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Thompson Rivers University
Thompson Rivers University

Renewable Energy

Installation of solar PV panels

TRU has many renewable energy sites on the Kamloops campus, including solar photovoltaic (PV) panels to create electricity on the roofs of the Campus Activity Centre and the Nursing and Public Health building.

solar panel installation

Solar panel installation at TRU

There is also the Solar Sidewalk in front of the child care centre, and the Solar Compass in front of the Arts and Education building. The Wells Grey Education and Research Centre is the latest TRU building to have a full solar PV array installed on its roof.

There are also three solar thermal arrays on top of Old Main, Campus Activity Centre and Culinary Arts Training Centre (these pre-heat water in these buildings, so not as much energy is needed to heat it fully). The TRU Williams Lake campus also has a solar PV system on the roof of its building.

The House of Learning has a geo-exchange system to help with its heating and cooling needs.

To help TRU students learn about and help install solar PV systems, the Sustainability Office teamed up with faculty members and a master's student to launch the Solar Table Design Competition. TRU wants solar tables around the campus for the following reasons: promote renewable energy use; encourage student participation and learning; and have more outdoor places to study and socialize (which are mostly protected from the snow, rain and direct sun). The competition is open only to TRU students, and they can enter the competition individually or as part of a student-only team. There will be one winning submission picked from all submitted designs, and one table will be built in 2022. Submissions end on Feb 28, 2022.

Currently there is an application process underway with BC Hydro to allow TRU to produce more solar electricity through PV panels. Once this happens, it is feasible that every building rooftop will have solar PV panels, and there might also be opportunities to install panels in parking lots, which has the added advantage of keeping snow, sun and rain off of cars.

TRU is moving ahead with its Low Carbon District Energy System. The system uses three important renewable energy systems: hydro electricity, air-source heat pumps, and water-source heat pumps.

Three things you can do


Participate in the TRU Solar Table Design Competition. It was launched in January 2022 and TRU is planning on running it for many years and building one winning table design each year. Help promote renewable energy (solar PV) and create outdoor social places for studying or socializing.


If you’re a homeowner, consider purchasing an air-source heat pump. New technology has made them very effective at drawing heat from the ambient outdoor air and converting it into heat inside your home. Plus, they double as an air conditioner in the summer.


Dry your clothes on a clothesline (indoor or outdoor). Did you know that in BC, six percent of all electricity consumed is to power electric clothes dryers?

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