Oso Solar, aka Oso Renewable Energy

We’ve been actively in business since 2004. The owner and proprietor, Kip Drobish started out living with off-grid solar in Montana in 1993. In 2000 he built a passive off-grid straw bale home. Kip and his wife and daughter made it through the immigration process and moved full time to the West Kootenays of BC in 2008 and added solar energy at their home and business located halfway between Revelstoke and Nelson, BC. We were the first company to install a grid-tied solar electric system in Flathead County Montana in 2005. Since then we have installed over 65 solar electric and hot water systems on and off-grid in BC and Montana.

Currently there is an incentive from NRCAN for solar PV.

$5600 in supporting you to install at least 5,000 watts of solar electric and since mid 2022

NRCan has offered up to $40,000 in 10 year interest free loans if you qualify.


Kip is into solar PV because he wants to push change. While solar energy is rapidly expanding in most areas of the world, Western Canada is really just starting to realize its potential as the cost of solar electric has dramatically declined. The future of our civilization is dependent on its populations make more informed choices in regard to how to use resources. Solar it not in itself going to resolve climate change, but it is a functional part in suite of solutions that include living a less resource intensive lifestyle.

We continue to provide expertise and experience to our local region in a rapidly evolving technology. Kip has completed training for Advanced PV design and Installation with Solar Energy International in 2006 and was certified by CanSIA for solar hot water installing in 2008. Continuing with live dealer trainings and webinars are also part of his way to keep up with the evolving components used to fuel the solar revolution.

Oso Solar sources top quality hardware as locally as possible. It seems like that is getting harder every year as the industry changes and manufacturing is focused in South Asia. Now the nearest module manufacturers are in Minnesota and Ontario. The nearest off-grid inverter makers are in Washington State and grid-tied inverters are made in Europe. We go out of our way to source products from countries where labour laws an environmental ethics are stronger. Often this also means Canada has a better and more durable relationship with these countries so warranties are most likely to be honoured in the future. This sets us apart from most BC solar contractors.

Besides our long view in this industry, what makes Oso Solar different is we are local to the West Kootenay region and not a franchised installer where the profits leave the local area. When you are looking for a solar company to do business with, check where their home address is. Solar and food farming for our community is what we do. We live and work with solar energy everyday to run the office, home and business. We know what hardware is out there and how to get you the best fit for your needs. We also know how to design solar systems and direct our certified electrical associates on best practices. It is more than just a few wires. There is a lot to consider in sizing and merging of components to optimize performance and save on costs. We consult with you to get you the solar hardware that fits your needs and your budget. There is a difference between our work and getting your electrician to find some solar and install it and we can almost certainly get a better price from our large suite of suppliers across North America.

We partner with Bowick Electric, of Nelson and Intrinsic Electric, of Kaslo. Both of these electrical contractors have had their hands into solar wiring with us for as many as 13 years.