"The solar installation is performing beyond our expectations," said Orcalab founder and whale expert and advocate Dr. Paul Spong. "We are now running all of our power needs without a generator, and looking forward to a future here without oil."
Canadian Solar said the donated solar system allows 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 which will track migrating orca whale and other marine animals.
OrcaLab has been recording Johnson Strait whales for more than four decades. Dr. 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. "We are honored to be involved in the ground breaking OrcaLab foundation's noble orca whale research," said Shawn Qu, chairman and CEO of Canadian Solar.