THUNDER BAY – City Council will be asked Monday for final ratification of an agreement that allows Thunder Bay Hydro Corporation (TBHC) to be the exclusive solar photovoltaic (Solar PV) developer to the City of Thunder Bay. The agreement would mean that TBHC would be given preferred access to City-owned buildings (rooftops) and property for the installation of Solar PV panels.
The expected $14 million investment in Solar PV installations has received approval from the TBHC Board of Directors. At this time, initial assessment of potential sites is underway. TBHC will primarily focus on larger city-owned buildings and properties for medium-sized Solar PV installations.
“We are very excited about this partnership initiative because it’s about growing our community in a sustainable way,” said Mayor Lynn Peterson, adding that it is consistent with both the City’s Official Plan, the ‘Clean, Green and Beautiful’ policy (02-05-01), and supported by the results of three successive citizen Satisfaction Surveys regarding citizen support for sustainable or green energy projects.
“In recent years, the City and Thunder Bay Hydro Corporation have been working in partnership to adopt green energy within our city through initiatives such as the Mapleward Generating Station,” said Ralph Falcioni, Chair of the Thunder Bay Hydro Corporation. “The Solar PV agreement represents a strategic alliance that allows both parties to further that objective and fulfill various corporate priorities.”
Thunder Bay Hydro’s SEED Initiative (Sustainable Electric Energy Development) plans to expand the development of renewable energy sources within the City of Thunder Bay. The company will obtain contracts with the Ontario Power Authority under the Province’s Feed-In Tariff program (FIT) to sell the generated electricity back to the provincial grid.
Thunder Bay Hydro Renewable Power is currently finalizing work on the Mapleward Renewable Generating Station. The methane gas generation plant is expected to annually convert 263 million cubic feet of methane gas that would have otherwise been released into the environment and create enough electricity to power 2,000 houses.
It is expected that both the Solar PV and the Generation Station initiatives will provide a new source of revenue for the City, the sole shareholder of TBHC, although no final policy has been made regarding dividends. Annual lease payments will be made to the City related to Solar PV and will be based on the number and size of the rooftop and/or ground mounted installations that are installed.