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BCIT researchers aim to make solar power mainstream

Construction is underway on a new research project at B.C. Institute of Technology that could make it easier to use alternative energy sources like solar and wind.

Referred to as “sustainable intermittent sources,” the challenge preventing them from being used more widely is that they’re not consistent—the sun needs to be shining or the wind needs to be blowing and the less they do, the less power they produce.

At BCIT, the Energy OASIS (Open Access to Sustainable Intermittent Sources) Demonstration Project aims to help solve that problem by inventing a storage system for, in this case, solar power.

“It’s kind of like having a water reservoir. We don’t get a lot of rain this summer but we still have water, that’s the idea,” said BCIT spokesperson Dave Pinton. “Electricity is a lot harder to store and contain and maintain than water is. That’s where the research component comes in.”


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