UXBRIDGE: Uxbridge Council has approved the Township going into two joint ventures with Veridian Connections and Solera Sustainable Energies, for solar projects on the arena and the new fire hall, taking a 25 per cent stake in each.
At a meeting on Monday, Nov. 21st, Councillors were shown a report by treasurer Donna Condon, outlining the two options for a solar energy project on the arena: owning the project, or going into a joint venture.
“It’s a better deal for us to own it, but we’re taking more liability, more risk,” Ward 3 Councillor Dave Barton said.
He also said the risks of owning the system are worth the reward.
“Overall, we are taking more risk, but we might be up another $180,000 if we own it,” adding that full ownership also offers the Township more flexibility.
According to the report, the cost of the project, if the Township owned it, would be about $500,000.
Ward 2 Councillor Pat Molloy said his biggest concern with full ownership is the constantly changing green technology sector.
“We’re talking about a half a million dollar investment in technology that may be no good in five years,” he said.
In a joint venture, Veridian would be responsible for the operation and the upkeep of the panels.
In October, Council decided to have Solera apply to the Feed-In-Tariff (FIT) program on their behalf for the fire hall project, but had not chosen whether to own that project or do a joint venture. Councillor Molloy told The Standard the fire hall was added into the motion to help finish that process.
Mayor Gerri Lynn O’Connor told Councillors she recently received a letter from residents, who live near the arena, opposing having solar panels put on the site. The letter lists “the visual degradation” and the “resulting destruction of property value” as reasons for the opposition.
However, Councillors decided to approve the Township entering into the two joint ventures. The municipalities investment in the fire hall is estimated to be about $13,000. According to the report, Uxbridge’s investment in the arena project is $22,758. In addition to the possible return on their equity investment, the Township will also receive roof lease payments for the projects.
Veridian and Solera will now submit FIT project applications to the Independent Electricity System Operator.
Councillor Molloy said the Township could hear back, regarding the results of the applications, in March or April.