Renewable energy project first of its kind in Paris

Paris Star, September 2, 2010:

A Paris couple is paving the way for the development of renewable energy projects in Brant County.

Norm and Liliana Pye are the first entrepreneurs in Paris to install solar photovoltaic panels on the rooftop of their commercial building located on Woodslee Avenue in Paris’ north end.

They are taking the steps to a greener industry by taking part in the provincial FIT program (Feed-In Tariff program), which is enabled by the Green Energy and Green Economy Act, passed into law in May of 2009. The act encourages the development of renewable energy in Ontario and is coined as the program that will help boost economic activity and help create new green industries and jobs. The Ontario Power Authority is responsible for implementing the program.

Liliana was introduced to the program through her employer ProQuip International, a Brantford company that specializes in LED lighting and solar power solutions. They are recognized leaders in the movement to build green communities.

ProQuip International installed Ninety-two rooftop solar panels a month ago, each containing 225 watts of power. The FIT program is revenue generated, so the Pyes will receive 71.3 cents per kilowatt for their green efforts. This is one of the first 5 installed and operational solar pv projects under the FIT program in Ontario.

Once connected, the Pyes will receive their usual monthly utility bill, but also a monthly cheque for the power they generate because of the rooftop solar panels. The installation of the panels cost approximately $160,000. The Pyes have a 20-year contract with the Ontario Power Authority and after approximately seven years, they will begin to see the profits of their green initiative.

“The solar panels have been installed, we are just waiting for an assessment and the Electrical safety authority to sign off so we can get connected,” said Liliana.

The rooftop panels attract sunlight that is converted to electricity using photovoltaic solar cells. The cells are semiconductor devices, usually made of silicon, which contain no liquids, corrosive chemicals or moving parts. They require little maintenance, do not pollute and operate silently, said Sam Tavernese, President of ProQuip International.

By using solar panels, the Pyes are essentially alleviating the demand on the province’s power grids.

Ward 2 candidate Don Cardy applauds the efforts of the Pyes and ProQuip International. Green energy and the benefits it has on the environment and local communities is a major component for Cardy’s municipal election platform.

“We need to have more green energy initiatives in our community. It will stimulate our economy and helps businesses to grow,” said Cardy.

“So many people have green ideas but we need ones that are cost effective for our community.”

Cardy said he believes residents and businesses are willing to take the steps to become eco-friendly, but don’t know about the programs that are available. When the Green Energy and Green Economy Act was introduced, Cardy said he feels there was a communication break down from the province to the municipalities.

“Municipalities don’t have the people on staff that understand the system. Green energy is still in its infancy,” he said. “Everybody waits for someone else to try it first,” added Cardy. And that’s what he hopes will happen in Paris, with the Pyes leading the way.

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