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City of Cambridge Public Works

Providing shelter and power: the City of Cambridge's rooftop solar PV

Cambridge, Ontario

As part of a Federal Government Infrastructure Stimulus Fund grant, our engineers provided design services for a new 20 kW solar Photovoltaic (PV) system on the roof of the new Outdoor Vehicle Storage (OVS) building. Rooftop PV solar panels would be a cost effective approach to help the city reduce their greenhouse gas emissions and promote their corporate sustainability plan.

The construction of the OVS facility allowed for a large portion of the city's snowplow fleet to park outside under the new shelter. This improved the indoor air quality of the enclosed building where the trucks previously parked. The new electrical load of the plow's heaters is offset by the 20kW solar array incorporated on the roof. The PV system was installed under Ontario Power Authority's (OPA) Feed In Tariff (FIT) program which allows the city to generate revenue on a 20 year power purchase agreement.

OPA FIT contract application process was new to the city and the local distribution company. Application approval requirements and backlog at the OPA created uncertainty about getting the project fully commissioned by the stimulus fund deadlines. Leveraging our internal experience in similar projects, we reacted quickly to assist the city in coordinating with the local utility for the connection impact assessment, metering requirements, and resolving OPA FIT application requirements.

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