Hydropower, Solar

Toronto’s Exhibition Place to Launch 100 kW Solar PV System

Up to $250,000 in funding for a feasibility study and field test will come from the Green Municipal Fund (GMF) of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities. The 100-kilowatt solar photovoltaic (PV) system is to be located on the rooftop of the Exhibition Place’s Horse Palace in Toronto.

To date, 522 GMF studies, field tests, plans and capital projects have been approved for funding of $302 million, leveraging over $1.9 billion of economic activity in communities across Canada. Designed by Carmanah Technologies in partnership with Exhibition Place, the pilot system is to comprise four sub-systems, each using a different combination of solar, inverter and mounting technologies. A website being created by Carmanah will show the system through cameras on the roof, allowing viewers to track each solar array’s energy output. “The solar PV system is a key element in Exhibition Place’s goal of becoming energy self-sufficient by 2010. The project will provide us with the information needed to expand the system to 1.5-2 megawatts (15 to 20 times larger than the pilot),” said Dianne Young, CEO and General Manager of Exhibition Place. “This project will demonstrate the effectiveness of solar technologies in an urban environment,” said Pam McConnell, City of Toronto Councillor, who was representing the Federation of Canadian Municipalities’ (FCM) National Board of Directors. “In addition, it will reduce annual electrical consumption by 120,000 kilowatts per year and greenhouse gas emissions by 115 tons, saving Exhibition Place more than $10,000 per year in hydro costs,” she added. The City of Toronto, through the Better Buildings Partnership (BBP) provided a $600,000 zero interest loan and technical expertise to Exhibition Place to get the PV project off the ground. “The Better Buildings Partnership assists organizations that are interested in reducing their emissions and energy use. To date, the city has assisted 500 buildings with energy retrofits through the BBP,” said Deputy Mayor Joe Pantalone, Chair Exhibition Place and Roundtable on the Environment.