Race for largest photovoltaic roof installation

On June 29 of this year the City of Kitchener, Ontario, inaugurated a 68,000 square foot photovoltaic array on the roof of its municipal Operations Facility. The array consists of 2500 panels, each providing 200 watts, for a total of 500kW, enough to power 50 or more homes.  Total cost was $4.1 million, with contributions coming from all three levels of government. The City states that the solar roof is expected to generate more than $363,900 in net revenue for the city each year.

A much bigger roof PV project was announced on July 12 by Solar & Alternative Technology Corporation (S.A.T.),  and the Hiram Walker & Sons Ltd. distillery in Windsor, Ontario.  This installation, to be on the roof of the Hiram Walker whisky aging warehouse, will produce 7.9 MW of power, enough to power about 3000 homes.  (If you are wondering why 500kw powers 50 homes and 7900kw powers 3000 homes – lack of standards for measuring such claims is the answer). No word yet on who is providing the investment for the Hiram Walker roof PV facility but S.A.T. does say that it is leasing the roof space from Hiram Walker. That sounds like a good deal for the liquor company and something that any company with large expanses of flat roof might want to investigate. The project is claimed to be one of the world’s largest roof photovoltaic projects, with an area of 24 football fields, which GallonDaily calculates to be about 143,000 square metres.

Information about the Kitchener project is at http://www.kitchener.ca/en/newslist/index.aspx?newsId=mBKgv3NtgW989K2P9U5LigeQuAleQuAl

Information about the Windsor project is at http://www.alternativetechnology.ca/info/updates.html#c1048

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