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St. Lawrence College takes the lead with the largest post secondary solar installation in Canada


One of the largest rooftop solar PV (photovoltaic) installations in Eastern Ontario is underway at St. Lawrence College at its Kingston and Brockville campuses, Chris Whitaker, President and CEO of St. Lawrence College announced today. Once completed, it will be the largest solar rooftop installation at any post secondary institution in Canada.

"This flagship solar program is the first of its kind in Canada," Whitaker said. "This notable project builds on our continued leadership in the renewable energy sector. We are the first college to offer diplomas in Energy Systems Engineering and Wind Turbine Technician and we continue to lead the way by providing our students with a cutting edge education and hands- on experience with real, operating, renewable energy systems. We also take pride in improving our communities by creating a sustainable future and leading by example. I am also very pleased to announce that our new Geothermal Engineering Technician diploma program has recently been approved for delivery beginning in 2011."

Pending approval, the solar project, will operate through the Ontario Power Authority (OPA) Feed-in-Tariff (FIT) Program. The project is also the first educational project of its kind in Canada, as it combines power generation with interactive student learning. Students enrolled in the College’s Energy Systems Engineering program will be able to gather real-time Solar data and learn how the effects of different tilt angles, flat versus sloped rooftops, different types of inverters and different geographic locations impact solar power generation. This valuable information will be not only be used by the solar industry but it will also assist students in learning how to optimize solar system design. This data will provide key information to the solar industry.

"This powerful, hands-on training site will give our students the necessary skills to be successful in the workforce upon graduation," Whitaker explains. "Our goals for this project are two-fold, to generate power and revenue, and to provide our students with the best, leading edge learning experience possible."

The installation, totaling 350kW, consists of a 250kW rooftop system in Kingston, and 100kW rooftop system in Brockville. At the Kingston Campus, over 1200 solar modules will be installed on three separate rooftops. It is estimated that this project will generate over $200,000 annually in revenue for the College. Additionally, a large television display screen, located in the College’s main foyers, will illustrate both current and historical solar power generation, display outdoor weather information, and demonstrate how many tons of green house gas emissions have been reduced through the generation of green power. At the Brockville campus, approximately 442 solar modules will be installed on the rooftop of the main building and will generate an estimated revenue of $80,000 per year.

The solar project has been designed and will be installed by a team led by Ainsworth Inc.

Ainsworth, an OMERS business, has been providing mechanical and electrical installations and service to the Commercial, Institutional and Industrial sectors for over 75 years. Customers rely on Ainsworth as their single source partner for installing and keeping their assets safe, effective, and energy-efficient. Every day across Canada, more than 900 skilled staff reinforce the reputation for quality results and service excellence. 400 skilled, in-house electrical and mechanical technicians work in Ontario alone. 180 of these technicians are licensed electricians.

"Ainsworth is thrilled to be partnering with St. Lawrence College on this exciting project" said Yves Lemoine, VP Commercial Institutional. "The OPA, through the FIT Program, has opened the door to making renewable technologies like Solar PV sustainable in Ontario. As an OMERS business, sustainability plays an important role in all of Ainsworth's business decisions. We firmly believe that projects like this are the way of the future and that St. Lawrence College is leading the charge on behalf of post-secondary institutions across Ontario"


About St. Lawrence College
Located along the shores of the St. Lawrence River, SLC has three campuses in Brockville, Cornwall and Kingston. St. Lawrence College boasts 6,500 full-time students from Canada, and more than 40 countries worldwide. Our college community includes 20,000 part-time students, 1,000 staff, and more than 70,000 alumni. We also serve more than 3,000 Employment Services clients annually. The college has recently invested in the development of Applied Research with many exciting projects in progress. In addition, revitalization of our campuses is underway to support new and innovative new programs including; Wind Turbine Technician, Game Development Technician, and Fine Arts, among others.