Toronto school roofs to go solar

TORONTO, ONTARIO - The Toronto District School Board and AMP Solar Group Inc. have teamed up to install solar panels on hundreds of school rooftops in a deal that could be worth $1.1 billion in green electricity generation over 20 years.

The TDSB said during a board meeting that it has signed a deal with AMP, which will build, install and maintain solar photovoltaic panels on as many as 450 school rooftops or 12 million square feet of roof space.

The board said there is no cost to the TDSB and that AMP will be responsible for all project costs. The panels will go only on roofs that can support them, and in return the schools will get $120 million worth of roof repairs.

"The partnership will provide an innovative, no-cost, long-term strategy to replace millions of square feet of school rooftops over the next 20 years while generating safe, renewable energy for the community," TDSB said in a backgrounder on the initiative.

Between 58 and 66 megawatts of electricity could be generated by this program each year, the board said. That is equivalent to the amount needed to meet the average electrical needs of almost 6,000 households, according to the TDSB.

The energy produced will be sold into the local distribution grid for use by local electricity customers, including TDSB schools, and it could be worth as much as $1.1 billion over the 20-year period, staffers told the CBC's Steven D'Souza. The board could get 14.5 per cent of that over the period, he reported.

The initiative is expected to get underway beginning next spring.



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