THUNDER BAY – Solar energy is working in Thunder Bay. A greener way to generate electricity is working in Thunder Bay. “The cooperative nature of a project like this cannot be underestimated. Over a dozen local companies and organizations worked together successfully on these installations. I’d like to express our gratitude for the effort it took to make it happen,” says Jim Kibiuk, Senior Manager of Renewable Energy Development at Thunder Bay Hydro.
Thunder Bay Hydro’s first two commercial solar photovoltaic (PV) systems are now generating power on City of Thunder Bay buildings. Combined, the 280 kilowatt (kW) system on the Victoriaville Parkade and the 60 kW system on the Superior North EMS Headquarters can produce enough electricity per year to power 36 homes.
Construction on the two installations began in early November 2012 under Thunder Bay Hydro’s SEED Initiative (Sustainable Electric Energy Development).
Norm Gale, Chief of EMS at Superior North Emergency Medical Services says, “We at Superior North EMS are pleased to be a part of Thunder Bay Hydro’s SEED Initiative. The energy produced at our facility is complementary to our building’s energy efficiency and environmentally sound approaches to construction and maintenance.”
These are the first of six Thunder Bay Hydro solar PV installations planned as part of a strategic alliance with the City of Thunder Bay. Feasibility studies were conducted to identify facilities that were both suitable for solar PV projects and capable of producing financial return to the City of Thunder Bay.
“The City of Thunder Bay Parking Authority was pleased to learn that the Victoriaville Parkade roof was selected as a site for a solar energy project as part of Thunder Bay Hydro’s SEED Initiative. The project makes good use of previously unused space and allows the Parking Authority to participate in green energy initiatives.” Says Jim Coady, Manager, City of Thunder Bay Parking Authority.
Thunder Bay Hydro will sell the generated electricity to the Ontario Power Authority under a 20 year Feed-In Tariff (FIT) Program contract. The electricity will be distributed to the provincial grid.
Kibiuk sums up the SEED Initiative by noting, “Thunder Bay Hydro is building a portfolio of valuable renewable generation assets, one project at a time.”