Solar energy projects inaugurated in Casselman, The Nation
An Ottawa-based solar energy developer held a press conference alongside the municipalities of Casselman and The Nation last Thursday, August 26, to announce a series of solar energy projects in the region.
A total of seven rooftop-based projects, deployed and managed by SolPowered Energy Corporation, were recently approved in both municipalities by the Ontario Power Authority (OPA) for its feed-in tariff program.
The projects are expected to generate about 613 kilowatts of energy for the province, an amount Glengarry-Prescott-Russell MPP Jean-Marc Lalonde likened to the entire energy production for a village like St-Isidore.
"That's very important for us in Eastern Ontario," Lalonde noted, standing outside the J.R. Brisson Sports Complex in Casselman.
Representatives of SolPowered, which operates medium and large-scale solar photovoltaic (PV) systems on building rooftops, have circulated around the United Counties of Prescott-Russell (UCPR) in recent months to present business proposals to many of its municipal councils.
Under such agreements, the company rents rooftop space from a municipality, installs and operates the system, and pays it a portion of the revenue generated from the electricity.
According to the mayors of both municipalities, having their municipalities go green was both an environmental initiative and an additional source of income for taxpayers.
"We wanted Casselman to be green, and with the right information, we were successful," remarked Conrad Lamadeleine, mayor of Casselman and current UCPR warden. "This is a very good example for the region, and for the province."
Five of the seven projects are in Casselman, and will be located at Casselman Tire, 417 Bus Line Ltd., the J.R. Brisson Sports Complex, Fondations Brisson Inc. and the M. Brisson Garage. Panels are also to be installed at the St-Isidore Arena and the Fournier municipal garage in The Nation.
Three projects are expected to be running before the winter, while the remaining four will be running next year, according to SolPowered.
"Not only is it important to believe in green energy production, but we believe this is a joint-venture opportunity," said The Nation Mayor Denis Pommainville. "We have to manage the municipality like a business."
Pommainville estimated the municipality will generate about $750,000 from its share of the revenues, following 20-year contract period between SolPowered and the OPA.
One of the larger solar energy projects in the region, to be installed at the 417 Bus Line Ltd. building on Industrial Street in Casselman, could generate up to 135 kilowatts per hour of energy at peak time.
The company's sales and dispatching director, Mario Laplante, said 417 Bus Line Ltd. could see total revenues of about $400,000 at the end of the 20-year contract.