Cost of solar panels on Long Sault Arena could be steep

Nick Laurin
Cost of solar panels on Long Sault Arena could be steep
Solar panel stock photo.

SOUTH STORMONT, Ontario – South Stormont Township Council discussed the feasibility of solar panels at Long Sault Arena during their regular meeting on March 9, 2022.

Last September, the Council of South Stormont was ready to spend $65,000 on the Long Sault Arena, if it can handle a set of solar panels on its roof.

In order to determine Long Sault Arena’s feasibility, Council asked the Next Energy Development Group (NEDG) to do a pre-feasibility study, and EVB Engineering to do a structural check on the building.

The Council of South Stormont received an executive summary report on the findings found in the study. The presentation was given by John Barros from NEDG.

NEDG has been working closely with Hydro One on this study. One of the findings shown in the presentation is that it is possible for the Long Sault Arena to be attached to a Hydro One grid, but it will require costs that can only be determined after an assessment study takes place.

NEDG gave the Council an estimation based on Hydro One’s feedback.

“We estimated it from feedback from Hydro One to be between $55,000 and $100,000,” said Barros.

John Barros confirmed that the project would be available for net metering.

According to Hydro One, net metering allows you to send electricity generated from Renewable Energy Technologies (RETs) to Hydro One’s distribution system for a credit towards your electricity costs. Excess generation credits can be carried forward for a consecutive 12 month period to offset future electricity costs.

“What net metering would allow us to do is put energy into the grid when an excess is being produced, and then take it back from the grid (when the energy is needed),” said Barros.

Before being able to move forward with the project, EVB Engineering did a structural check on the building.

“They (EVB) put forth a report indicating that the roof structure as it stands is not capable of holding another 2.5 pounds per square foot, which is the weight of a solar array,” said Barros.

EVB estimates the costs of the structural reinforcement to be $140,000.

Barros told Council that another big issue for this project is the building’s roof itself.

“According to the steel that is used during the time of construction, it seems like that type of steel life expectancy is about 14 years”, said John. “Your roof is now 29 years old, hence why you are having some leakage problems”.

The estimated cost for the roof remodeling is $768,000, which is a fixed cost as the Municipality will have to replace the roof at some point in the future.

If the Municipality of South Stormont secures the grants available for this project, the total cost of the project would be $427,000.

The meeting ended with Council wanting to wait back from administration with the report of the presentation before moving forward.

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