News / Ottawa

Ottawa gets green with solar energy project

Eight municipal buildings now equipped with solar panels.

Solar panels in place atop the city's François Dupuis Recreation Centre.

Contributed

Solar panels in place atop the city's François Dupuis Recreation Centre.

The sun has risen on a new solar project between the city and Energy Ottawa.

Energy Ottawa, a subsidiary of Hydro Ottawa, announced their installation of solar panels on eight city buildings Wednesday as part of a large-scale solar energy project.

The large-scale installation came after the success of the 2010 pilot project, where smaller solar systems installed at city hall and one other building. Hydro Ottawa said the renewable energy generated from the panels would reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 41,382 metric tonnes over the 20-year-term.

The eight solar systems on city buildings is the first large-scale solar project for the city, said Bryce Conrad, president and CEO of Hydro Ottawa.

The energy produced from the panels is equivalent to removing 300 homes from the grid each year and city is expected to receive $1.7 million dollars over 20 years from the project, said Hydro Ottawa.

Mayor Jim Watson said the city’s revenues would come from the rental costs of the roofs.

Watson said this partnership between Energy Ottawa and the city is only the beginning.

The ultimate goal is put solar panels on all city buildings, that can accommodate the panels, as long as it makes financial sense – and so far, it does, he said.

“Installing solar panels on municipal buildings just makes sense.”

Conrad said the cost of solar has reduced dramatically, which is why cities like Ottawa are able to have large-scale solar projects like this.

When the panels become more affordable solar projects will become more widespread, said Conrad, who added that the province has foot the bill for this project.

Watson said the city has made a commitment to green energy and will continue to look for ways to reduce our carbon footprint – so long as it’s in the budget.