Faces of Renewable Energy – Kristina Groves

SkyFire’s vision is to bring the magic of solar to the world for a stronger, healthier and more sustainable global community. As part of this grand vision, we would like to inspire you by sharing stories of local green heroes in your communities. This time around, meet Kristina Groves.

This “Faces of Renewable Energy” series shines a light on the difference renewable energy is making in people’s lives across Western Canada. We will be showcasing SkyFire team members, customers, and community partners.

In our first episode, we feature Kristina Groves who is a four-time Olympic medalist, M. Sc. in Sustainable Energy Development graduate, and repeat SkyFire customer. Watch the video to learn more about her journey with us and why she chose to invest in solar.

“The reason we wanted to install solar on this house was that we are trying to accomplish a bigger goal of just creating the most sustainable, energy-efficient home we possibly could. And we are an all-electric house which is something that not a lot of houses in this part of the world are but it was a way for us to simplify all of the systems and take advantage of this solar resource that we have here in Alberta which is really quite remarkable compared to a lot of other places in the world.”

How did you choose SkyFire as your solar provider?

“I met Dave Kelly at a tradeshow a number of years ago. I just started to learn about what SkyFire did and what their company was all about. When we were building the house, this was something we knew we wanted to do right from the start. So I guess it was by association that we knew SkyFire and we knew the kind of work that they did and we wanted to take advantage, I think too of their experience. Like obviously, they had done a lot of projects before and weren’t just new to the industry.”

How was your experience with SkyFire?

“Our overall experience was extremely positive. We had a great relationship from the beginning – from designing to the installation and they did such a good job. Very professional, came on time, actually I think they came early because it was a small system, so they could fit us in pretty easily. So it was a really positive experience. And then just facilitating the rebate as well. It was automatic – we didn’t have to do any extra work. It was just so easy to do. We ended up with a system that we’re really happy with and that is going to provide us with years and years and years of electricity to power this house.”

What are your thoughts on the provincial solar rebate?

“The incentive program was a big reason why we expanded the system onto the garage in the first place and I think that is the reason why a lot of people in Alberta have now adopted solar for their houses. The industry has been around for a long time but this incentive program really spurred on a lot more to adopt it. The trickle-down effects are huge; employment, education, and then of course the actual impact of reducing power generation from nonrenewable resources…”

Why did you switch to solar?

“When we were building the house, instead of getting a custom kitchen and spending money on some of the other things that we knew were going to be very expensive. We said okay, let’s put the money into something that is an investment that is going to pay us back over time. Plus, getting the credit on your bill every month, that’s really exciting to see. There’s the financial aspect of it being a payback and also just knowing that we have a system that is taking us in the right direction in terms of where the energy that we use to power our lives comes from. We need to get away from coal. We need to get away from oil and that’s not going to happen overnight. But we need to do it and this is just a drop in the bucket and it’s one tiny step in the right direction.”

If you enjoyed this feature on Kristina Groves, former Olympian, check out episode 2 of Faces of Renewable Energy – Solar Specialists Bryce Hayes and Mark Oness.