Toronto School Board to implement giant solar power project

May 25, 2011

Huge and exciting news this week about a commitment to renewable energy that looks set to be the largest rooftop solar project ever in Canada, we’re especially pleased at the proposed transformation as it will be right here in our own community of Toronto.

The giant project has been announced by the Toronto District School Board that will see new solar panels added to the roof of nearly every school in the district. Naturally a program this large will take some time as more than 520 building make up the district, of which approximately 450 will see a refit with new solar roofing. The plan is primarily about energy but also will be integral to an ongoing commitment to repair the roofs that older buildings would have needed anyway. Remarkably also the costs of the project will not be footed by taxpayers.

The Toronto District School Board have approved the $445 million deal that will be scheduled throughout the next 20 years, in addition the company providing the installation will complete in excess of $120 million repairing school rooftops as part of the project. In all millions of square of rooftop will benefit and provide the school board the financial advantage that is anticipated by being able to sell excess solar energy beyond what the school buildings will themselves need. As I write this I can’t help but wonder why every school district wouldn’t want to follow such an exciting lead. Trustee Howard Goodman explained:

“This is groundbreaking; this reduces greenhouse gases and provides a learning opportunity for our students and leaves a legacy for more than 20 years — this is extraordinary,”

The project will be manned by AMP Solar Ltd. Partnerships who will begin by tacking the worst roofs in the initial few years before unrolling the scheme throughout the city. Other cities are standing up and taking note of the project details already. Upon completion the roofs are scheduled to generate more than 65 megawatts of renewable energy each year. AMP Solar Ltd will oversee the construction, operations, power management and overall maintenance of the project in addition to paying the school district rent for the space being used.

Of course there is also a huge educational benefit as ultimately every school in town will have its own renewable energy plant sitting on the roofs of the buildings where the students are educated. It will provide a dynamic learning opportunity about the generation and value of renewable energy in an everyday setting. The environmental benefits will be clear as day to students who can see the solar panels in action. Renewable energy demonstrations won’t require a field trip but simply some ladders and a safe pair of shoes.

You can learn more about AMP Solar Group via this link.

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