Board offers rooftops for solar systems

The Simcoe County District School Board (SCDSB) has warmed to the idea of harnessing the power of the sun by installing solar panels on school rooftops.
The board is inviting interested parties to submit proposals with the aim of establishing a licensing agreement to generate solar power.
The board has about two million square feet of rooftop at up to 105 schools and board buildings across the district. Projects approved by the Ontario Power Authority (OPA) will operate under the Feed-In-Tariff (FIT) 2.0 program, which awards contracts for renewable-energy projects, including solar and wind.
“Responsible stewardship of resources is one of our top goals. Offering our school rooftops to generate environmentally-friendly power, along with education dollars, makes good sense to us as we deliver high-quality education services to our students,” stated Kathi Wallace, Director of Education.
The board is offering the space, but successful applicants will be responsible for preparing contract details, as well as installing and operating the systems. Power generated can be used to fuel building systems, and extra power can be sold into the provincial grid. Contracts are awarded for 20-year periods, and producers are guaranteed a rate of 55 cents a kilowatt/hour.
“Interested organizations should provide information on corporate structure and history, proposed licensing fee over the term of the FIT contract and a detailed plan of how they propose to ensure project readiness within the OPA’s FIT 2.0 timelines and achieve the necessary priority points that will result in the successful approval of SCDSB FIT applications,” says the board in a release.
Last week Barrie’s general committee adopted a blanket policy of providing municipal support to projects seeking a FIT contract. Municipal support provides a proposal with two of 17.5 available priority points. Others are: community participation project, 3; aboriginal participation project, 3; education or health project, 2, aboriginal support, 2, project readiness, 1; pre-existing application time stamp on or after July 5, 2011, .5; education or health host, 2, system benefit, 1.

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