July 31, 2012, TORONTO — Jamieson Laboratories today unveiled one of the largest rooftop solar arrays in Ontario, made up of over 2,300 panels across 50,000 square feet atop their head office and primary production facility in Windsor, Ontario. This 630 kilowatt solar project was developed by Solar Power Network (SPN), a Canadian company specializing in the transformation of idle commercial and industrial rooftops into sources of green energy.
Jamieson Laboratories is Canada’s oldest and largest manufacturer of vitamins and supplements. Under the leadership of President and CEO Vic Neufield, they have embraced on-site renewable power generation as a key part of their plan to become the country’s first zero-footprint supplement manufacturer. “Our work in wellness compels us to close the circle on sustainability,” says Mr. Neufield.
On the wider stage, this solar array is helping to end Ontario’s continued reliance on coal power, which costs Ontario taxpayers nearly a billion dollars in health and environmental cleanup each year. Because it produces electricity at times of peak demand, the same times when coal plants are pressed into service, solar power delivers far above its weight.
This installation is offsetting the equivalent of 9 hours of operation at one of Ontario’s six large coal-fired units each year. SPN has worked with Local Distribution Carrier EnWin to connect this and four other rooftop sites in Windsor to the grid for a total generating capacity of 1.5 megawatts, the annual equivalent of more than 24 hours of coal-fired generation.
Looking forward, SPN has agreements to install solar panels on another 124 buildings in Southwestern Ontario alone, most of which are in the Windsor-Essex region. “With a large forward-thinking industrial base in Windsor, flat manufacturing rooftops, coupled with sun hours well above the provincial average have made the region a natural home for rooftop solar,” says Peter Goodman, President and CEO, SPN. “With an additional 180 agreements across the rest of Ontario, it is clear that the manufacturing sector is embracing the economic and social benefits of solar power.”
SPN uses panels manufactured in Mississauga by Silfab, and installs in partnership with local contractors GSL and Masotti Construction. SPN’s focus on local sourcing is creating approximately seventy new jobs in Ontario.
SPN developed this site in financial partnership with PowerStream, Ontario’s second largest municipal electricity company. PowerStream has been recognized as one of ‘Ontario’s Environmental Leaders’ by the Ministry of the Environment, and has been a trailblazer in environmental initiatives since its formation in 2004. Their emphasis has been on renewable energy beginning in 2009 following the passing of Ontario’s Green Energy and Green Economy Act. Renewable energy and the environment are two areas of operation that are inextricably woven into the culture of the organization at every level. The Jamieson Laboratories solar project marks the beginning of an ongoing partnership between PowerStream and SPN.
“As more businesses get onboard with rooftop solar,” says Peter Goodman, “the day is in sight when coal power in Ontario can be entirely replaced with renewable energy generated locally at the point of need. This distributed generation model eliminates the losses and inefficiencies of long-distance electricity transmission, while putting power directly in the hands of the community. It is the foundational building block of the smart grid of the future.”
Solar Power Network (SPN) is a wholly Canadian-owned company, founded by Canadian engineers with the goal of bringing Ontario into the renewable future. By installing high-yield low-angle solar panels on unused commercial, institutional, and industrial rooftops, SPN generates green energy locally for local consumption. In addition to eliminating the losses associated with long-distance energy transportation, these installations provide peak power at times of peak consumption, thus reducing the province’s reliance on coal power. SPN aims to, within the next five years, offset one of Ontario’s five remaining large coal-fired units with clean rooftop solar power generation.
PowerStream Solar is a division of PowerStream Inc., the second largest municipally-owned electricity distribution company in Ontario. PowerStream provides service to approximately 340,000 customers in Southern and Central Ontario. The communities served include Alliston, Aurora, Barrie, Beeton, Bradford West Gwillimbury, Markham, Penetanguishene, Richmond Hill, Thornton, Tottenham and Vaughan. PowerStream is an incorporated entity, jointly owned by the City of Barrie, the City of Vaughan and the Town of Markham.
Alexandra Pecoskie, Citizen Optimum, 416.550.5640, firstname.lastname@example.org