Homebuyers in the Kitchener Waterloo region of Ontario, Canada will soon be able to generate electricity from their rooftops with innovative solar energy technology. Karen Redman, Member of Parliament for Kitchener Centre and Parliamentary Secretary to the Environment Minister David Anderson, has announced that the Government of Canada is contributing $1,025,000 (US$630,000) to a project to design and construct houses with solar energy systems in the region.KITCHENER, Ontario – April 25, 2002 [SolarAccess.com] The two-and-a-half-year project represents the first demonstration of community-scale photovoltaic (PV) systems in a Canadian neighborhood. Government of Canada funding comes from the Technology Early Action Measures (TEAM) component of the Climate Change Action Fund (CCAF) and Natural Resources Canada. “This project showcases Canada as a leader in developing and implementing innovative technologies,” said Redman. “Canada can diversify its energy resources by using alternatives, such as solar and by doing so will simultaneously reduce greenhouse gas emissions that lead to climate change. This will improve the quality of life for all Canadians.” ARISE Technologies Corporation, a solar engineering company based in Kitchener, will lead the team to design and install PV panels capable of generating 45 kilowatts of power on eight to ten new homes. The panels on these homes will be connected to the grid so they can send surplus electricity back to the utility. The aim of the project is to accelerate the acceptance of PV technologies in the market and to develop a framework for expanding the program to other regions of Canada. This project will also study the impact of solar-powered neighborhoods from the perspective of the electrical utility, financial institutions and municipal planning and bylaws. “This pilot project is an exciting next step in solar energy becoming a mainstream technology in Canada,” said ARISE President Ian MacLellan. “Last year in Japan, there were more than 25,000 solar homes built and more than 100,000 systems have been installed since 1994. This project will show in the Canadian context that solar energy can also make a significant contribution to the environment, reduce consumers’ expenses and increase home comfort.” Other project partners include Cook Homes, Waterloo North Hydro, the City of Waterloo, the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce and Professor Ian Rowlands of the University of Waterloo. Each partner will contribute expertise toward supporting the development and analyzing the effects of widespread solar energy application in residential neighborhoods. Interested homebuyers should contact ARISE to learn more about the benefits of owning a solar home.