Boarding solar panels and horses: Ontario stables rents out roof for solar profits

Ontario solar manufacturer SEI provides 422 solar panels for Orr Lake Stables; owner rents roof space for production of solar energy

Belleville (Ontario), February 2, 2016.—Strathcona Energy International (SEI), a North-American based manufacturer of premium-quality solar modules, announced the completion of a 100 kilowatt rooftop photovoltaic system at Orr Lake Stables in Elmvale, Ontario. The system was designed and installed by sister company Strathcona Solar Initiatives, a multiple award-winning solar integrator.

When property owner Chris Van Den Heuvel built a new stable for his 100 acre equestrian facility picturesquely located at Orr Lake, he did so with solar energy in mind. The length side of the building is positioned due south to capture the sun's rays most efficiently and the roof angle slants at an ideal 30-degree angle. He then submitted a Feed-in-Tariff (FiT) application with IESO but quickly found out that the bureaucratic process involved is fairly tedious.

Contracting Strathcona with the engineering and design of the project turned out to be a game-changing decision for Mr. Van Den Heuvel and the manager of the facility, Tony Moreau. The 422 high-efficiency modules manufactured by Strathcona International in Belleville were installed by sister company Strathcona Solar Initiatives who also assisted with the FiT application process. Under Ontario's FiT program, clean solar energy can be fed into the grid to increase the availability of renewable energy in the province. In exchange, the owner of the solar panels receives a pre-set price for every kilowatt-hour generated.

Parent company Strathcona Energy Group is leasing the roof space from the owner of the building, which provides Mr. Van Den Heuvel the benefit of not having to finance the solar panels or their installation but instead receiving payment based on the production of the panels. Under the lease agreement Strathcona Energy also takes full responsibility for the maintenance and repair of the panels should any damages occur.

"Really it's the best of both worlds for us," says Mr. Van Den Heuvel. "The roof of the stable is being utilized exactly as I had envisioned it but without any of the responsibility or headaches solar ownership at times entails. I truly enjoy being a ‘solar landlord' by leasing out the roof space."

Although Orr Lake Stables is currently for sale and not occupied, it still brings in monthly revenue that is being used toward the maintenance of the facility. "The fact that the building is still generating some income in its current phase is very advantageous," Mr. Moreau comments. "Plus, potential buyers are pleasantly surprised when they hear about the ‘clean power plant' and the built-in income opportunity they present."

Solar panels have no moving parts, are completely quiet and produce no harmful emissions, which makes them one of the safest ways to produce energy. Although the availability of solar energy is intermittent by nature, solar is an abundant source of energy especially in Canada. Based on a solar irradiation index of 1,200 kilowatt hours, solar arrays in Canada produce 20% more energy on average than in Germany, one of the world leaders of solar energy.

The solar panels at Orr Lake Stables are designed to generate over 133,000 kilowatt hours of clean energy annually, which equals over 91 metric tons of carbon emissions avoided, or the amount of carbon sequestered by 2,352 tree seedlings grown for ten years.

"Solar energy is truly an exciting option for all of us," says Karl Hollett, the owner and CEO of Strathcona Energy. "It's a privilege for us to work together with individuals like Chris Van Den Heuvel who have a clear vision of a sustainable future and are willing to combine it with their financial savvy."

The 100 kilowatt solar installation at Orr Lake Stables consists of 422 photovoltaics modules made by SEI in Belleville, Ontario. Parent company SEG is leasing the roof space from the owner to generate clean energy for the province.

About Strathcona Energy International - Photovoltaics Perfected
SEI is synonymous with quality excellence, reliability and an industry-leading "Cost of Energy" proposition. A leader in PV modules SEI specializes in a robust product suite that includes market pioneering AC-PV, Bifacial PV and BI-PV (Glass-on-Glass) modules. This technological stewardship coupled with manufacturing and assembly assets throughout North America allows the company to produce high-demand and high-quality solar modules for its global sales and distribution channels to fit any installation or project all while meeting any quality or certification requirements.

About Strathcona Solar Initiatives — 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
Founded in 2009, Strathcona Energy Group (SEG) is a highly diversified holding company based in Ontario, Canada that specializes in providing vertically integrated renewable energy solutions with locations in both Canada and the United States. Its current and wholly owned participants include Strathcona Solar Initiative (SSI) and Strathcona Energy International (SEI).

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

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