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Four FIT projects in the GTA worth knowing about

Posted by Guest Contributor / November 11, 2012

FIT Projects TorontoEven though he may have bungled the gas plant cancellations, soon-to-be-former Premier McGuinty did some good for Ontario's energy sector during his 16 year tenure by introducing the Feed-In-Tariff program. The FIT program allows renewable energy projects to come to life through cooperative efforts between the Ontario Power Authority and property owners. The site owners lease their building or land on a 20-year term to the OPA, and the solar, wind, or biogas electricity boosts the Province's green energy portfolio.

"The province's Feed-in Tariff program has attracted significant renewable energy development in the province," wrote Tim Butters, media communications Ontario Power Authority, in an email. "The program is helping us create a cleaner and more sustainable supply mix and is attracting new investment and economic opportunities to Ontario."
To date, the OPA has cleared 2000 FIT contracts generating over 4600MW in the province. Here's what's going on in our backyard.

BrightRoof Solar LLP
Imagine having a tenant on your rooftop, always paying rent on time, and not blasting death metal at 2 a.m. when you're trying to sleep. The BrightRoof Solar project is a city wide initiative building solar photovoltaic arrays on top of apartments, warehouses, homes, and condos. In July, the city endorsed the construction of six of the rooftop projects. With a total projected portfolio size of $100 million, BrightRoof has over 40 solar facilities set to be built.

A childhood in Toronto wouldn't be complete without fond memories of the Metro Zoo, it's just too bad the zoo is facing a hard budget crunch. But with the ZooShare biogas generating station slated to be built on its grounds, the institution may not be doomed after all once the plant is built. The 500kW facility will be fuelled by zoo manure and food waste from local grocery stores and restaurants.

WaterView Project
Situated on the roof of an old Diamler Bus manufacturing facility in Mississauga, the WaterView project is rated at 438kW. With a total area of 2.2 acres it represents the largest single rooftop solar project in North America generating enough juice for over 50 homes. It also uses thin-film solar panels which are smaller and lighter than traditional panels.

SolarCity Partnership
In November 2009, Toronto wanted to demonstrate its environmental stewardship by taking advantage of the FIT program. In partnership with the Toronto Atmospheric Fund, the City funded the 52kW solar project atop the Toronto Police Services parking garage at 9 Hanna Avenue. The installation covers a total area of 322m2 and should pay for itself in about 15 years. Afterward, it will continue to turn sunlight into green electricity for the power grid.

Writing by Chris Ridell

Photo by Green Energy Futures on Flickr



Franco / November 11, 2012 at 08:47 am
Last I checked he was still our Premier.
greg / November 11, 2012 at 01:34 pm
Imagine a roof top tennant that if the building or tennant catches fire, the building can't be saved, since firefighters can't fight fires in buildings with roof mounted solar panels. Seems like a lot of thought was put into the decission to allow roof top systems, or maybe McGuinty cares more about his back pocket, than you or your family! I would also bet that the amount of pollutants that one roof system puts puts into the earth during construction and disposal and heaven forbid if they burn up, far exeeds a retro-fitted cleaner burning coal plant. It's to be greener, but we don't need to be stupid about it!
thebiggreenlie / November 11, 2012 at 11:30 pm
Yeah.really good idea that FIT program............ever wonder why your hydro bill has doubled since it was introduced????..............Geez people................do a little research before you publish crap like this!!
fireman replying to a comment from greg / November 11, 2012 at 11:31 pm
why can't i fight a fire if there are solar panels?
not being sarcastic replying to a comment from thebiggreenlie / November 11, 2012 at 11:42 pm
i always thought solar panels were free too. i thought we just closed our eyes, and they appear like magic. oh wait, i'm not a complete fuckwad. i understand that things cost money (which ins't real by the way) the future is expensive. fossil fuels were a necessary step towards our evolution. there will be a time when people read in books (or whatever people read things on in the future) where they will laugh at people like you biggreen.
paying 2x as much for what will eventually turn into FREE electricity is worth it. do a little research before you post crap like this!
Jay / November 12, 2012 at 08:04 am
McGuinty would have been better off directing $600 million at Onatrio residents to help fund homeowners installing green power on their homes or properties. But hey, I guess he being so interested in green power, that money was better spent buying a couple electoral seats.

Those gas plants were being put where they were because that's where the growing demand is. The idea being, generate the power where it's needed. Instead we'll have a couple plants hundreds of kilometers away and having to transport the power.
Josh replying to a comment from thebiggreenlie / November 12, 2012 at 06:08 pm
Thebiggreenlie is a big fat liar.

According to the Ontario Energy Board, nuclear has been responsible for 45% of recent increases of electricity bills. Meanwhile, the impact of renewables has been minor – about 6%.

You get an F for poor research.
Dzak / November 12, 2012 at 08:15 pm
WaterView is not the biggest. There are a couple of single-rooftop projects that will be over 600 kW.
Ba21.Us / April 29, 2013 at 10:51 pm
I'm impressed, I have to admit. Seldom do I encounter a blog that's both equally educative
and entertaining, and without a doubt, you've hit the nail on the head. The problem is something not enough folks are speaking intelligently about. I am very happy that I came across this during my hunt for something concerning this.
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