Conestoga news

November 20, 2023 3:59 PM

New solar panel project supports sustainability efforts

Conestoga is continuing efforts to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions with the installation of a 1.3MV solar photovoltaic system at the Kitchener - Doon campus.

The system went live earlier this year and is expected to generate 1.6 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) of renewable, clean energy annually, reducing demand and emissions from other sources. Over 3,000 panels have been strategically installed on the roofs of several facilities, including the Doon Main Building, Woodworking Centre of Ontario, and the ATS Engineering Complex, to help Conestoga meet 15 per cent of its annual demand and offset peak demand by 57 per cent.  

“Conestoga is committed to supporting Canada’s clean growth and climate change goals for a more sustainable future,” said Tim Schill, vice-president, Facilities & Capital Development. “This project is a significant step forward in helping reduce GHG emissions and promoting sustainable stewardship of our environment and resources.”  

In addition to the system at Doon, a 158kW solar photovoltaic system at the Waterloo campus also went live at the beginning of April. Combined with the Cambridge - Fountain Street campus system installed in 2019, the three systems are expected to generate 2.5 million kWh of renewable energy a year, or enough to provide electricity to more than 225 homes. 

Work on this project and the Cambridge system was completed by Blackstone Energy Services, a leading energy management company that guides large businesses, municipalities, hospitals and educational institutions on their journey to net-zero consumption.

“It’s a pleasure to work with the progressive facilities team at Conestoga. This project is another shining example of the college’s leadership in decarbonization, another initiative identified through Blackstone’s Enervolve Decarbonization solution,” said Grant McArthur, VP Renewables at Blackstone Energy Services. “The net-metered capability of the rooftop solar array combined with our intuitive blackPAC™ distributed energy resource management platform provides generation and management of clean, solar-generated power when demand on the provincial energy grid is at its highest, and most expensive, offering electricity at a reduced cost to the college while lowering Scope 2 GHG emissions.”

Conestoga’s commitment to environmental sustainability is demonstrated through several initiatives and projects across the college. All aspects of managing current facilities and planning new infrastructure are approached with a sustainability lens to work towards improving energy efficiency, reducing GHG emissions, and implementing waste reduction strategies.

For more information on achievements and plans in sustainability, visit Facilities Management.