Will Ingenthron has been working for SkyFire for almost a year now at our Regina office as a Solar Specialist. Being back in Saskatchewan has offered him a continued opportunity to work in the renewable energy space and to continue to make a difference for his local community and future generations. In this edition of the Faces of Renewable Energy, we learn more about Will, where he thinks the renewable energy industry is going and what bringing the magic of solar means to him.
What have you gained by working in the renewable energy industry?
Aside from the gained working knowledge from economically developing renewable energy projects in the Canadian Prairies, I value the people the most. Many of my colleagues and people I have worked for have become great friends. There is a sense of family when we get the opportunity to reconnect and it is always a pleasure to spend time together. Prosperity is a shared endeavor and certainly, these relationships are life long.
What difference do you believe the solar industry is making in Saskatchewan?
First and foremost Saskatchewan’s solar industry is providing the Saskatchewan people the opportunity to save their own money by limiting an ongoing expense for decades to come. It’s a decision that feels great while also directly removing greenhouse gas emissions in a region that has the most intense emissions per capita in Canada. The impact is economical individually as well as ethical globally.
What is a customer story that has had a positive effect on you?
In 2018 I had my first family tell me that even though they were planning on moving out of their house soon they wanted to move forward with their solar project regardless. Their aim was to add value to their home, and put it a cut above the others, with it’s decreased operating costs. That said, for them, it was also more than an economically sound move. They explained that with the consideration of their young children, they wanted to make an impact where they could – they felt it was the right thing to do.
Another retired couple in their old age choosing to have solar on their home thought it was almost comical that there is a significant chance they would not be around in ten years to see their system pay itself off in its entirety. It seemed so selfless that this lovely couple wanted to spend their money on a solar system to add value directly to their home, eliminating their power costs, rather than spending it elsewhere.
Although each customer is unique in their own way, there seems to be a common thread that unites each one of them. Everyone has been wonderful and a great pleasure to work with. I’m looking forward to the people I will meet through my work in the future. Being able to provide solar power to our unique customers makes my job just that much more enjoyable.
Branch off of our Vision Statement – To bring the magic of solar to the world for a stronger, healthier and more sustainable global community. What does the magic of solar mean to you?
It’s amazing that a solar module directly captures electromagnetic energy beaming down from the sun and turns photons into electrons. These electrons are dumped into our existing electric grid and used just like any other electricity. It’s essentially plugging into the sun! Paying for something once and having it yield value essentially forever without additional input is pretty amazing as well.
Where do you think the renewable energy industry is going?
Canada’s renewable energy industry has been evolving rapidly in recent times. For example, the cost of power achieved by the Alberta Government obtained from the recent solar and wind Renewable Energy Procurement is certainly exciting. My jaw dropped each time the weighted average cost of power of each round was announced. The most recent announcement of the Government of Alberta contracting ~150 MW of solar at 4.8 cents/kWh is a clear sign that solar will be rapidly deployed in the coming years.
The distributed solar generation industry adoption for homes, farmyards, and buildings also have a bright future. The value added for most properties is attractive and economically sound today. With conversation spreading and people understanding the simplicity of the technology, more become eager to participate. With the renewed SaskPower Net Metering program to accept 16 MW of generation over the next 3 years, I expect it to be fully subscribed by the deadline as the interest in solar ramps up. I am humbled and excited to get to participate in bringing renewables to my region of Saskatchewan.