K-Lane Kennels - Saskatchewan's first net-zero commercial facility USES 100 percent solar and geothermal energy
According to the Saskatchewan Environmental Society, because of our solar and geothermal systems, we likely have Saskatchewan's first 100 percent renewable energy commercial facility, and according to Green Energy Futures we are one of only a few net zero commercial facilities in all of Canada.
"We will be riding the rays of the sun.
It will light our cities and power our businesses.
It will warm our homes and cool our workplaces."
- The U.N. Climate Summit Opening Film (takepart.com/climate)
Media Release - December 15, 2014
K-Lane Kennels Solar Farm
K-Lane Kennels is living in the future. The commercial boarding kennel will be producing all of their heating and electrical energy from renewable sources, completely eliminating the need for non-renewable natural gas energy and coal generated electricity at their facility.
Kronau, Saskatchewan (Canada) - K-Lane Kennels is Mother Nature's favourite boarding facility. The small business installed a 48 kilowatt (kW), 192-panel solar power farm that is expected to generate enough power to provide 100 percent of electrical needs for their 5,800 square foot commercial building. The new solar farm will work with their existing earth-energy geothermal system that was installed in 2008. The combination of solar and geothermal will produce green energy completely eliminating the need for gas from SaskEnergy and electricity from SaskPower.
It is leading edge as it is likely the first 100 percent renewable commercial building in Saskatchewan.
"Producing renewable energy is a unique way to manage operating costs, while reducing the need for non-renewable natural gas and coal," said Dan Yates, owner. "It's good for us because we'll eliminate energy and power bills forever, and great for the environment because our building will produce zero carbon emissions."
Professional kennel buildings are not energy efficient. While constant indoor-outdoor access is very good for the well-being of kennel guests, precious heat escapes through every dog door, therefore, energy and electrical is a significant cost to running a professional dog boarding facility. Investing in geothermal and solar is a lot like buying a home once versus paying rent forever. There's an up-front cost, but over the long term, it pays for itself because an uncontrollable, ever-increasing monthly bill goes away - forever. From an environmental perspective, the two systems work together with no coal or natural gas, so no carbon is released.
"We have the best jobs ever. We live here. We work here. We have no intention to stop what we're doing so it's easy for us to think about everything over the long-term," said Louise Yates, Dan's wife and business partner.
Geothermal energy systems harvest heat from the earth. Heat is drawn from the ground, concentrated by two five-ton heat pumps, then circulated through in-floor tubes to heat the building. It operates like a reverse refrigerator or air conditioner.
Solar farms collect and convert sunlight into electricity. The 48kW system will generate enough electricity for their entire kennel building and personal home needs. It is anticipated that the over 300 feet of ground-mounted solar panels will produce about 66,000 Kilo Watt Hours (kWh) hours of power. As part of SaskPower's Net Metering Program, K-Lane Kennels will generate and use solar power with the surplus transferred to SaskPower. On low-solar production times, K-Lane will draw back and use their excess banked power from SaskPower.
The combination solar/geothermal system is different than an off-grid system since off-grid typically uses batteries. Otherwise there would be days with no energy, which is not practical or safe in Saskatchewan.
This solar system is professionally installed by K2 Electric from White City and 2B Green Solar Power Ltd. from Regina. The original 2008 geothermal system was installed by Regina Geothermal also from White City.
Operating since 1992, K-Lane Kennels provides exceptional guest health, safety and comfort. They're environmentally conscious and committed to community. They were finalists in the Regina and District Chamber of Commerce 2010 Paragon Awards, Environmental Excellence Category, and they are avid supporters of animal welfare through their significant, long-term involvement (volunteering at the board level and donations) with the Regina Humane Society.
Note: For safety purposes, K-Lane Kennels will continue to use a propane emergency back-up generator during power outages. For the immediate future, their personal home - an extremely energy-efficient brick and insulated concrete form (ICF) home, which is touted as having an R-40 value or double the insulation value of most homes - will continue to use natural gas heating.