After this success, Peterson and Jackson went into business together. They formed Hakai Energy Solutions to commercialize the systems that they’d developed on Calvert Island. Hakai Energy Solutions has since become a fully independent company, but continues to work with the Hakai Institute. One such project is a sensor and telemetry network. This solar-powered network allows researchers to access climate and oceanography data from remote field sites in near real time, all from the warm confines of their offices.
Hakai Energy Solutions also recently developed and implemented an alternative energy system with the village of Alert Bay on Cormorant Island. Similar to most coastal communities, this village of 400 people off northern Vancouver Island once relied on diesel generators. In 1946, an underwater cable was connected to Vancouver Island to purchase power for Alert Bay through the main grid.
But after the installation of solar energy infrastructure, a considerable portion of the village’s funds that would have gone toward heating municipal buildings can be used for other economic development projects. Despite its remoteness, the municipality of Alert Bay now has one of the highest concentrations of solar photovoltaic energy per capita in the entire province.
Hakai Energy Solutions and the Hakai Institute share a commitment to British Columbia coastal communities. Both groups worked pro bono to support the Heiltsuk Nation in developing their Koeye River facilities for conservation and cultural education under the leadership of the Qqs Project Society.
In addition to all the science that goes on at the Hakai Institute, we’re proud to have incubated a local technology company that is now sharing its expertise across BC. It’s this blend of engineering, creative problem solving, science, and innovation that embodies the Hakai ethos.