Toronto-Owned Buildings Get an Injection of Solar Power
Yesterday, the City of Toronto and Toronto Hydro-Electric System Limited (Toronto Hydro) launched the first phase of a program that will see City-owned buildings across Toronto outfitted with more than 8,800 solar photovoltaic (PV) panels. The program kicked-off with construction starting on three installations – Mimico Arena, York Mills Arena, and Goulding Park Community Centre/Arena.
“This is a great opportunity to make use of underutilized City roof space and generate revenue for the City,” said councillor Norm Kelly (Ward 40 Scarborough-Agincourt), chair of the Parks and Environment Committee. “Reducing environmental impacts for communities and improving air quality for our residents is another step in the right direction.”
The energy from the panels will be fed into Toronto Hydro’s electrical grid, generating over $16 million in gross revenues for the City over 20 years, and will also help to increase the security of Toronto’s electricity supply. The electricity will be purchased under the terms of Feed-in-tariff contracts with the Ontario Power Authority, a program to encourage project developers to invest in generation, transmission, and distribution, so that even more renewable energy sources can be incorporated into Ontario’s electricity system.
The PV installations will generate approximately 2,600 megawatt hours (MWh) of electricity annually, which is roughly equivalent to the consumption of 215 households, and is said to result in the reduction of approximately 480 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions a year. At least 60 per cent of the PV equipment will be made in Ontario, which will help support the growth of the solar energy industry in the province.
“We have an important role interconnecting renewable projects to the distribution grid; we have connected hundreds of distributed generation customers totalling more than 90 megawatts (MW), of which 13 MW are renewable projects,” said Ivano Labricciosa, vice-president, Asset Management, Toronto Hydro. “And, in addition to supporting our customers’ renewable programs we have two solar projects of our own that generate over 900 MWh and displace approximately 165 tonnes of carbon dioxide. This is part of the company’s corporate social responsibility strategy.”