophisticated dialects.  This scientific evidence in turn has led to bans against commercial orca hunting, and to the creation of nearby orca sanctuaries.

The new donated solar power system allows the off-grid OrcaLab to cut gas generator use and fuel costs dramatically, increase battery performance and life, expand the range of microphones and cameras, and improve amenities for summer volunteers.

The system is designed to perform with minimal maintenance for many decades to come. In addition, the panels will power the main OrcaLab site, and a network of underwater microphones and cameras that will track migrating orca whale and other marine animals. 

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