Public Demand, Corporate Profit Drive Ontario’s Green Economy

Photo: ©iStockphoto.com/jswinborne

With the growth of Ontario’s green economy, businesses, institutions and private citizens are taking measures to minimize demand on the power grid and reap potential profits from the numerous government incentives available under the province’s renewable energy legislation. Growing interest in solar energy systems is also helping to drive demand in PV classes and related solar training. Although not always a employment requirement, solar PV installation contractors are quickly learning of the benefits that formal training and accreditation can have on their businesses.

Atlantic Wind and Solar Demonstrates Path to Success in Solar Installation
As Ontario expands its emphasis on green enterprises, business owners are finding they can translate this shift into profits. Atlantic Wind and Solar (AWSL) has been highly successful in helping with this transition. Taking advantage of the Ontario government’s feed-in-tariff (FIT) program and developing lucrative rooftop-lease contracts with property owners, AWSL has helped make solar PV and wind technology more affordable, accessible, and profitable for those interested in going “green.”

Among AWSL’s recent contracts are two 250-kilowatt (kW) rooftop photovoltaic (PV) systems in Brampton and Toronto and an agreement with an Ontario real estate developer for four more rooftop solar projects with an estimated combined capacity of 492 kW. The electricity from these projects will be sold to the Ontario power grid at 71.3 cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh), an incredibly generous rate that is prompting more contractors to consider solar installation classes as a means of expanding their business opportunities.

Brockville Sewage Plant Plans to Produce Clean Energy
The city of Brockville recently learned that a proposed sewage treatment plant will likely cost the city less than expected, leaving room for some much-desired add-ons. Brockville’s City Manager, Bob Casselman, noted that the unexpected financial buffer has created “an opportunity to install some solar (panels) onto the site,” an opportunity that could also create local jobs for qualified solar contractors who have taken the necessary classes in professional PV installation.

Since utility fees are expected to be one of the biggest costs of operating the revamped plant, it is hoped that the installation of a solar PV system might mitigate these expenses. Casselman notes, “We’re trying to spend as wisely as we can and put as much energy efficiency into the building” as possible.

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Austin Brentley is a born and bred Washingtonian who has spent the last 9 years traveling the globe, living in New York, Hawaii, Japan, Thailand, France, and most recently, Malaysia.  Passionate about all things green, Austin currently works with the Ontario Solar Academy, writing news stories and blogs about North America's growing solar revolution.  Feel free to drop him a line if you have questions about photovoltaic technology or solar panel installation training.