Small town sustainability: Solar partnership brings in revenue, reduces carbon footprint

Strathcona Solar installs 250kW solar PV array on Englehart Community Complex; clean energy investment for sustainability of future generations and revenue generating power plant

Strathcona Solar Initiative, a multiple award winning full service integrator in Southeastern Ontario, recently completed the installation of a high-yielding 250kW solar PV array on the roof of the Englehart Community Complex in Englehart, Ontario.

The Northeastern Ontario town of 1,500 was founded as a strategic railway stop for T&NO Railway in the early 1900s and is located on the Englehart River in one of the most environmentally sensitive areas along the Trans-Canada Highway 11. Today a major manufacturer of oriented strand board, the municipality had been searching for ways to increase the quality of life for its citizens in an economically and environmentally responsible manner when the opportunity to become a solar power producer presented itself.

Now 1,161 solar modules are soaking up the sun on curved roof of the Englehart community arena, which plays an important role in the town's social life. The ice rink, walking track, multipurpose halls and learning center that the arena houses add tremendously to the enjoyment of life for the citizens of Englehart. While this is a difficult value to put a price tag on, "the solar rooftop array works for the community in another way, in that it utilizes an often overlooked space to bring in revenue," says Yvan Brousseau, Municipal Solar Development Consultant for Englehart Solar, which is owned jointly by the Town of Englehart and the Town of Kapuskasing.

For the next 20 years the solar panels are guaranteed to bring in net revenue of over CAN$70,000 each year as IESO (Independent Electricity System Operator) is paying a fixed price under the FiT 2.1 for the production of each kilowatt hour that the system feeds into the grid.

To realize this opportunity optimally the Englehart municipal leadership founded Englehart Solar Inc., a solar initiative the town owns in equal parts with Kapuskasing Solar Inc. The Town of Kapuskasing, itself the proud owner of 1.8 Megawatts of solar, has been establishing solar partnerships and sharing solar best-practices with a multitude of municipalities like Englehart in order to spur economic growth and secure long-term financial gains.

"The completion of this solar project demonstrates that communities like ours can indeed lead by example and incorporate renewables into their energy portfolio," says Nina Wallace, mayor of the Township of Englehart. "Not only are we able to drastically reduce our carbon footprint and invest in the sustainability of future generations, but the Ontario program also allows us to generate revenue for our community. We are extremely satisfied with our partner SSI how they handled the entire process from conception to application and installation."

The Canadian-manufactured solar panels produce about 350,000 kilowatt hours annually, which roughly equals the amount of electricity 32 homes consume in a year. The high-yielding solar array was designed and installed by Strathcona Solar Initiatives who will also be monitoring and servicing the system to ensure maximum production over the several-decade long lifetime of the system.

Karl Hollett, the CEO of Strathcona Energy, adds that "each kilowatt hour the system generates over the next twenty years nets the Township of Englehart a financial profit. The leadership identified solar as a great opportunity to be less reliant on other revenue sources or having to raise taxes. But what is even more, this is also an important investment socially as it will leave behind a cleaner, healthier environment for future generations by providing abundant renewable energy from the sun for many decades."

About Strathcona Solar Initiative — Full Service Solution

Strathcona Solar is an award winning full service solutions provider located in Ontario that specializes in the design, installation, and maintenance of solar initiatives. Strathcona Solar provides client specific sales, engineering, as well as operational support for solar applications from high-yielding solar trackers to rooftop and ground-mount solar, solar pumps, and solar lights. All solutions are engineered using only the highest quality components from proven global partners. Strathcona Solar Initiatives is part of the Strathcona Energy Group (SEG) which specializes in providing vertically integrated solutions for the next generation of photovoltaics.

About Strathcona Energy Group - Making Energy Together

Strathcona Energy Group (SEG) is a Canadian-based holding company specializing in vertically integrated solutions for the next generation of photovoltaics. Group members provide manufacturing for over 200 MW of top-performing solar modules, from building-integrated solar and market revolutionizing PV and ACPV modules, to mounting components as well as EPC, sales, and installation services. Strathcona and its subsidiaries offer services spanning from utility scale and commercial to agricultural and residential solar applications across the globe.

Media Contact
Susanne F. Quinn, Head of Corporate Communications
Phone: +1 (478) 230-3347


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