Turn­ing rooftops into re­new­able power gen­er­a­tors

City, En­ergy Ot­tawa team on so­lar power pro­gram

Ottawa Business Journal - - RESTAURANTS -

Gen­er­at­ing new rev­enue for the City of Ot­tawa from space that’s oth­er­wise un­used, while at the same time mak­ing a pos­i­tive dif­fer­ence for the en­vi­ron­ment with re­new­able en­ergy. This is what En­ergy Ot­tawa, an af­fil­i­ate of Hy­dro Ot­tawa, and the City are do­ing, by turn­ing eight mu­nic­i­pal rooftops into gen­er­at­ing sta­tions that feed the lo­cal power grid.

En­ergy Ot­tawa is in­stalling so­lar pan­els on the rooftops of these build­ings through a 20-year lease from the City. The City will re­ceive about $85,000 a year in rev­enue, or $1.7 mil­lion in to­tal.

This model has been proven through sev­eral it­er­a­tions of On­tario’s Feed-in-Tar­iff pro­gram, man­aged by the In­de­pen­dent Elec­tric­ity Sys­tem Op­er­a­tor. Suc­cess­ful pi­lots are al­ready op­er­at­ing on the rooftops of City Hall and the OC Transpo garage at 875 Belfast Rd.

The first project to come on­line is the Jim Dur­rell Re­cre­ation Cen­tre. It fea­tures a 250 kW so­lar pho­to­voltaic sys­tem with an es­ti­mated out­put of 328,465 kWh/year – equiv­a­lent to re­mov­ing more than 30 homes from the grid an­nu­ally.

“We un­der­stand how im­por­tant green en­ergy so­lu­tions are to our cus­tomers, our city and our prov­ince,” said Greg Clarke, Chief Elec­tric­ity Gen­er­a­tion Of­fi­cer at En­ergy Ot­tawa. “This helps us fur­ther di­ver­sify our green gen­er­a­tion port­fo­lio and strengthen En­ergy Ot­tawa’s rep­u­ta­tion as On­tario’s largest mu­nic­i­pally owned pro­ducer of green power.”

These projects have a com­bined ca­pac­ity of roughly 2.3 megawatts and an es­ti­mated gen­er­a­tion of three mil­l­lion kWh/year, which is enough to power more than 300 homes in Ot­tawa.

“Cre­at­ing new sources of re­new­able en­ergy in our own back­yard re­duces how much elec­tric­ity En­ergy Ot­tawa must draw from fos­sil fuel sources to meet the ever-chang­ing needs of res­i­dents and busi­nesses,” said Clarke. “We will trim On­tario’s green­house gas emis­sions by 41,382 met­ric tonnes over the 20-year term.”

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