by Stella Shepard
Andrew Walsh and Hayley Ireson are passionate about green energy and joined the solar revolution by living off the grid.
Their solar powered home in St. George’s designed by Andrew captured public attention, and in 2019 WCD Solar was launched.
“Many people were interested in our lifestyle of using solar panels as a source of green energy,” says Andrew. “I started doing customized green energy projects and turned a passion for technology into a business.”
Andrew is the Owner and Operator of WCD solar. He graduated in 2006 from Montague High School, attended UPEI and UNB and received his undergraduate degree in Mechanical Engineering as well as earning a Marine Engineering degree while serving in the Naval Reserves.
Andrew was employed as an Engineer in the trades and bioscience industries before becoming self-employed. He has since become certified as a Network of Excellence Contractor as a solar installer.
Hayley is the CFO of the company and is using her business expertise to promote WCD Solar in the marketplace. She was born and raised in Elmwood, attended Holland College and UPEI, and is a graduate of the CPA Atlantic School of Business.
“We offer custom designs and turnkey solutions,” says Andrew. “Other core services include financial and production modeling, 3D presentation models, feasibility and consulting services.
“WCD Solar believes that the future of energy is solar. Solar energy is renewable, limitless, and infinite. What is more, with the right equipment, there is no eternal cost to harvesting the sun’s rays. Solar energy is becoming very popular with Islanders. Using solar energy is a good investment and builds the equity in your home while lowering your electric bill.”
One of the projects Andrew is working on is designing and developing an irrigation system using solar energy to extract well water in a remote location for a blueberry processor.
“I will be hiring an electrician and someone with a strong sales background,” says Andrew. “As well, I will be hiring for entry-level, labour-intensive positions during the summer months.”
WCD Solar is a member the Eastern PEI Chamber of Commerce (EPEICC) which is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting its members’ businesses and helps build the economic environment of the communities.
“Our purpose is to provide an economic advantage to our business members by providing them with priority customer referral, representing them in community endeavors, and providing them with networking capabilities unavailable to non-members,” says Lori MacGregor, Executive Director of EPEICC.
“Each business in our membership has a need for different service at different times, and WCD Solar is no exception. It was my pleasure to meet with Hayley and Andrew to learn more about their business and how their local Chamber can support them.
“They have a strong vision to increase the demand to convert to solar and to promote the fact that their business is locally owned and operated right here in Eastern PEI. They are very enthusiastic about bringing solar designs to homes and/or businesses.
“Together we grow as we welcome WCD Solar in Eastern PEI and remember to support local.”