Four FIT projects in the GTA worth knowing about
Even 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.
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.
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
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