County of Brant invests in rooftop solar panels
The roofs of two County of Brant municipal buildings will start making money.
County council approved a partnership between the county and a community co-operative to install solar panels on roofs in Paris and St. George at a special council meeting Monday evening.
After some discussion, the County of Brant entered into a 20-year agreement in which the county and Sustainability Community Energy Co-operative Inc. will put solar panels on the Brant Sports Complex on Powerline Road in Paris and the South Dumfries Community Centre on Arena Road in St. George.
County of Brant mayor Ron Eddy said the project will help the county generate revenue.
“It’s great, simply because we’re producing electricity from the sun,” he said. “The cost of the equipment has to be taken into consideration, but then it’s income to the municipality replacing some of the taxes, which will provide money for services in the municipality.”
The partnership is a landmark for the co-operative after a year of meetings to gain support and investors.
The county will foot 70 per cent of the bill for the project and the co-operative, which is made up of 80 community investors, will contribute 30 per cent.
Both projects were previously approved by the Ontario Power Authority’s Feed-in-Tarrif program.
The 250-kilowatt project slated for the Brant Sports Complex is expected to cost $634,725 and the 100-kilowatt project for the South Dumfries Community Centre should cost $273,000.
The County of Brant will fund its share of the project through short-term debt, but Eddy expects the panels to pay for themselves.
The county’s general manager, Michael Bradley, estimates the projects should pull in about $98,000 a year and expects them to last well beyond the contract.
“The business plan calls for investment borrowing to pay the county share, which will be recovered from income from the sale of electricity to the grid,” he said.
After the term of the contract the revenue from panels may be used to offset facility costs.