Monday, June 25, 2012

Horizon Launching Commercial Rooftop Solar Power

Horizon Energy Solutions is using its digs in St. Catharines to launch a new commercial rooftop solar electricity generation program.

This fall, it plans to install panels at its 240 Vansickle Rd. site.

There, it will generate cash by supplying power to Ontario’s electrical grid.

“The St. Catharines site will be the equivalent to powering about 10 households,” said Scott Knapman, Horizon Energy Solution’s vice-president.

The panels will be built in an agreement announced between Horizon and Canadian Solar Solutions Inc., a subsidiary of Guelph-based Canadian Solar Inc.

The power-generation arrangement is part of Ontario Power Authority’s Feed-in-Tariff Program, which offers 20-year contracts for energy generated from renewable sources.

Knapman said Horizon has rooftop-leasing arrangements with other building owners, but is waiting to complete contracts with the Ontario Power Authority.

“When we have those contracts, we’ll be moving ahead with additional (panel) construction in Niagara as well,” he said.

“Certainly, if there’s other building owners who are interested in renting their roof ... typically an unused asset, and making an income from it, we’d be more-than happy in having these discussions.”

Knapman declined, at this point, to reveal the owners and locations of the St. Catharines and Hamilton properties where it plans to install the systems.

Money raised in the venture will ultimately benefit city residents, said Knapman, noting the City of St. Catharines is a 21.1% Horizon owner.

Horizon Energy is wholly-owned by Horizon Holdings, an investment company owned by Hamilton Utilities Corp. and St. Catharines Hydro Inc.

The city is in turn the sole shareholder of St. Catharines Hydro.

Horizon Holdings also owns Horizon Utilities Corp., a local electric distribution utility serving 237,000 customers in Hamilton and St. Catharines.


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