Lise Eccelstone shows off a cold frame

Solar power symposium a success in Penticton

Symposium on Solar Energy at Okanagan College, in the Centre of Excellence at Okanagan College on March 12.

First Things First is counting their first big event as a success.

The group sponsored a symposium on Solar Energy at Okanagan College, in the Centre of Excellence at Okanagan College on March 12, and Jim Beattie couldn’t be more happy with how it worked out.

“I don’t know how many people were there, but the fellow from Terratek Energy handed out 600 cards,” said Beattie, adding that the event seemed to come at the right time. “People seemed so excited about the opportunity to discuss solar and the other things we had on the agenda.

“It was a great success as far as First Things First Okanagan is concerned.”

First Things First has been around for a couple of years, Beattie said, but decided they should make it formal last fall, after doing a series of smaller events.

“Last year we decided to form a society, so we could let people know we are an organization that is here to stay,” he said. “We decided that the Solar Fair would be our first really big event. We chose solar because we know it is a technology that is becoming more accessible. There is a great deal of interest in it around the world.”

Beattie said the group’s focus, though, is wider than just solar or alternative energy sources.

“We are wanting to keep the discussion about why we need to go to those technologies at the forefront,” said Beattie. “It’s because we have a really outstanding problem, which is the changes of temperature and the challenges of climate.”

Beattie said the symposium was a “very good first step,” and the society’s executive will gather next week to begin planning their next step. One of those steps, he said, will be accepting an invitation from a group at Penticton Secondary to participate in their April 22 Earth Day event.

“The youth are the important place to put our energy, I think,” said Beattie. “We don’t see enough youth involved.”