Glass frames for a solar hot water heater (lower left) have been installed at St. David, East Vancouver, the diocese's first alternative energy project. They should be operational by April. (David Dranchuk photo)

St. David of Wales is the location of the first alternative energy device financed with a $50,000 federal government grant obtained last year by the Diocesan Environmental Unit.

The $6,500 solar hot water panel should be able to heat enough hot water for at least half the East Vancouver parish’s needs. The glass frame was installed last month and the heater should be operational by April.

St. David’s is the first of six projects underway. St. Barnabas, New Westminister, St. Alban’s, Richmond, St. Mary’s Kerrisdale, and Camp Artaban will also get solar panels to heat water. A photovoltaic or “PV” panel that delivers electrical power will go in a yet to be decided location.

A plan to install a windmill to generate electricity has been cancelled. No church with sufficient wind was found. Instead the number of water heaters was increased from two to five.