SCUGOG: Scugog Council has given their support for a proposal to lease roof space on the Scugog Community Recreation Centre for a solar project.
At a meeting on Monday, Nov. 7th, Mark Turney, of Veridian Connections and Leonard Allen, President of Solera Sustainable Energies Company, presented the idea to Councillors of having solar panels installed on the local facility under Ontario’s Feed-In-Tariff (FIT) program.
According to the report shown to Councillors, the solar arrays (interconnected groups of panels), once installed, would be capable of producing 525 kilowatts of power.
The project is expected to produce power, equivalent to meeting the annual electricity requirements of 50 to 60 homes.
As part of the lease agreement, the Township would receive $8,398 per year over the next 20 years. This calculates out to a total revenue for the municipality of $167,960.
Mr. Allen told Councillors once the project is built, the Township will have the opportunity to make an equity investment in the project. He said a typical example of a joint venture would be the municipality and Solera both having a 15 per cent stake in the project, while Veridian would be the majority owner at 70 per cent.
If the Township agreed to that scenario, they would be asked to invest $30,000, and from that, could expect an additional return of about $80,000.
As well, Mr. Allen spoke about why they are looking to put the panels on the roof, rather than going with a solar farm approach.
“The roof is not being used for other purposes, as most rooftops are not [being used] on buildings. They are single purpose things, and we feel that it makes the most sense to put solar on rooftops, rather than large solar farms covering acres of land. Buildings consume the power, and it is the best place to generate the power,” he said.
Ward 1 Councillor Betty Somerville questioned how much power the project could produce in a year.
Mr. Allen responded, stating it could possibly generate about 600,000 kilowatt-hours per year.
The report also stated that once the 20-year lease is up, the Township could retain the project, and modify it to redirect the power it generates back into the facility.
Mayor Tom Rowett said this project is “the type of revenue source [the Township would] like to have on [their] books.”
He also asked if the opportunity to invest in the project is capped at a 15 per cent stake.
Mr. Allen said the 15 per cent equity stake is the most popular among municipalities, but went on to say, some municipalities have taken a 25 per cent stake.
The next step for the project is Veridian will submit a FIT project application to the Independent Electricity System Operator.
However, Councillors were also told, feeder restrictions, which are currently in place, must be lifted by Hydro One to allow the solar project to advance.