Hamilton public school board taps sun to brighten school upkeep picture

Community May 07, 2015 by Richard Leitner Hamilton Mountain News

The sun is set shine on the Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board’s budget for school maintenance, although not in as big a way as initially hoped.

Renewable-energy company Enfinity Canada Ltd. has struck a 20-year lease agreement to install solar panels on the roofs of 13 elementary schools this summer.

The venture is expected to pump 1,825 kilowatts into the grid – enough to power about 275 homes – and $120,000 per year into board coffers.

While that’s down from the 24 schools, 2,700 kW and $200,000 per year identified in a November 2011 staff report, board chair Todd White said he’s still excited by the deal and possibility of installing solar panels on more schools in the future.

He said the revenues will go into the board’s operations and maintenance budget, and potentially save schools from closure.

Waterdown District High School is presently the lone board school with solar panels.

“The more we can maximize this, the more small schools and community schools we can keep operating,” White said.

“Declining enrolment continues to deprive us of dollars to operate and maintain our schools, so we’ve been committed to finding creative ways to recoup those shortfalls.”

The 13 schools include Gordon Price, Ray Lewis, Lawfield and Templemead on the Mountain; Gatestone and Janet Lee in Stoney Creek; Lake Avenue, Sir Wilfrid Laurier and Queen Mary in lower east Hamilton; Ancaster Meadow; Sir William Osler in Dundas; Balaclava in Freelton; and Ryerson in the downtown area.

“Visually, it’s going to create a new symbol to our school communities as they see the solar panels on the roofs, and there’s a good distribution across the system, from Stoney Creek to Flamborough,” White said.

“We have to do our part to reduce our (carbon) footprint and find renewable energy sources, and we’ve got to keep our schools running and maintained efficiently, so this hits all of the criteria that we’ve been searching for.”

White said the board is committed to examining the viability of solar panels when it designs new schools.

As a result of previous closure studies, the board is building new high schools on the southeast Mountain and at Scott Park in the lower city, as well as elementary schools in Beverly and Greensville in west Flamborough.

A new school in Ancaster’s Meadowlands is also scheduled to open in September 2016 to relieve overcrowding at Ancaster Meadow.

“There’s plenty of opportunity,” White said.

Hamilton public school board taps sun to brighten school upkeep picture

Venture will install solar panels at 13 elementary schools

Community May 07, 2015 by Richard Leitner Hamilton Mountain News

The sun is set shine on the Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board’s budget for school maintenance, although not in as big a way as initially hoped.

Renewable-energy company Enfinity Canada Ltd. has struck a 20-year lease agreement to install solar panels on the roofs of 13 elementary schools this summer.

The venture is expected to pump 1,825 kilowatts into the grid – enough to power about 275 homes – and $120,000 per year into board coffers.

While that’s down from the 24 schools, 2,700 kW and $200,000 per year identified in a November 2011 staff report, board chair Todd White said he’s still excited by the deal and possibility of installing solar panels on more schools in the future.

“The more we can maximize this, the more small schools and community schools we can keep operating.”

He said the revenues will go into the board’s operations and maintenance budget, and potentially save schools from closure.

Waterdown District High School is presently the lone board school with solar panels.

“The more we can maximize this, the more small schools and community schools we can keep operating,” White said.

“Declining enrolment continues to deprive us of dollars to operate and maintain our schools, so we’ve been committed to finding creative ways to recoup those shortfalls.”

The 13 schools include Gordon Price, Ray Lewis, Lawfield and Templemead on the Mountain; Gatestone and Janet Lee in Stoney Creek; Lake Avenue, Sir Wilfrid Laurier and Queen Mary in lower east Hamilton; Ancaster Meadow; Sir William Osler in Dundas; Balaclava in Freelton; and Ryerson in the downtown area.

“Visually, it’s going to create a new symbol to our school communities as they see the solar panels on the roofs, and there’s a good distribution across the system, from Stoney Creek to Flamborough,” White said.

“We have to do our part to reduce our (carbon) footprint and find renewable energy sources, and we’ve got to keep our schools running and maintained efficiently, so this hits all of the criteria that we’ve been searching for.”

White said the board is committed to examining the viability of solar panels when it designs new schools.

As a result of previous closure studies, the board is building new high schools on the southeast Mountain and at Scott Park in the lower city, as well as elementary schools in Beverly and Greensville in west Flamborough.

A new school in Ancaster’s Meadowlands is also scheduled to open in September 2016 to relieve overcrowding at Ancaster Meadow.

“There’s plenty of opportunity,” White said.

Hamilton public school board taps sun to brighten school upkeep picture

Venture will install solar panels at 13 elementary schools

Community May 07, 2015 by Richard Leitner Hamilton Mountain News

The sun is set shine on the Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board’s budget for school maintenance, although not in as big a way as initially hoped.

Renewable-energy company Enfinity Canada Ltd. has struck a 20-year lease agreement to install solar panels on the roofs of 13 elementary schools this summer.

The venture is expected to pump 1,825 kilowatts into the grid – enough to power about 275 homes – and $120,000 per year into board coffers.

While that’s down from the 24 schools, 2,700 kW and $200,000 per year identified in a November 2011 staff report, board chair Todd White said he’s still excited by the deal and possibility of installing solar panels on more schools in the future.

“The more we can maximize this, the more small schools and community schools we can keep operating.”

He said the revenues will go into the board’s operations and maintenance budget, and potentially save schools from closure.

Waterdown District High School is presently the lone board school with solar panels.

“The more we can maximize this, the more small schools and community schools we can keep operating,” White said.

“Declining enrolment continues to deprive us of dollars to operate and maintain our schools, so we’ve been committed to finding creative ways to recoup those shortfalls.”

The 13 schools include Gordon Price, Ray Lewis, Lawfield and Templemead on the Mountain; Gatestone and Janet Lee in Stoney Creek; Lake Avenue, Sir Wilfrid Laurier and Queen Mary in lower east Hamilton; Ancaster Meadow; Sir William Osler in Dundas; Balaclava in Freelton; and Ryerson in the downtown area.

“Visually, it’s going to create a new symbol to our school communities as they see the solar panels on the roofs, and there’s a good distribution across the system, from Stoney Creek to Flamborough,” White said.

“We have to do our part to reduce our (carbon) footprint and find renewable energy sources, and we’ve got to keep our schools running and maintained efficiently, so this hits all of the criteria that we’ve been searching for.”

White said the board is committed to examining the viability of solar panels when it designs new schools.

As a result of previous closure studies, the board is building new high schools on the southeast Mountain and at Scott Park in the lower city, as well as elementary schools in Beverly and Greensville in west Flamborough.

A new school in Ancaster’s Meadowlands is also scheduled to open in September 2016 to relieve overcrowding at Ancaster Meadow.

“There’s plenty of opportunity,” White said.