A rooftop solar energy system at Samuel Genest French Catholic high school began producing electricity in July 2014. The project will provide learning opportunities for students and paves the way for community members to invest in the future of the students and school.
“The solar project will enable our students to better understand green energy technologies, the challenges of producing energy, and the importance of responsible consumption of energy. The partnership with the co-operative allows the school to engage the broader community in our vision of sustainability.”
– Josee Batsita, teacher, Samuel Genest School
The school in Overbrook has blazed a new trail by being the first school to lease their roof space for a community-owned renewable energy system. In this case, the Ottawa Renewable Energy Co-op is leasing the roof space for their solar panels, and inviting residents of Ottawa to invest in the system on the school. In July of 2014, 283 residents of Ottawa were members of the Co-operative, many of whom have chosen to invest in the Co-op’s portfolio of solar projects.
In addition to lease revenue of about $140,000 over two decades, the school will be able to monitor the 74 kilowatt solar project and use the information in lessons for its students. The system was installed by SolPowered Energy Corp and iSolara Solar Power.
The system costs $500,000 to install and is expected to produce over 100,000 kilowatt hours per year. The revenue from the sale of electricity will be about $65,000 a year, which will cover the leasing, maintenance and operational costs of the system and returns to investors.
The school board, le Conseil des Écoles Catholiques du Centre-Est, has already installed solar systems on 8 primary schools. Other school boards also have solar projects under the provincial Feed-In Tariff program, which was launched in 2009.
See the solar production here.