Reindeer Navigation Tips

Joanna Schroeder

Santa and his reindeer have a lot to navigate on Christmas Eve. But with the growth of solar panels on roof tops, Guelph Hydro Inc. has thought it best to send a brief note to Santa and his reindeer to advise them about how best to navigate the solar photovoltaic panels that are being installed on their roof.

Once the project is completed, the solar panels will generate 100 kilowatts of electricity that will be fed into the Ontario electricity grid. Guelph Hydro will receive payment for the electricity generated from the solar panels on a 20-year contract from the Ontario Power Authority under Ontario’s Green Energy Act Feed-in Tariff (FIT) program.

“Guelph Hydro is committed to developing cleaner energy sources in Guelph, so we felt it was important to lead by example and be one of the first organizations in the community to install a rooftop solar renewable energy system under Ontario’s Feed-in Tariff program,” says Barry Chuddy, Chief Executive Officer of Guelph Hydro. “Guelph’s Community Energy Initiative calls for the implementation of 1,000 solar roofs, some of which will be City properties which Guelph Hydro is leasing for solar photovoltaic installations.”

The company is actively involved in leasing other industrial, commercial and institutional rooftops in the community for solar panel installations. However, this particular project is being installed by AECON and consists of 60 arrays of photovoltaic modules manufactured by Canadian Solar Inc., the parent company of Canadian Solar Solutions Inc.

“Canadian Solar Solutions applauds Guelph Hydro for their continued commitment to being a municipal marketplace leader in sustainable energy,” said Milfred Hammerbacher, President, Canadian Solar Solutions Inc. “We look forward to creating more solar photovoltaic (PV) solutions in Guelph and throughout Ontario to help as many Ontarians as possible become participants in renewable energy solutions like solar PV.”

This year alone, the Ontario Power Authority has reported that more than 1,000 contracts have been executed for photovoltaic installation in 2010. As such they caution the reindeer to be careful when landing Santa’s sleigh on Ontario roofs this Christmas. In the Guelph alone, there are 20 home with rooftop solar panels.

Guelph has told us that The North Pole has responded to their note saying they are delighted with the company’s efforts to be “good” and help curb climate change through their year-round energy conservation programs, their donation of energy-efficient LED holiday lights to the St. Joseph’s Health Centre Foundation’s Festival of Lights, and their rooftop solar installation.

“That’s the type of ‘green’ Christmas Santa likes to see!” says the note.

Electricity, Solar