July 21, 2011
Queen's has submitted applications to the Ontario Power Authority (OPA) that would allow for the installation of hundreds of new solar panels on university property.
"We are very hopeful that the applications are successful," says Ann Browne, Associate Vice-Principal (Facilities). "This is an exciting project for Queen's that demonstrates our commitment to sustainability, both on campus and as part of the global community."
If the applications are approved, solar panels will be installed at Victoria Hall (75 kilowatts), An Clachan (250 kilowatts), Duncan McArthur Hall (500 kilowatts), the Queen's Centre (200 kilowatts), and the Queen's University Biological Station (QUBS) (10,000 kilowatts). The total energy produced would be enough to provide power to about 1,100 homes per year.
The green energy created by the solar panels would supply the Ontario energy grid, and the QUBS system could also lead to research projects examining solar energy.
Under the agreement, Johnson Controls Inc. would operate the panel systems owned by one of the company's financial partners. The financial partners would receive revenue from the energy generated, while Queen's would receive a monthly lease payment from the companies.
Queen's expects to receive a contract offer letter from the OPA in the next 90 days, and installation of the rooftop panels could begin as early as this winter. Installation of the QUBS panels, which would be ground-mounted, would be a lengthier process due to the scope of the project and not start until the summer of 2012.