Ottawa Takes Part in Ontario's Green Energy Act Incentives

City council in Canada's capital region may soon approve a deal to partner with Hydro Ottawa to build solar energy installations on twenty municipal buildings. Councillor Maria McRae, Chairwoman of Ottawa City Council's Environment Committee, made the announcement January 11 at a City Hall press conference. If approved, the $220,000 plan will create green energy and clean air for the city and countless jobs for the province's solar installers.

City council in Canada's capital region may soon approve a deal to partner with Hydro Ottawa to build solar energy installations on twenty municipal buildings. Councillor Maria McRae, Chairwoman of Ottawa City Council's Environment Committee, made the announcement January 11 at a City Hall press conference. If approved, the $220,000 plan will create green energy and clean air for the city and countless jobs for the province's solar installers.


The twenty rooftops the city selected for solar retrofits include the Nepean Sportsplex, Merivale Arena, Goulbourn Arena, and Ottawa's Equestrian Park. Combined, the projects will create enough energy to power 300 homes and generate as much as $250,000 each year for the city through provisions of Ontario's Green Energy and Green Economy Act (Green Energy Act). The Act was signed into law in May of 2009 and paved the way for the Ontario Power Authority (OPA) to institute its feed-in tariff (FIT) program later that year. The FIT and its companion program for smaller projects, the microFIT, create green energy, jobs, and opportunities for photovoltaic (PV) installation courses and other new educational streams by paying Ontarians high prices for energy they generate using solar, wind, and biomass installations.

Nation's Capital Holds Plenty of Solar Energy Jobs for PV Course Graduates

City officials estimate that Ottawa could receive $5 million in dividends from municipally-owned Hydro Ottawa over the twenty-year durations of the most recently-announced FIT contracts. The group of projects is the region's third municipal solar energy initiative in the past year and follows microFIT installations atop City Hall and the control centre of Ottawa's public transportation agency. The city also has plans for a ground-mounted PV system at a municipal waste facility that, if it receives OPA approval, will harness enough power to supply 1,500 homes.

Ottawa's solar energy initiatives will create jobs for graduates of the province's PV installation courses as well as new positions in manufacturing, due to the FITs' stipulations that up to 60% of materials and labour used in participating projects must originate in Ontario. The capital city's commitment to renewable energy sets an example for the nation by making cleanly-sourced power a top priority. It is a priority that, if properly addressed, can bring financial and environmental rewards well in to the future.

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