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Three Sixty Solar signs LOI with Lois Creek for tower installation

Hook'd Broadband will also be installed on the solar tower

IMAGE: A solar tower in Kelowna, B.C.
One of the company's solar towers in Kelowna, B.C. (Courtesy Three Sixty Solar Ltd.)

Three Sixty Solar Ltd. (VSOL-NE) has signed a non-binding letter of intent (LOI) with Lois Creek Development Inc. for the phase one sale of a solar and telecommunications tower to be used in Lois Creek’s planned subdivision in Kimberley, B.C.

Both parties will begin a feasibility study within the next 30 days – which is estimated to take anywhere from a week to ten days.

Lois Creek will also install Hook’d Broadband, Three Sixty Solar’s Edmonton-based telecommunications partner, on the solar tower to provide connectivity to the 64-home community.

“I think it's a really nice fit to allow developers to utilize . . . almost all of their land before their actual development,” Brian Roth, Three Sixty Solar’s CEO, told SustainableBiz.

“They're quite progressive, in that this community is targeting very near net-zero building. They're going to be using triple-pane windows, and they're going to be doing very high efficiency homes. And so they've got that focus on being green. So it's nice to put that together with generating renewable power.”

Three Sixty’s solar towers

In March this year, Three Sixty Solar announced success from a 16-month test exposing it to extreme weather conditions, after having spent three years designing and engineering the solar tower concept.

The base of the towers vary in size from 20 feet by 20 feet to 45 feet by 45 feet; the heights range from 60 feet to 120 feet. The company states the towers can free up 90 per cent more land use.

As well, the solar panels have 20- to 30-year lifespans and the structure itself is made from steel that can last 80 to 100 years.

One tower can deploy as much as 250-kilowatts of rated power with the potential to tie multiple towers together for multi-megawatt installations.

During the tests, the tower withstood extreme weather conditions including being battered by winds of 135-kilometres per hour with accompanying hail and rain and record high temperatures of 39 C during an extended forest fire season during the summer. This resiliency played a part in the sale to Lois Creek.

“Kimberley is a ski resort town, so it definitely snows. A little less heat. Although right now, things are changing. We're seeing environments where even in snowy winter places, we're seeing hot summers, and we're seeing forest fires and all the rest,” Roth explained. “So I think the resiliency to all of that is definitely a feature that people are excited about.”

The company cites Stratistics MRC’s prediction that the global solar farm market will grow to approximately $296 billion by 2028.

Three Sixty Solar and Lois Creek

Originally, the plan was only to set up Hook’d Broadband at the Lois Creek development. But as Roth explained, “Through our relationship with Hook’d and the desire to deploy their technology on our towers, we collectively all came together and said, 'this makes a lot of sense to do more than just the broadband, but to also offer the power.' ”

In fact, the connection between Three Sixty Solar and the developer was made via Hook’d.

"(They) have helped us make some connections throughout the Edmonton area, and now they've got some connections in B.C. as well. So just through mutual interests, Lois Creek had been looking at the potential to add the Hook’d Broadband technology,” Roth said.

The broadband connection via Hook’d will be offered to all future clients.

The aim is to get into production in early September, and barring the potential for supply chain issues, have the tower complete by the end of the year.

Three Sixty Solar's future deployments

This sale is part of the first wave of Three Sixty Solar’s tower deployments. The first came in late July, via an LOI with Cattail Crossing Golf and Winter Club to proceed with the sale and installation of a solar tower in Sturgeon County, Alta. Hook’d Broadband technology will also be installed on the tower.

“We're working through a few other things as well that we can't make public yet,” Roth said. “But definitely, we're pretty excited about that pipeline of opportunities that we've got.”

Three Sixty Solar is focused on replicating “these couple of scenarios” – the subdivision and the golf course – but Roth also mentioned industrial parks as an area of interest.

The company has not discussed specific numbers, but its goal is to have “hundreds of megawatts worth of towers out there in the next five years.”

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