It started with the need to replace a roof in one of the churches of the Anglican parish of Huntley, Ont. Nine months later, the church not only had a new roof, but 40 solar panels on its parish hall roof that are generating clean electricity and revenue.
The parish installed the 9.4-kw solar photovoltaic array last September under Ontario’s MicroFit program. The parish is the first in the diocese of Ottawa to join the program, which is part of the Green Ontario Act.
The MicroFit program gives homeowners, small businesses and institutions such as places of worship the opportunity to develop a small renewable electricity generation project. In turn, under a 20-year contract with Ontario Power Authority, the parish is paid 80.2 cents per kWh for power the panels generate into the grid.
The solar system is expected to generate about 10,000 kWh a year over the 20 years of the MicroFit contract.
Funds used for the project were borrowed from parish investment accounts and will be paid back with interest by year 12 of the 20-year contract. The money that the churches put into the project is expected to double over the contract’s lifetime.