“Co-op Lafontaine was doing major renovations and didn’t have the capital to invest in the solar panels themselves,” explained Mary-Ann Schwering, then Co-op Lafontaine board member. “When we heard about the Ottawa Renewable Energy Co-op and the opportunity to rent roof space, we knew that partnering was the right solution for us.”
Since renting roof space was a new activity to Co-op Lafontaine, some members had questions and concerns, ranging from the potential for damage to the roofs and possible noise from the set-up to the maintenance of the panels. Schwering said that, after a series of member meetings, any concerns members had were put to rest.
The solar system on the roof was installed on April 3, 2013. It will produce power that will be sold to the grid for 20 years under the second iteration of the Micro Feed-In Tariff (MicroFIT) program, through which the Ontario Power Authority purchases the power produced for $0.549 per kilowatt hour. The Lafontaine Solar Project produces enough electricity to offset up to two average Ontario family homes.
Now that the panels are installed, the members are looking to their other south-facing roofs and envision covering them all with solar panels.