Sun-kissed lemons and buckets of optimism

Forrest Campbell created a solar energy business in Invermere, B.C.

A headshot of Forrest Campbell, owner of Freewheeling Energy in Invermere, B.C.

Entrepreneur Forrest Campbell designs solar energy systems, aiding our shift to renewable energy. — Cassy Campbell photo

When I think of Forrest Campbell, I just keep seeing yellow . . . bright, sparkling, radiant yellow.

Campbell created Freewheeling Energy, a residential and commercial solar design company in Invermere, B.C., in November 2017. Trained as a Red Seal electrician, Campbell apprenticed for four years and then worked for eight years “on the tools,” as he said. 

But life sometimes has other plans for us . . . Plan B, if you will.

“On March 15, 2015, I sustained a life-altering spinal cord injury in a skiing accident,” Campbell said. “After my injury I couldn’t use the tools, so I went back to school to earn a certificate in solar technical sales and design from Solar Energy International in Paonia, Colorado.”

So turning lemons into sunshiny lemonade, Campbell is on a new path, equipped with a wheelchair and a whole lot of grit.

“I have always had a great passion for renewable energy and ways to reduce our carbon footprints,” he said.

Campbell will design a solar energy system for you and ensure its viability by providing financial and energy modelling, including data on return on investment. Then he will provide the materials and an electrical contractor to do the installation.

“For the most part, the summers are the time when the solar potential is the greatest,” he said. “With net metering, a large credit could be built up to supplement the energy costs of heating in the wintertime. By having systems in place for shedding snow from the solar panels, full advantage can be taken from the days during the winter that are sunny.”

Campbell still enjoys exercising with his wife, Cassy, and their two young children, ages eight and 11. “We are an active family,” he said. “We all continue to ski together in the winter and go out biking together in the summer.”

Cassy also adapted to the family’s new challenges. She bought a small clothing company called Stripes Gear and has expanded it online. The company specializes in high-performance, stylish base layers.

To contact Campbell, call (250-688-0668) or email him ([email protected]).

Virginia Rasch

Virginia is a writer and copy editor with Koocanusa Publications. She is an avid outdoor recreationist in all seasons and has lived in the Kootenays for 10 years. With degrees in the natural sciences, she has worked as a tour guide, an environmentalist, a writer, and a copy editor of scientific publications. Virginia now brings her passion for everything green to Kootenay Business. View all of Virginia Rasch’s articles

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