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Queen's University

Sustainability Office

solar panelsUniversity considers installing more solar panels

October 14, 2010

A full analysis is currently underway to determine the feasibility of installing more solar panels (PVs) for converting solar radiation into current electricity on campus.

"Solar PV generation may be a viable strategy to produce renewable energy on campus, import clean energy to the grid and reduce greenhouse gas emissions," says Vice-Principal (Operations and Finance) Caroline Davis. "But this is still very much an evolving process."

18 responses to a Request for Information (RFI) in early August identified various financial models available for solar PV installation, as well as the potential scope and several firms capable of designing and installing Queen's-specific systems.

As a result, a Request For Proposals (RFP) was issued in early October to find the appropriate financial model and select a qualified firm to complete the design and installation work. Respondents are required to complete pre-feasibility designs for Queen's-specific systems.

The RFP supports potential installation of solar PVs on 66 rooftops on main and west campus - representing about 75 per cent of total available rooftop space - and a ground mounted system on approximately 80 acres of land at Queen's University Biology Station (QUBS).

Issuing an RFP does not guarantee that a solar installation will take place.

"However, more solar investment looks like a good idea," says V.P. Davis. "We are following good contracting policy and good financial management in the best interests of Queen's environmental impact and the financial impact to the university."

A team including Ann Browne, Associate Vice-Principal (Facilities), John Witjes (Engineering and Operations Director, Physical Plant Services (PPS)), Nathan Splinter (Energy Engineer, (PPS), Joshua Pearce, assistant professor in the department of Mechanical and Materials Engineering, Stephen Harris, professor in the department of Mechanical and Materials Engineering, and Aaron Ball, manager of the Queen's Sustainability Office, will review and evaluate the proposals and select the preferred candidate for the installation.

Following approval from the Campus Planning and Development Committee, a decision from the Board of Trustees is anticipated in early December.

Kingston, Ontario, Canada. K7L 3N6. 613.533.2000